I Like My Bike

Cindy II (not to be confused with my homegirl, the unflappable Cyndi Tew)

This post was featured by WordPress Freshly Pressed on August 31, 2011.

My friend Corey turned 40 this year and announced he would now be living as if he were half his age. I promptly decided to adopt this philosophy.

Of course there are many things I can’t do now that I could do when I was 20.

Well, I may still be able to do them. But just because I can, doesn’t mean I should.

Staying up past a reasonable bedtime? No longer a good idea. Drinking more than an occasional glass of wine? Not good either. Eating half a five-dollar pizza all by myself? No.

There are other things though. Things I haven’t done for many years that are good for me. Enter Cindy.

Cindy was my first bike, complete with a banana seat and streamers on the handle bars. A horse was not in the cards, but I could name a bike just as well.

I received Cindy way before I was 20. Probably around age five or six. I’ll never forget learning to ride that bike. How wonderful it felt to be free and go fast.

Somewhere in the murky years of high school, I gave up bike riding. And skating. And swimming. Fun things I once enjoyed. Why do we do that?

fun on ice…

Then a couple years ago, I decided to take my little boy skating at Steinberg Ice Rink in Forest Park. It was a perfect December day. He was too young to be on the ice for very long. I, however, had a ball.

We went skating again this past winter. He got the hang of balancing and moving at the same time. But all he really wanted to do was spin around in circles and fall and laugh.

We go swimming too. Although momma doesn’t always let her hair get wet, the water is like a long-lost friend.

…and in water

When my husband received a reward certificate with an option to redeem for a bike, I lobbied. I had my eye on a sleek, expensive model at Big Shark Bicycle Company in the Loop. But a free bike? We had nothing to lose.

My son was as excited as I was when the bike arrived in a big box last week. We unpacked it, all shiny and purple.

He helped my husband put it together. Insists I wear my helmet as we ride around the neighborhood.

When I’m with him, we go slowly. He’s still learning. When I’m alone, I fly.

Someday I hope he’ll fly beside me and know what I remember. How wonderful it feels to be free and go fast.

good night, sweetheart!

So, I’m all for just going ahead and having a good time—the best possible. The only earthly good men and women can look forward to is to eat and drink well and have a good time—compensation for the struggle for survival these few years God gives us on earth. Ecclesiastes 8:15 The Message

Be free, go fast, and meet me back here next week!

How could I forget to mention the bicycle is a good invention?

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163 Responses to I Like My Bike

  1. When I was younger all I used to do was ride my bike up & down my driveway for hours!
    Around 4 years ago my wife & I lived in a small city & would ride for hours at a time all over town. We have since moved to a less bike friendly area & have gotten caught up in other things so I haven’t ridden a bike since. Thanks though for reminding me of these great memories!!!

  2. April Clément

    Loved this one! I remember my “banana” bike, too. It was my Aunt’s and it was passed to me! Wish I still had it. Tried a bike for “today” and didn’t like it. Not comfortable. Looking for that “beach” bike with a wide seat and one in which I can still sit up straight! I’m all for that leisurely ride.

    • April, I agree. The seat is the one thing I would change about Cindy II. Not very comfortable. I figure it’ll just take some getting used to. Besides, I’m afraid she would never forgive me if I retro fitted her with a banana seat :)

    • April – try looking for a “comfort” bike, or a beach cruiser… You can probably find one you’ll like! Schwinn has a cool set called Coffee and Cream – a brown men’s frame and a cream women’s frame beach cruiser that’s quite nice, and you can always find nice vintage ones on craigslist.

      Aimee – great post! Even though I *am* way younger (right around that half point, but I don’t mean to make you look older! :) ), I recently rediscovered biking. I grew up in a bike-unfriendly large city, and I don’t even remember having a bike past the age of 10 or 12. Now I take my bike to work or to run errands, and I’m loving it! Congrats on being Freshly Pressed!

      • Thanks, Chef Nusy, for the tip on the Schwinn. Sounds tres chic in Coffee and Cream. April, I think that fits you & P perfectly, oui?
        Hope to see you back here, Chef Nusy. Young and old(er) alike are welcome here. Enjoy the ride!

  3. Joan Bailey

    Great post, Aimee! I think I’ll go for a ride today!

  4. I love how shiny and purple your bike is Aimee! So pretty! Can we call you Purple Lightening? Jeremy and I are desiring bikes here lately. We keep dreaming up family day trips on the Katy Trail….thanks for further inspiration!

    • Thanks for the compliment, Tiffany. I’ll pass it along to Cindy II. She is so pretty, isn’t she?
      Keep the dream alive! It will happen! I dream of those family bike trips too. My next lobbying assignment is to outfit Jeff on a bike and maybe get one of those tag-along attachments for T. My biking friend Elaine told me I could find one on Craigs List.
      PS: I’m free and fast, but Purple Lightning may be pushing it. How about Plum Gorgeous? (Okay, I got that from a Clinique powder blush.)

  5. There is NOTHING wrong with eating half a $5 pizza. Especially with wine!


    Great post — beautiful writing…

  6. You have hit on something here with bikes and living like you are 6 years old. Bike riding is the connection I feel is missing in the everyday lives of fast paced Americans. When we are aware in the space we are traveling through then we become present to the connection we have with the places we work and live.

  7. I think he’ll also remember the wonderful feeling of having his mom next to him, at first a bit slow, then later, flying! What a wonderful sentiment and a nice reminder to not to pay as much attention to the Age that we are but to pay more attention to just LIVING.

  8. BIking = wonderful.

    My friend’s grandmother only stopped biking last year, at age 79 (and only because she got backed into my a taxi driver).

  9. Great post. I bet he’ll remember most doing something with you both equally enjoyed. Have fun biking :)

  10. There is nothing like a good bike ride! I bought myself a Townie Electra this year….next year brings the cute baskets and brightly patterned seats! Enjoy riding. Great Post!

  11. Aimee! I love your post because I love bikes. One of my first blog posts, Bikes and Bubbles, was about keeping our connection to simple childhood joys like this. Children help us do that, I believe. Take care, and congrats on getting Fresh Pressed!! :)

    • Thank you, Jolyse (beautiful spelling of your name BTW)! There seems to be something universal about bikes. And I think you’re right about children helping us to connect with joys in life that are simple AND profound at the same time.

  12. Word. I like your bike, too. Keep living in such a state of mind, that’s wonderful.

  13. Bikes are the best inventions in the world!! they practically define childhood! I will never forget these summers of riding around town with my friends!!!

  14. What a wonderful post! There’s just something so incredible about the freedom that a child has and, for some reason, once we reach a certain age, we feel as though we can’t act like that anymore. Ridiculous.

    Embrace your youth and enjoy Cindy as much as you can, woman! :D

  15. Glad you’re out on a bike again. My first bike was also a banana seat, a Huffy Sea Princess with seashell stickers on the fenders. I outgrew her at the age of ten and got a new red and black old-style coaster bike. Lots of fun.

  16. Yipee, you got a bike. Good for you. Recapture that youth. You are so right about giving up things we like to do in our early teens. I got a bike again in my 30’s and haven’t looked back. http://banbamama.wordpress.com/2011/02/07/my-trusty-steed/
    Congrats on being freshly pressed! P.S. nice bike :)

  17. Abigail

    For medical reasons, we thought none of my siblings or myself could drive a car. My brother hated biking; he hated the heat. He hated the sun. He hated the dust. He desperately want to drive and, somehow miraculously, has been give that chance (and had $4000+ wander away from his wallet because of the expenses therein.)

    I still can’t drive so to get places, I have two choices. 1) Ask my dad (or brother now) or 2) bike. At 22, I still love biking. I love the feeling of the wind in my hair, the peddles at my control, the whoosh going around a turn. The feeling of flying you talked about. The chance to sneak up on squirrels that run just inches in front of me or the hear the birds singing while I travel. I love the feeling of the dusting of snow crunching under my bike tire while large flakes dance around me. I tell almost everyone I meet that they need to try biking right after a light snow I love it that much. I wonder sometimes if my brother is ever going to look back and miss the fact that now that he can drive, he no longer bikes anywhere and he doesn’t get to see all these wonder things.

    • Ooo, the snow crunching under the tires. Abigail, I love your description! Beautiful words and memory. I’ve only had my bike in the summer days. Now I have something to look forward to this winter. Thank you for that.

  18. Haha reminds me of when i had biked up and down several mountain for a whole day with a few friends and ended up getting lost. I love your way of writing, its so modern and practical ( in a good sense) and i also love your bike. :D

  19. i hate my bike. just bought one. brand new. it blows. i might have to find one more like yours! thanks for sharing….glad you love your bike. :)

  20. Aww thanks for posting. I LOVE bike riding! Free, fast, fun.

    You get to see things you’d normally skip when riding in a car or even walking. I wish more people rode bikes.

    I’ve always wanted to go bike-riding with a girl. And of course they’re always too busy for it.

    Simple, relaxing, romantic! What more could you ask for?

  21. My first bike was purple! I loved it! Last year I got my second bike – at 53! I don’t fly, but I do enjoy riding it! Perhaps I just need more practice! Congratulations on being freshly pressed!

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  23. youre so lucky due to the fact that you know how to drive the bike… me, never mind. LOLz!


  24. Have fun biking. My husband and I started biking seriously together 4 years ago – it’s been great fun. We do at least 1,000 miles a summer and have a Monday night tradition of biking, then going to a restaurant that has burgers half off on Mondays – ergo, Monday night bike and burgers.
    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed.

    • Thanks, HuffyGirl! 1,000 miles a summer?! You’re hardcore–I’m humbled by making it around the block! I could take lessons from you. Love that you bike with your husband and follow it up with burgers. Great Monday night tradition and lots of memories, I bet…

  25. Diana Byrd

    So, Aimee, do ya’think at “over 55” there is still hope of learning to ride a bike? I’d like to know that being free & going fast feeling while I still have 2 good knees! LOL!

  26. Good for you Aimee. I am a little over 40 now and still love that bicycle freedom. Beachside bike paths and trendy coffee shops are a favourite. This coming Saturday my wife and I are riding along the creekside bike path (also flat!) with our 21 year old daughter so she can savour the delights of an early morning ride and a luxurious breakfast at the renovated Stones Corner Hotel!
    My rationalization for the rich breakfast is that I can burn off those calories on the ride there and back.
    Aimee, just go for it!

  27. Nice photos and great post, i like it. Congratulations on FP!

  28. Hey! A fellow St. Louis blogger. I read, “Forest Park”, and thought… “St. Louis?!”

    Congrats on being fresh pressed… I’m mildly jealous. Ah well.

    I had to give up bicycling after an injury, though I’d pretty much stopped anyhow a few years beforehand. I had previously cycled out of necessity.

    Now, I’d love to cycle again, but getting bicycles is low on the list of priorities and budget… and I’m not too keen on the hills around these parts, especially down my street!

    And I too remember one of my early bikes (my second one). It also had a banana seat. I used to clothespin cards to the rear forks to get that “motorcycle” sound! I had free reign of the neighborhood and town as a preteen on that bike.

    I’m staring at 40 soon, and I still stay up way too late at night…. but then, I’m a night owl with babies and small children.

    Sometimes I feel 18, and then my body says, no, you’re 37. Phooey.

    • Hello, Wading Across. Yep, I’m in the Lou along with you! Thanks for stopping by.

      I think I’m going to have to do the cards and clothespins thing on the spokes. Beth mentioned it too in a comment above. How it announced the arrival of the queen. Gotta love it. That and the motorcycle sound. I’d be the coolest momma on the block.

      40s not so bad. Especially if you’re a night owl. Man, you’re just getting started!

      PS: I took a peek at WA. Looking forward to reading more…

  29. Good for you! I like my bike too :)

  30. Aimee: Congrats on FP! I think I remember reading once that ‘growing old is not an option, but growing up it.’ Here’s to that!

  31. long time no bike. thanks for reminding me of some good memories about my own bike :)

  32. I think I’ll go bike riding tomorrow…

  33. EmmieElle

    I have slowly moved towards biking as a more common method for transportation (as a college student, anything to save a few pennies is worth it). Unfortunately, my tires are currently flat. I’ve gotta fix that ASAP. Thanks for the reminder…enjoy your new-found friend!

  34. I loved this. It brought back memories of my own first bike. I am a few years older than you so my first bike would have been one of those large wheel in the front, small wheel in the back kind. :) no really it was a first edition 3 speed Schwinn and about 9 times too big for a 6 year old. I remember being as excited as your son. Love he loves his mama so much he insist on a helmet for you. So sweet.

    • Thanks, life is a bowl of kibble (love your blog name BTW). Your comment made me think of those changeable speed bikes. When I graduated from Cindy, I used to ride my mom’s bike that was a 10 speed! I spent as much time changing speeds as pedaling. Thanks for the memory… And yes, my little guy’s always looking out for me and I for him. Helmet? Check!

  35. Very Interesting
    Biking is Great…..

  36. I loved this.
    I am going in my childhood memories by reading ths, today i am going to ride my bike hero hawk……..

  37. I had a friend recently turn 30 and when I asked him how it felt he said, “Pretty much the same as 23, still no job, no money and no worries”. No worries right! Also, you should look into the fun of a tandem bike!

    • Great sentiment from your friend, MaryCJ. And I appreciate your suggestion about the tandem bike. I’d been considering a tag along attachment for my son, but now I think a tandem bike may be the answer to get my husband to ride with us. Thanks for the idea!

  38. She’s a beauty. I sold my mountain bike this year. Where I come from you’re not really riding unless you’re hurling yourself down a mountain. But I’m going to take another look at the comfort hybrid I’ve been coveting. Just because a girl doesn’t want to hop logs doesn’t mean she doesn’t long to feel the wind in her hair (from the safety of the paved trail, of course). Thanks for the inspiration!

  39. May

    Hi! nice bike!
    How did you post this text on your blog?

  40. Congrats on the freshly pressed! I would adopt the ‘act half your age’ approach, however that would make me a mere 9 years old which means I would be back at school!


    • Oh, CW! Enjoy your youth while you have it. Such a fabulous time! And tuck the act-half-your-age approach away in your brain files in case you want to revisit somewhere down the line.
      PS: You have the coolest name btw. Your parents did a very nice job selecting it for you. Thank them today, will ya?

  41. Nice post..
    It reminded me of my first bike which my mom gave to another child while it was still new.. :)
    Congrats for FP!!

  42. I used to ride a bike up until I was six – at the time I lived in Sri Lanka. Then I moved to Australia for one year without the bike. Naturally without the practice, I forgot how to ride the bike. I painfully discovered this when I returned to Sri Lanka and attempted to ride the bike. So I had to relearn it all over again. We had a massive backyard so I used to ride it in circles around the house to lose weight when I was 16.

    • Wow, leadinglight. How cool to have lived in such beautiful places! About the relearning, seems I have to do that a lot too. Maybe not with bike riding, but other things. Easy to forget, but also easy to turn around and remember and figure out how to do it again…

  43. Great post. There’s nothing like the freedom of riding a bike – especially when you first learn.

  44. I bought a bike several weeks ago after riding through Belgium one perfect day earlier this year. My bike is still sitting in the garage due to my ridiculous, grown-up fear of traffic (zero bike trail around here). Thanks for posting this… encourages me a bit closer to getting my bike out of the garage. I think I’ll call her… Queen.

  45. I, as your friend, am nearing that 40 benchmark. Though I hadn’t thought of acting half my age, I have decided that if I’ve got to exercise, it will be in the ways that I enjoyed and never thought of as exercise when I was younger. Playing at the playground. (Yes, it’s me you’ll see on the climbing bars!) Swimming. Biking. Running through my yard… and the neighbor’s. Maybe even climbing a tree now and then.

  46. Great post. I also like my bicycle and love that this is now something I can do with all my kids, even my youngest, who has become quite the cyclist at age 8. We live in Rochester, NY and spent many summer days biking along the Erie Canal. I blogged about it, come visit my blog and check it out.

  47. That’s awesome! I’ve been wondering lately myself why it is that we stop doing certain things — certain wonderful, glorious things — when we’ve “grown up.” I had a friend visiting recently with her not-quite-2-year-old and we spent a lot of time at playgrounds, with me wistfully wondering why they don’t make those for adults.

    • That is a good question, Mackenzie. thrugracealone above commented how she still likes to play on the playground and climb on the monkey bars… Hmm. This could either be a really good new business concept or a terrifically fresh reason for a party…

  48. “Free and fast”–you read my mind! I just started bike riding again after a 7-year hiatus and was thinking the exact same thing when I was zooming down a hill last weekend. I hope your son enjoys it too!

  49. Wow. I read this after I’d had a fabulous ride around Sydney Harbour this afternoon. Fun isn’t it?:)

  50. This article attracted my attention because I just got back from a great bike ride in the woods. There was absolutely no one around, and the sun was streaming through the trees as I glided along… Long live biking! :)

  51. I just recently rediscovered the fun to be had bike riding. My girlfriend and I got each other nice cruisers and have a ball riding up and down the boardwalk. Congrats and enjoy!

  52. very nice and heart warming story. I to gave up a lot of the things that were fun. it was not until my late twenties, and I now I’m still a kid, that I rediscovered many of them. It is also around the time I let go of most of the bad thing that most of us do. It is heartwarming and exciting to think of a little one growing up in the fun we used to have, wishing they will lean from our mistakes. :) have fun soaring the open road

    • Thanks, mrzuber30. We give up a lot of fun things and a lot of bad things, true. What a blessing to be able to recapture some of the better ones, don’t you think? Nothing would please me more than for my little guy to learn from my mistakes, but I know he’ll have to learn from his own. The best I can do now is set a good example for how to live and learn, fall down and get back up again.

  53. Congrats on a well deserved FP! It caught my eye because my recently retired hubby and I are looking at purchasing bikes. I hope I find a pretty one like yours and that we enjoy our rides much like you and your son. Thank you for reassuring me it can be fun at any age. Happy trails to you!

  54. I think that as we get older we do forget to simple and fun things that we did when we were younger. I have to admit, I haven’t been on bike since I was 12! Now I want to get on one again.

    I’ll appreciate it if you checked out my blog http://janachantel1.wordpress.com/ it’s about me trying to become a successful published author. And please feel free to subscribe!

  55. Great idea! I’d like to get a bike as well. It’s a great way to spend time with the kids as well as get a little exercise. :)

  56. Cycling [in good weather] => happier life.
    Been cycling for a year (life’s better than 2 years ago- and yes i had a number of bicycles while growing up. But Physically, spiritually (I am xtian), life’s better now that i’m on wheels.
    Just a word of warning/ caution:
    (1) don’t cycle @ night (2) don’t cycle @ night and attempt to traverse through the not-so-good part of town.
    As I found out to my detriment below.

  57. i loooove my bike :) so happy theres a blog like this :)

  58. I love riding bikes. Good for you. Cheers.

  59. Google Life Cycles, it’s a movie about growing and biking, I’m 36 years old, next september 16th I’ll be 37 years old, and I love my bike. I go for a high hill, move my feet and arrive to the highest part of the hill, then, forget the breaks and go down, it’s exciting, all the adrenaline on your body. Of course you need, gloves, helmet, and some extra protection for youe knees. You don’t get older for riding a bike, you get older for not riding one.

  60. You just make me feel like riding my bike again. It’s been a really long time since the last time got on a bike and it was years ago. You also make me miss the old days when everything was at ease. I’m 24 but there are still something i can’t do because as we grow up, we get more and more responsibilities and it means less time for us to do what we want to do…. Anyway, beautiful writing!
    Have a great day and enjoy your riding!

  61. I remember my first bike…I earned it by weeding a patch in my parents back yard….It was a schwinn girls bicycle and boy did it get alot of use! Love this post! Takes me back! Found your blog via “freshly pressed” on wordpress and am so glad I did! Really enjoyed reading it! When you get a moment check out my blog on wordpress @ http://www.pargasjunkyard.wordpress.com …. and keep writing, I know I will keep reading!

  62. Thanks, pargasjunkyard! Great memory about earning your bike. Smart parents you had there! I will check your blog out and hope to see you here again soon.

  63. simple yet meaningful. indeed. life is interesting at any number ;) enjoy your walks or runs or jumps… :)

  64. Dee

    It’s soooo funny that you wrote about this topic! My parents (53 years old) started bike riding together a couple years ago again!! I joined them this past summer, and we had a blast. My father was the tour guide and took us through Thornhill to look at everything, and see the most interesting things. We ended up staying out for hours! So much fun!

  65. This is so true! I took my kids rollerskating for the first time last year and I had a flood of memories from my childhood. Lacing up smelly used skates, the disco ball doing the limbo, holding hands, it was wonderful! Sometimes having kids brings us back to our own childhood and the happiness we felt at some of the simple things in life. Like the wind you create while going round and round in the roller rink, you feel like you are going thirty miles an hour. Ok enough. Congratulations on your freshly pressed. That is awesome!!

  66. There is nothing like the joy of riding a bike. Having done so for sixty-two years now, I never tire of the ride and the freedom it brings, the mental cleansing, and the physical release of feel good hormones.
    Stay young and ride, ride, ride!

  67. enjoyed reading :) nice blog!

  68. Ray

    You may not remember but you were the one who showed me how to ride a bike. I’m very grateful for the many other things you showed me as well.

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  78. Good post. We are a try new things family and I live my bike also… especially down hills with the wind in your hair ;)

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