Friday, May 25, 2012

Neighborhood Bike

The last few evenings I have spent fixing my neighbor's bike. He's around 11 years old, and is excited to ride his bike "on the mountain!" this weekend during a camping trip. He's got his gear - a mountain bike and a bmx helmet. He's ready to ride.

After spending some time putting the bike back together, we walked over to the near-by church parking lot so he could take it for a test spin. "I love to ride!" he shouted as he sped around. Hearing his joy made me smile. It reminded me of how it all began. How it usually begins, really. A bicycle can be a kid's first taste of freedom. The fun. The speed! The neighborhood gang riding around together.

I live in a neighborhood where the shouts and screams of kids having fun can still be heard on any given afternoon and weekend. I smile when I see them on their bike. We don't have sidewalks, the streets are too narrow for two cars to pass and green trees drape over the road. Complete Streets it ain't, but I think this is what the policy-makers thought about when they put the program together. Neighborhoods where kids ride around the block, and streets that parents feel safe enough to let them.

It's still May. And it's still National Bike Month. Memorial Weekend is a great time to get friends and family out on a ride. Take a few hours to tune up the bikes if they haven't been yet. Then plan your route:  3 miles, 10 miles, 50 miles. It doesn't matter how long it is. Just that everyone has fun.

1 comment:

  1. I ride my bike to work almost every day. I love bike month because I see so many new people out giving it a try. Sometimes I see them throughout the summer/fall too, but invariably once winter hits, they all go away again...only to re-emerge next bike month.