‘What gives me great joy?’
Riding my bike.
2020 is weird.
Now, if you’ve paid attention to this blog challenge, you’ll immediately note that I think a lot of things are weird. 2020 is the Michael Jordan Mariah Carey LeBron James Beyonce of weird, though.
Among many surprises during this fuckshit of a year was a re-emergence of a childhood pastime: bike riding. When the pandemic first hit in late March, my husband and I thought the crisis would be a fine time to reinvest in our fitness goals. Exercise is usually near the tip-top of my Things I’d Rather Not Do list, but with the ‘free time’ that was slowly emerging as a staple in our quarantined lifestyle, we figured finding a way to get healthy couldn’t hurt. In an effort to avoid the doldrums of a boring cardio routine, we challenged ourselves to find new methods of pumping up our heart rates that didn’t include our NordicTrac or sex (although both methods were in standard rotation).
I rediscovered the stepping of my twenties.
My husband, the biking of his adolescence.
By June, I’d been on his bike enough times for me to start thinking about getting my own set of wheels.
Joy is too weak to define the warmth and glow that take over me when I’m riding. Throughout the summer, opportunities to bike alongside my husband, with the kiddos, or by myself were plentiful. A smile widens my lips whenever I think back to coasting along my quiet neighborhood on my pink lady, feeling younger than my forty-one years. Riding a bike is childhood nostalgia in its purest and most delectable form, bringing forward memories of when I was carefree and pursuing nothing but a good time.
Yesterday afternoon was an unseasonable but welcome 75 degrees and sunny. My family and I took what was probably our final bike ride of 2020 – an efficient half-hour cruise to the park and back, checking out new housing being built blocks from our home, waving to the goats living in the red barn near the local church. There was nothing bittersweet about it, just a blessing to be able to ride our bikes in November without jackets. I already know that these are the memories I’ll recall when my children are adults with families of their own. It warms me with joy and makes me grateful that something as simple as a bike could bring that feeling over me and the people I love most in the world.
Awwww…you guys, I feel all gushy inside.
This felt good to write.
More tomorrow. Bye.