I didn’t learn how to ride a bike until I was like twelve…or maybe thirteen. I was embarrassed most of my life about this travesty, and so, shortly after my father, my stepmother and my stepsister moved into a new house, we played family and all got bikes.
So I had to learn.
What I found then was that riding a bike on the flat asphalt and cement the makes up most of Phoenix is indeed easier than riding it on the dirt roads and rocky terrain where I grew up in Prescott.
That is why I never learned I told myself, as I was twelve rocking the training wheels.
After some practice, and falling, a lot – (and I mean a lot, I fall standing still), I learned. My father took the training wheels off, and I cruised. I had made friends with a neighbor boy, and for awhile, I did what boys do: I rode my bike.
Once the first set of flat tires came, and pumping air wasn’t working, I was defeated. And so for a very short period in my life, I was a bike rider. And then quickly after I wasn’t.
Here I am, more than a decade later, car-less, and finding myself working far away. I had been thinking about a bike for awhile, and told my father we needed to do something to fix up my bike. We took it into the shop tonight. It didn’t make sense, the cute guy with a sleeve of tats and a Mr. Know-It-All bike philosophy told us. There was no point in putting money into a bike that was old and didn’t fit me. Instead, it made more sense, he explained, his cute convincing me, and eventually my father, that it would make more sense to just get a new one. So tonight, my father bought me a new bike, after repairing in my old would be too much work, and the bike itself is too small, even for short me.
I decided I wanted to test drive my bike right away, and so I rode from the bike shop where my awesome father purchased it to my home. And I had a blast.
Once I got home, I hadn’t had enough of this new found freedom – finally – I didn’t have to wait for a bus and could go. This excitement propelled me to ride my bike two and half miles away from my parent’s house, and then back.
I was so excited I circled my parent’s house for a while, and realized something.
Here, I am twenty-five years old learning something I thought I had forget. Riding a bike at age twenty-five is just as fun as it is when you’re twelve.