I learned how to bike in a basement. Living in Kansas City in the Eastside, which was and is one of the poorest areas that is notorious for crime, it was not a good idea for the 5 year old me to bike around the neighborhood. I fondly look back on the circular pathway that was made for me in the basement; I pushed those pedals around that circle countless times.
When I was in elementary school in Fort Collins, I cherished the bike rides I would take. It was such a rush to be independently whizzing down a street and discovering the neighborhood around me. I never went too far, mainly because biking on big roads seemed a bit too terrifying (uhhh still does). I vividly remember that I decided to walk to a friend's house instead of bike and I felt so frustrated about how sloooow walking was. I thought to myself, "Why walk when you can bike? The wind in your face as you speed to your destination is so worth it." (Even back then, I was sentimental...or as poetic an 11 year-old can be) I walked a block and then turned around so that I could get on my bike because walking was just not good enough.
Somewhere in the middle of junior high, I forgot about biking. My bike got a flat tire and I never bothered to pump it back up--it has been gathering dust ever since. I think I've taken out a bike for a short spin three or four times since junior high. I've used stationary bikes a lot at the gym and thought that was comparable to real bike riding, only because I forgot what it felt like.
The rushing wind. The quick turns. Completely eating it when you slide unto a wet patch of leaves (that's probably fueled the lack of bike riding...). Hearing the birds chirp. The low hum the brake makes when you pull it. The switch of the gears. Standing up to pedal to get really fast. Using your arms to signal turns. Feeling the sunshine warm my skin while the air breezing by cools it simultaneously. I can't help but giggle when I bike that first block away from the house I'm staying at.
These small things enrich my experience of this summer in Bexley. I am lucky to be here, with people supporting me in every way that you can imagine. I have a place to stay (Thanks Langknechts!), a bike to ride on (Thanks Marcia!), and deep levels of love and care being poured into me (If I mention all of you, this post would be entirely too long).
As I petal through the streets of Bexley, I remind myself to relish in this journey. I'm really skilled at worrying and creating anxiety within myself that makes obstacles seem too big to handle. CPE seems like this scary blob right now, but I can already feel the energy of massive change moving through me. Soak it up and enjoy it. This road is meant to be travelled and I'll be heading down it no matter what I do. Might as well grab the helmet, roll up my pant leg, petal hard, and enjoy the ride.