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Ride after ride after ride

"Don't you ever get tired of riding your bike?" It's a question that's been put to me on numerous occasions. And I can honestly say, it hasn't happened yet and I doubt if it ever will.

Oh sure, there is maybe one out of 50 rides or so where it seems like a pain in the butt; where I don't really want to be out grinding away at the pedals. It might be cold and windy. Or I might feel like I've got "no legs" because I've ridden four or five days straight. Yet, I still go.

Kids' bikes ready for action at Mathieu's Cycle.

It's just such a part of my life. For one thing, I do my best thinking while riding a bike. It's my "quiet" space to sort things out, and to even think of topics to write about on my blog, which is where today's entry originated from. Big decisions have been hashed over during saddle time, issues like finances, plans for retirement — mine and my wife's impending one — projects to be done on the house, etc. There have even been moments of mourning and reflection that have taken place while cycling, notably with the loss of my son, Gavin, and little sister, Ann.

But more than anything else, riding a bicycle just unleashes — yes, most of my burdens — but also a feeling that everything is all right with the world. And that's my point. It takes me back to when I was a kid growing up, a time in my life when I didn't have a worry or care in my part of the universe. My parents did all the heavy lifting in raising us; I just had to do my household chores, go to school, and, basically, enjoy life in the rural setting of Ithaca, Michigan. And a big part of that was cruising on my bike, which equated to a great deal of freedom.

All those feelings came flooding back the other day, when a fresh story of happiness on a bike was brought to my attention by my hairstylist. Her name is Laura and she knows I ride bikes. While cutting my hair, she mentioned that her seven-year-old daughter, Abby, had been riding her bike quite a bit with the return of nice weather. But the big news was that Abby had ditched her training wheels and didn't want any assistance from mom.

"I took her to an empty parking lot and she just rode around for an hour and a half. She had a big smile on her face the whole time," said Laura.

Welcome to the Freedom Club, Abby. You probably won't end up spinning your wheels as much as I do, but enjoy the ride and let anything that might be bugging you get blown away by the breeze that's flying through your hair. And please be safe.

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