Memories That Linger

Growing up, I loved riding my bike.

It was spray painted by my mom to look like someone had dipped the metal frame into a tie-dye t-shirt bucket. I still can’t say why I wanted it that way, but it did make my bike, “my bike”. No other kid in the neighborhood had one like it.

My bike represented freedom. Which to any 10 year old is bigger than life. Your bedroom is never really yours. You were renter, your parent landlord. Your yard, your living room, your kitchen… Again, not really yours. Always the domain of the watchful parent. Even though my bike wasn’t really mine either, it did grant me the ability to feel free.

I could ride it far away, out of any watchful eye. Away from any neighbor who knew me. Away from any landmark I recognized, that signaled home was close by. My bike would carry me to a place that felt free.

Free to be anyone I wanted to be. Free to run into trouble. Free to cause that trouble. Free to take risks with no one there to catch me first. Free to finally know what it means to “fall hard”. Free to feel the rush of hitting that fine line where losing control meets finding balance. Free to have “clandestine” meetings with neighborhood friends. Free to roam as a pack, tearing down streets with the sort of innocent abandon I’ve lost as an adult.

Free to just feel the wind…

Tires humming…

Chain clicking…



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