Saturday, April 9, 2005
Ten years ago today I rode a bicycle for the very first time in my life. It seems like only yesterday - I can still remember the anxiety, the nervousness, the fear of being an adult and riding a bike for the first time. But I also remember the exhilaration and the sheer unadulterated joy of gliding down the sidewalk on that very first ride. I remember not wanting it to end, and the accompanying realization that I was hopelessly, eternally hooked on bicycling, even from the very first moment I wrapped my fingers around the handlebar. It's hard for me to believe that ten years have passed, and how much things change and yet stay the same. I've gone from getting out of breath and feeling like I was going to collapse after merely riding on a flat driveway for less than 100 yards to racing mountain bikes for 24 hours at a time. And yet, one thing remains constant - I still love to ride my bike. So today, to celebrate that first ride, Steve and I headed out on our bikes. Since all the area trails were wet from yesterday's rain, we rode the fireroads at Umstead. For three and a half hours we rode and reminisced, and just enjoyed being outside in the woods on our bikes. We breathed in the fresh air and laughed as the sun stroked our cheeks, methodically made our way up the climbs and then squealed with the joy of delighted children as we flew back down. When I'm on my bike, I feel like I am 43 going on 7 and I can't imagine a happier way to "age".