Time goes on and I continue to get older. With age comes change in many ways, one of those being my hobbies. If you had asked my fifteen year old self if bikes were important, I would have laughed and said soccer was the only important activity really worthy of my free time and dedication. Now as I near twenty five, I honestly don’t remember the last day I played a game of pick up soccer, a thought my younger self wouldn’t have been able to fathom.
Hobbies change, develop, and morph out of previous hobbies, but sometimes they are cyclical. Now, bicycles are some of my favorite things in the world. The cool part is that when I think about my early memories growing up, they involved bikes. I’m taken back to the first big boy bike I was given for my sixth birthday. I remember being launched into the bushes lining our driveway fueled by my lack of balance and training wheels. As my my skills progressed, I would build ramps and jump off of them into a semi-soft grassy landing zone. I wasn’t riding out of utilitarian necessity, I just thought they were fun. Riding used to be a really big deal, and I’m thankful that it is such a significant part of my life again.
Bikes were reintroduced to my life by way of a cheap road bike and a desire to drive less. Five years post reintroduction, I still commute via bike quite often. I got rid of my cheap road bike as the components started failing and a desire for simplicity arose. I replaced it with a single speed track bike. Super hip, right? But almost three years later it still remains the go-to commuting steed. My current bike stable also holds a steel cyclocross/ adventure bike because I felt a desire go further, climb steeper roads, ride some light trails, and go on bike tours. I’m fortunate to own two bikes, and I can honestly say they get used frequently. I can also honestly say that they make everyday experiences more joyful. Even my commutes to work and friends houses becomes more enjoyable when I’m on my bike.
All of the stories aside, think about your first experiences on a bike. Some are joyous like the first time my dad took me mountain biking, while others are terrifying – like the time spent learning to ride without training wheels. Now that you are filled with the warm fuzzies of nostalgia, grab a bike and go ride. While you’re at it, maybe even try something new like commuting to work or meeting up with friends for a group ride.