Bicycles move
With the flow
Of the earth
Like a cloud
So quiet
In the October sky
Like licking ice cream
From a cone
Like knowing you
Will Always
Be there

–Nikki Giovanni

I have loved bicycles all my life. From the push given by my older and wiser cousin to get me started on my shiny new bike, a gift for my 6th birthday, to the speedy version I ride today, bicycles have always represented freedom for me. Every revolution of the pedals feels, even now, like competence and confidence. And many of my dearest memories are associated with bicycles.

When I was 13, my father fashioned a little seat situated in the U-shaped dip of my handle bars on my banana seat bike. He made this seat so that I could ride and carry my youngest sister (long before the commercial version of a child bike seat was available). My middle sister could, by then, ride her own bike. We would load up the bikes for a day at the beach – an inflatable ring wrapped around my sister’s neck, towels shoved in beach bags, spending money tucked away in a change purse – and off we would go, pedaling along Irving Avenue to the beach and the boardwalk. Not a care in the world.

And when my older son learned to ride a bike, he ventured all over our neighborhood, often stopping to visit friends. We finally had to attach a tall pole with a small flag to the back of his bike so that we could keep track of his whereabouts.

Nowadays, I meet my friends for bike ride adventures like the Wild Goose Chase in the Blackwater Wildlife Refuge of Cambridge, Maryland.  And on summer evenings, I pedal along in quiet companionship with my youngest son or my husband.

On a bicycle, I feel the joy of freedom, just like a kid again. I ride my troubles away.

 Day 127

Day 127