Let’s Go Ride a Bike

(Disclaimer: I can assure you that there is no link between the title of this article and a certain song from a certain movie about a flying nanny.)

Early fall is my favorite time of year to dust off my bike, pump up the tires, and hit the road. After being coaxed into hot evening rides by my wife all summer, there is nothing better than a cool cruise around the neighborhood. Once the leaves start to turn and the temperatures drop, taking a ride in a light jacket and jeans is a refreshing change of pace. However, that was not the case today. Summer is hanging on by her fingernails, at least until somebody shows her the date on the calendar. The party’s over my dear, see you next year.

Anyway, whenever I ride my bike (a 29” monster from Walmart), I am transported back in time to riding the streets with my childhood friends. As I pointed out in another article when you’re a kid, you have a map of your neighborhood, and surrounding streets, downloaded into your brain’s GPS. This occurred to me today, as I pedaled my way around my neighborhood streets. Having lived here for 27 years, you’d think I’d have a better grasp of my subdivision by now. Nope. I wound up making a wrong turn and came across a garage sale. Since a squirrel had destroyed my bird feeder the previous winter, I had been on the lookout for a replacement at a good price. They happened to have a very stylish one, priced at only $2. What a deal!

Anyway, not all my bike memories as a kid are pleasant. I remember the time when I fell off the handlebars of my friend’s bike. Ouch. Then, to add insult to injury, my “friend” rode his bike over me. Good times. However, I do have a good handlebars memory. Back in the day, junior high boys rode bikes and the girls walked, everywhere. If you wanted to talk to a girl, your options were pretty limited. You either hopped off your bike and walked it, or rode alongside slowly, and hoped you didn’t keel over. However, if a young lady needed a lift, you were in heaven.

I remember one time when I gave one of the cutest girls at Arthur Jr. High, a ride on my handlebars. I was literally riding on air, while making sure to avoid any potholes that might send my beautiful passenger face-first into the pavement. I managed to get to her destination without incident. This earned me a few bonus points among the cool kids. Good times.

So get out there! Before long, the leaves will be all over your lawn, and winter will be arriving with a vengeance. Take a ride while you can, and save some hot cider and donuts for me!

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