Thursday, August 16, 2012

Look, Ma, no hands!

LuLu and I took an afternoon ride yesterday.  It was a great ride as the warm breeze and sunshine reminded me of my childhood summers.  What glorious, long, slow moving days those were. I kicked my shoes off on the last day of school, and didn’t put them back on again until the day after Labor Day when school started again.  During that time my toes had grown so far apart my mother was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to fit into any shoes when the time came.
I spent my summers on my bike, a fat-tired Ward’s Signature that took me wherever my heart desired. By the end of the summer I was steering with no hands, even turning corners without hands. I was the queen of the road.
Yesterday, I thought I’d try it, the riding with no hands thing. It didn’t last long, a nan-noo second really. I don’t know where all my balance went, but I’ve lost it.  Or, maybe I still have it and it’s just that I’m more afraid of hurting myself than I used to be. Scraping my knees at age 61 sounds way more painful that it did at age ten.  In fact scraped knees was just a part of my summer get-up back then: Tank top, shorts, scraped knee, ponytail, and barefooted. The look didn’t change all summer.
Yesterday, I tried steering without hands and not pedaling, and then without hands and pedaling. None of it worked. I headed toward the ditch no matter what. Maybe, my time of riding a bike hands-free is now a thing of my past, like squatting, or standing on my hands.  It’s hard to say good-bye to those things, but all good things must end… sometime.
So, I hold on to the handle bar, pedal and enjoy what I can still do. The warm breeze hits my face. The birds sing. The sun still shines warm upon me. I’m riding a bike at age 61 and it is good.

No comments: