Tuesday, April 13, 2010

for love of a bike

Bicycles have a special place in our family. At one point, I’m pretty sure my dad’s and brother’s bikes outnumbered our family members. You’ve got to have one for everything. Mountain bikes, road bikes, time trial bikes, fixed-gear bikes for track, everyday bikes, special racing bikes, even wheels that get their moment of glory for an event or two. I loved growing up and attending races to cheer for my dad and brother, their teammates, anyone wearing the color pink…

Bike races are a whirl of color and so much fun. Even to the local who knows nothing about the “chess match on wheels”—as my dad puts it—enjoys watching and cheering on the efforts. I’ve been in feeding zones, matched with an oversized golf umbrella with big, colorful flowers so my dad could “aim” for us to pick up his grub; I’ve cheered in the rain and sun and it never got old. We watched some of the Paris-Roubais this weekend (a race in France that is often preparation for the upcoming Tour de France—also the toughest one day race purportedly) and it winds its way through narrow streets, tiny roads, and over cobbles to the finish in the French countryside. People line the streets and roads to cheer for the athletes: they watch the race’s progress on the telly then run outside to catch the brief glimpse they have of the race itself on their street, then head back inside to watch the finish in the amber light of their local pub. It’s a sport enjoyed the world around. (like soccer—or football—my fave!)

Check out any local races you might have, and you’ll be sure to enjoy the excitement and swirl of color and speed.

While I was raised in a family of racers, riders, and those-who-do-it-just-for-the-exercise, I was never a bike rider. I occasionally got myself onto a two-wheeled contraption, but for the life of me, I still can’t understand how they deal with how uncomfortable it is!

I remember dad taking off my training wheels and just letting go. That was all I needed: a secure grip and a gentle slope and I was golden.

I’m happy to announce my bike riding days are going to be revived. I’m confident that “it’s like learning to ride a bike” and I’ll be good to go; a few trips on some wide-wheeled-wonders on beach vacations made me certain of that.

Speaking of wide-wheeled-wonders, check out this beauty I’ve got my heart (and my triumphant return) set on.

Many happy trails! Are you going to check out a bike race in your area? It’ll be fun!

1 comment:

  1. i am coveting right with you! monica and i are not leaving LBI until we take a ride on a tandem bike! our husbands are a bit less enthusiastic since they don't see it ending well... especially if i wear my straw hat (visual impairedness at it's finest)... but it should still be fun! great writing!