As a kid, I was in love with my bike. Feeling that it might be possible to achieve flight if I pedaled fast enough, was a true addiction. I gladly endured scrapes and bruises, and a very memorable, painful sprained wrist (I think my wrist was actually broken, but my parents didn't take me to the doctor so I wrapped it in an ACE bandage for a couple of weeks, thinking I would die from the pain anyway, but obviously didn't, and my wrist is only slightly out of place). I once got my shoe laces caught in my bike chain, resulting in a crying fit and my father having to cut the laces from my bike in order to 'detach' me from the bike. I also ran into a large boulder once. I'm still picturing me flying over the handlebars like I'd been shot from a cannon. Luckily, I sustained only mild injuries: Scrapes and a bruised ego. Those were some great times. A girl and her bike!
In my teenage years, I biked less and less, and by the time I reached 18, I didn't bike at all. I believe my parents sold the rusty bones of our bicycles in a yard sale...cheap.
At the age of 25, I bought a new bike. Even though 5+ years had passed since my last ride, I went to a bike shop and purchased a brand spanking new bike. This act of foolishness was me trying to keep my then boyfriend from breaking up with me. He biked and I didn't, and he wanted to break up because we didn't have much in common. I thought he might not break up with me if I biked with him. Fortunately, for me, the bike did not save that doomed relationship (how stupid we are in our 20s), and a year or so later, as I was preparing to move to Philadelphia for a new job, I sold the new-barely-used bike to my brother...cheap.
Two years ago, at the age of 41, I bought a new bike so that Poseidon and I could start riding together (haha, I'm not repeating a foolish mistake again, don't worry). For many reasons (insert excuses here: weather, doing some home remodeling projects, putting our house on the market, etc.), we were unable to ride much last year, but this year, we've found our groove, and I am once again an addict. It took an outing or two, but the feeling I got as a child, flying through space on my bike, is back!
I ride like an adult now, with my helmet and bike gloves, my new awesome bike bell, and a cell phone in case Poseidon and I accidentally pedal into the lake, but the giddiness is still there. Injury-free so far (knocking on my faux wood desk), though I was nearly mowed down by a cycling dude yesterday. Note to male cyclers out there: Gold bike shorts are not a good choice if you are going to be sweating--OK, they aren't a good choice, period.
Because we rode yesterday, and because of my experience with trying new sports in my 40s, I know that at this time tomorrow, my legs are going to lead a most impressive mutinous revolution against the rest of my body, but I won't mind. I'm just a girl with her bike again, and as the saying goes, "Good health is the slowest way to die."