Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Tricycle to bicycle - six short decades

Tricycle to bicycle in just 6 short decades - I mean, who knew?  
About a year ago I was at a workshop retreat session participating in an exercise to engage sensory perception, along with movement and memory.  Vividly recalling a childhood event with joy and action, I had my body careening around the workshop space in an energetic re-enactment of me  on my childhood bicycle.  

Bicycle memories flooded to the surface of my memory as from about fourth grade up until maybe ninth, I loved the freedom of riding my bike - in the neighborhood to friends' houses, to school, home for lunch, back to school for a quick game of softball - the bike was my mode of transport; that is until it was replaced by the empowerment of age 16 and my driver's license.   After that, I expect the bike was in the garage for a while until my mother sold it - (she had a pattern of quickly selling anything that was no longer useful in her opinion) to one's everyday life.

Back to the workshop experience, I was so moved by the memory exercise that I started immediately planning a summer bike purchase.  Then the doubt began to set in - what if I couldn't really ride that well anymore, or what if I took a spill, or a car hit me, or that ugly helmet that's now a real requirement for bike riding  kept my hair a mess all of the time?  I didn't need a bike or even really want a bike, probably I just imagined that fun more brilliantly than it had ever been....probably, maybe.

So that bike was NOT purchased last year and it seemed no big loss; EXCEPT, the bike thing kept coming back to me and particularly after a session with my friend and coach, Tonya, when we had discussed decision making out of fear versus out of confidence and love.  So, of course, you can probably guess the ending to this little story.  My spouse and I made a "just looking" trip to the bike shop on Saturday.  A soft spoken, knowledgeable, could answer all my questions young guy came out to the bike showroom and asked me questions about how I would be using a bike - did I want comfort and/or speed, mountain biking, strolling - did I want something a little on the "edge" in order to push me a little farther in line with more experience after I had it for a while?  He picked out a couple of bikes he thought seemed appropriate to my answers, suggested I take them for a spin and launched me out the door.

I must say that my mouth was dry, I felt somewhat uneasy as I flung that right leg over the saddle like I was getting on a horse and then I was "there" ......  even as I felt that first couple of pedals, I knew that "the bike thing" was real. There was nothing to fear about what other people might think of me purchasing a bike at my age (yes, I had thought about that), it was unlikely I would be risking myself with daredevil trick riding, nor group racing any time soon. There was nothing to be done but to get on with it.  So after decades of not being on a bicycle except for a couple of short days on a vacation years ago, my beautiful new bike is in the garage and will be out today for its second spin.  The first one was the afternoon of the purchase and I was in position two, spouse in the lead.  Today, it'll be me, my bike, and the helmet, of course:)  No doubt there'll be a photo here soon of all three elements of the seamless rider and her equipment!

So, anything you haven't done in decades that you're considering taking up again or trying for the first time?  I'd love to hear about it and remember, often things that one might not have thought possible can and do happen.......usually all it takes is one's decision to make it so.


Photo - Sunrise Sister tiny age 4?, on her huge tricycle - very happy!

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11 comments:

  1. This is beyond exciting on so many levels! You probably won't be surprised to hear I had my bike restored a few weeks ago after many years in cold storage. I went on my first "real" ride yesterday! Helmets are definitely the way to go, but I sure do miss having the wind blow through my hair like the good old days :) Ride on, sis!!! xoxoxox

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  2. I love riding a bike but have given up on it because here in rugged New Mexico, flat tires are a regular issue. Biking is just too high-maintenance for me, which is one reason I've gotten into running. All I really need are some good shoes and socks.

    So I will have to live vicariously through you on this one!

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  3. Dianna the stars must be in bicycle. I went on a bike ride for the first time since my break. What a great feeling. I was very tenuous but I loved the feeling of freedom and movement. I was right back at the beginning with my muscles. Congratulations! Walla Walla is the perfect place to ride. Thank you for waiting for me at the show. I was sorry that I didn't spend more time with you and Steven, I am never my most graceful entering into groups. You looked so beautiful by the way!

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  4. Good for you, this is brilliant. I never learned to ride a bike as a child (my mum was over-protective) and now I have some inner ear problems I'm not sure I could balance properly. But I bought an adult trike which needs servicing before it can be used, and you've spurred me on to do it.

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  5. Hey Lucy,

    Today we had a woman in our neighborhood "fly" over her handlebars and crack her HELMUT right in half. Fortunate for her that she was wearing that helmet!! They're not beautiful and kill the hairdo but I wouldn't consider riding w/o one:) and so glad you feel the same way!

    xoxoxo

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  6. Hi Polli - I agree that the foot traffic idea is a lot more convenient than the bike business. This is something I've been hankering for now for a while so just made the plunge.

    Having ridden it a couple of days in a row, once for exercise/pleasure, one to get me to yoga class and back, tomorrow it's a good pound paving jog....so I'm still with you on that:))

    xo

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  7. Katherine,

    I agree that bikes have definitely been popping up everywhere in news from family and friends - 'tis the season and since it has finally stopped raining here for several days in a row, it has been great riding weather.

    Loved seeing you AND your beautiful work exhibited in Willow. I think Willow is one of the finest small galleries here in the NW - always thoughtfully and professionally curated and hung with excellent work on many levels.

    Tx for the compliment - next to our artwork it's never bad to hear something about how the artists and their audience looks as well:)

    xoxo

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  8. Hi Tess,

    Bicyle, tricycle - go for it! Lucy and I highly recommend it:) And also thanks for letting me know that ALL children do not necessarily learn to ride bikes, USA and UK:)

    xo

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  9. You need a new profile pic showing your cool new helmet look.

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  10. A helmet is definitely in order. When I was riding a lot, I could name several people who were saved from severe trauma by a helmet. Helmet hair is more fashionable than bandages.

    After you get a few miles under your belt, check with your brother-in-law to see if the two of you might want to RAMROD. It's a ride with some great scenery. Bill knows something about the adventure.

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  11. Wow GDUDE - a gold star for readership:) Oh, the helmut is indeed a MUST. I like to do a little fore-planning and coordination re the coiffure and the helmut but some days I've just gone anyway, what the heck!

    The RAMROD.....I remember hearing about that, I think. Uphills BOTH WAYS, high altitude - I get winded just thinking about it, and my knees after a long yoga workshop today are suggesting I slow down my aspirations for more activity having to do with them - at least for 24 hours:)

    xoxo

    Tx for reading!

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