Cruising the Past, Propelling Into the Future

Two posts in two days?  Hey, I am on a roll!  I so miss this!

In yesterday’s post I briefly mentioned my new bike which I picked up on my birthday after months of lay away.

 It had been at least 20 years since I had ridden a bike.  I was a bit frightened at the thought of trying to ride again after all these years.  Would I forget?  Heck, would I need training wheels?  On that first hot Saturday in April I took a deep breath, clamored onto this pink metal contraption complete with bell and basket and pushed myself into the street away from the safe harbor of the driveway.  I pedaled about and practiced going in circles in the cul-de-sac until the neighbors thought I had gone mad.

I was doing it!  After all these years I was doing it!  In an instant I went from 44 to about 7.  Suddenly all these memories of riding a bike as a child came back to me in a solid rush.  My first bike was a Huffy.  I believe it was purple with a flowered banana seat.  I had a bell and basket then, too.  Some things you never outgrow, nor should you.  I remembered my Dad removing the training wheels one summer night.  “Pedal, pedal,” he shouted to me.   Okay, I did end up losing control and crashing into a wagon full of youngster being pulled by their parents.  I sometimes wonder if those former children in my Boston neighborhood remember that incident (or have spent years in counseling).

Having a bike meant freedom.  Sweet freedom.  I raced around the neighborhood with my best friend (she is still my best friend after all these years) and we searched for the ice cream man.  We didn’t wear helmets.  That was unheard of in that time.  Somehow we survived into adulthood.

Back to that hot birthday night. . .

I road down to the canals and went up and down until the sun was only a faint memory in the sky.  As it got darker I headed back to my neighborhood and road near the local park.  A group played volleyball in the greenway and there was just this certain sense of peace over the whole neighborhood, over the whole evening.  A slight breeze blew my hair back and rinsed over my skin.  My gosh, I had forgotten how that felt!  Who would have thought something so simple as a bike ride would conjure up memories and thoughts.  Even the sound of the chain churning as I pedaled drew out a certain deja vu from the depths of my memory.

Earlier in the week my boss, who is about my age, asked me if life in my 40s is what I thought about in my 20s.  This was a very interesting question. During that bike ride that birthday evening I started compiling a list in my mind of the things I’ve done in my 40s.  I never thought that far ahead in my 20s, truth be told.  Here’s what I came up with.

I never thought I would:

  • live in Arizona
  • ride a bike
  • run races
  • be a blonde!
  • speak Spanish (not as well as I used to  –I’ll never be fluent)
  • lift weights
  • have the same amazing people in my life as I did back in my 20s
  • have a job I absolutely adore
  • do 50 guy push-ups (let alone 1 push up!)
  • own a cute little stucco house with a Spanish tiled roof
  • wear a bikini
  • blog (4 years now)
  • be this happy on my own

So that’s it.  If I sat here long enough I could probably think of more things.  What about you?  What are some of the things in your life that you are doing/have done that you would have never thought you’d do in your younger years?  Do tell!

17 thoughts on “Cruising the Past, Propelling Into the Future

  1. Nice bike! Do you have to wear helmets where you live? That is one of the changes for the worse since I was a kid riding a bike.

  2. like this bike-wish lots of fun 🙂 I´m back from wonderful holiday in Turkey 🙂

  3. Some of the things I never thought I would do in my younger years? Phew! – that would be a long list! Be a permanent resident of the US is one, be married, be about to be divorced, live in an owned rather than rented house, love gardening (speaking of which I should get out and do some while the day is young), be a photographer as my main career. Those are just the immediate things I can think of.

    Bike riding is one thing I’m not surprised I’m still doing. Isn’t it just wonderful? 🙂

    • Wow, that’s neat. You have quite the list going. How cool is that?

      I hope you are well. I had tried to respond to a blog post of yours a while back but was unsuccessful. (?)

      And yes, bike riding is absolutely wonderful.

  4. Yay for bike rides. 🙂 I remember it was my brother and his friend who insisted on taking off my bike’s training wheels. XD My parents were completely oblivious that their son was taking his baby sister’s life in his hands. 😉 I did just fine! Until I tried to turn, then I fell. XD Um… I don’t know about that last question–I’m still working on getting through my twenties. LOL! But in high school I remember thinking, “Oh boy, I’ll be SO cool when I’m twenty-one. I’ll have my own place, and I’ll have an awesome job, and well, I’ll be SO cool.” Well, I have roommates . . . . and I don’t have a job (I’m going to school full time). And I certainly don’t feel SO cool. LOL! Being independent is a lot harder now with the economy. :/

    • Thanks for sharing your bike ride story with me. 🙂 Learning to ride a back seems to be one of those first things we experience as children (after learning to walk, run, or tie a shoe). I think it actually becomes a metaphor for many other things in life.

  5. You haven’t rode a bike unless you have had an accident or two. 😆
    That really is an interesting question. Need to think about that……

  6. Loved your description of riding the bike. i love breezing through the back roads and trails, isn’t it wonderful? On that note, I hated team sports in high school so I never pictured myself being a mountain biker or runner, and I certainly never thought I’d learn how to cook and do it well.

    • it so is wonderful! I never was one for group sports either. Somehow challenging one’s self to solitary sports also has seemed more appealing. Cooking is such a wonderful skill to have. Especially if you can do it well. 🙂

  7. I always thought that living in the mountains was an unattainable dream. Here I am!

  8. I love your bike, its so cool!!!
    It is amazing the things we end up doing. I always think…if someone told me I’d be doing this or that, or living in Florida…you know…

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