Until this summer, I hadn’t rode a bike in years. However, after being inspired by a few friends at SLU, some blog reading, and lots of thinking about health/environmental benefits of bike riding, I decided to pull my old bike out of the shed this summer while I’m at home.
And when I say my bike is old, I mean it; I’m not sure exactly when we purchased it, but definitely no later than when I was in sixth grade (so, uh, at least 10 years ago). The only reason that it still works for me at all is because I haven’t gotten any taller since I was in fifth grade. Since this bike was purchased at Wal-Mart, Toys ‘R’ Us, or some other comparable retailer, it’s obviously not the best quality and was never necessarily meant to be an adult bike. I am fully aware of it’s many, many flaws, but for the rest of the summer, it will suit me just fine. After my JV year in Boston, however, I fully plan on getting a new, adult-sized bike.
While my current bike is less than ideal, my hometown has been an ideal place to experiment with bike riding. The speed limit in town is 25 miles per hour, and I know these streets like the back of my hand, guaranteeing that I am usually able to avoid “busy” roads and hills (ha).
I’m off work today, and I was greeted with temperatures in the low to mid-70’s this morning. This is unheard of for Southeast Missouri during this time in July, so I thought that a bike ride would be a great way to take advantage of the cooler weather. I need to pick up a few groceries from the store, so I hopped on my (very old) bike, put on my (new) helmet, and off I went.
I had a great, quick ride the to grocery store with a nice cool breeze. I currently lack a bike lock (I told you, I’m new at this!), so I simply left my bike outside of the front of the store, hoping that the honesty of a small town would guarantee that it would still be there when I returned (it was). My current bike lacks a basket or storage of any kind (something I definitely want in a new bike), so my handy drawstring backpack worked as a substitute to hold my purchases, and I was able to bike back home, as I enjoyed being outdoors and got some exercise.
While there are many perks to biking, I think that one of my favorite things about riding my bike at home is all of the friendly people that wave at me while I ride. It’s almost like having my own personal cheering squad. 🙂