I got back on the bike.
And I had great company in my friend Smarty. She and I have been pals for about 15 years and even though she is in PA and I am in NYC, we have remained close. She is a beautiful person, a loyal friend and tells the best stories.
About a month ago, she called me and said, I don’t know why, but I think I want to buy a bike. I have spent the past month convincing her that this will be the best decision she ever makes. Because when you ride a bike, you wish that everyone you knew also had a bike, so they could experience that same happiness.
Serendipitously, Smarty’s bike just came in. Today was her inaugural ride. She hadn’t ridden since we were kids. And today was my first real ride since my accident. So it was a first for us both.
We rode in Pennsylvania, in the safety of an enclosed park with a wide bike lane. With no cars. Within seconds, I was happy. Because on a bike, I am home.
We took it slow. I tried to impart all of my bicycle wisdom to her, which took about three minutes (shifting gears, hand signals for turns, getting used to a sore butt). The rest of the time we just chatted and caught up and explored. We decided that exploration is one of the best parts of riding a bike. When you are walking or running, you always want to have route. You don’t want to get out too far and be too tired to run/walk back. But with a bike, you can travel farther and faster so when the road splits, you can explore where a path leads. It is a constant adventure.
A beautiful thing happened to me in this past year. I went from being a person who rides a bike to becoming a cyclist. I am now keenly aware that there is nothing that can take that away from me. Not even being hit by a car. Bicycles are in my blood. In fact, I am quite sure that little tiny bicycles are racing through my blood stream all the time, powering me forward through this life. Today I got to share that with an old friend, on a wonderful first ride.