A Girl and Her Bike

My cousin Rob is very well known in these parts as a dare devil. He is involved with extreme sports, and has many toys to play with that I will never be able to afford in this lifetime. He taught me how to ride my bike when I was just a kid, recovering from a broken spine. I was naturally a bit intimidated, but his taunting and yelling “Pedal faster!” made my legs move as fast as they could, and I maneuvered around our yard, trying my best to avoid the damn witches burr scattered all over the ground, like ticking time bombs. At any moment, my front wheel would hit one at just the right time and angle, and send my handlebars to the right or left so suddenly that I would definitely lose it and hit a tree. But that didn’t happen. I rode the bike all over the yard for hours that day.

My love of biking didn’t end there. I’ve made friends with a lot of people (yes, mostly males) who love BMX or mountain biking. I would meet up with my friend Tristan and some of his friends- one of whom is Seth Kimbrough! Omg!– and hit the streets downtown late at night and ride ’til the wee hours of the morning; the boys on their small frames, and me on my antique cruiser.

Most of the time, I’d bring headphones and listen to old classic rock. Back then, before the tornado and the legal alcohol sales hit downtown, the town would die around 8 p.m., and we would ride anywhere from 12 to 3 a.m. It felt like a time machine, just depending on which playlist I had sounding in my ears. We always had fun, and in fact, it was on one of these micro adventures that I discovered one of my favorite bands- Band of Horses.

Tristan cruised up to me and took his ear buds out and said, “Hey, listen to this. You’re gonna love it.” The Funeral introduction began, and I listened to the song all the way through. I ended up purchasing the record immediately, and each one thereafter. And yes, I shared ear buds with one of my… man buds.

Biking through the woods is a fun time, too. Two of my friends, a bike repair guy and an artist, and I biked Monte Sano Mountain trails one day. They were surprised that I kept up. I was surprised that they were surprised.

One thing I never had a lot of experience with but always wanted to try was riding a bike powered by some sort of motor. I think about mopeds a lot. I also went through a phase where I was determined that I would some day very soon purchase an actual motorcycle. Every single person who loves me objected, and so I swept it away and that phase was over.

My boyfriend, on the other hand, grew up with motorcycles and dirt bikes and four wheelers. That’s almost all he and his three brothers ever did, besides show cattle and take care of their farm and their animals. Going extremely fast and driving up and down and jumping canyons and various types of terrain was their main pastime. He has a lot of scars and stories, though. This is why I never bought a motorcycle.

Today, he brought his electric motorized bike that he assembled and powered up himself. I was finally able to get a taste of what sitting on a bike (an extremely low, mini bike) which required no peddling really feels like. What did I think about it?

Ridiculous.

So today I learned to ride a motorized bike in the same yard I learned to ride a non-motorized bike.

Happy Sunday, everyone.

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