Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Memory Lane

Bike riding is my new favorite thing. Matilda has been taking up space in my garage for like 4 years, I shit you not. Why didn't I ride sooner? It probably has something to do with being fat and then pregnant and then having a newborn and then being fat again and then getting divorced so all my shit was in 2 houses and then finally moving into my place and then busting my knee all sorts of up and then having all the surgery and then it being winter. Or something. Also I kinda forgot I had a bike. So there's that.

The first time I dusted her off a week or so ago, I rode to the healthy food store. 10 miles round trip - not too shabby for taking a 4 year break. I guess riding a bike really is just like riding a bike.
She's super hi-tech with her lack of hand brakes and gears.
Whatever, she's beautiful.

I remember before I was fit, I would go for a short bike ride, which I just called "a bike ride" back then - like 2 miles or so - and consider that exercise. But bro, you coast for like half of that, so really it's more like pedaling for one mile, which takes like 5 minutes on a bike. Anybody can pedal for 5 minutes. It doesn't count. (Like calories on your birthday.)

I had a busy/stressful day at work and I just needed to relax when I got home. My immediate thought was GIVEMEALLTHEWINEANDCHOCOLATE, but then I decided, nahhhh let's get some endorphins from exercise first, then I'll wine about it later if I still want it. 

Man, I feel like such a grown up.

What I thought was going to be a normal bike ride turned into a ride down memory lane. I was exploring a trail near my house, which eventually spit me out into a neighborhood and onto another trail. But wait, this one looks familiar. Suddenly I'm riding down a path I used to play on as a kid. I pass the neighborhood pool my friends and I used to sneak into because our neighborhood didn't have a pool and none of our parents loved us enough could afford to put one in the backyard. I keep going. I pass the spot where there used to be a creek that my brothers and I used to "play" in (by "play", I of course mean the creek they used to push me in), but now it's just houses. I eventually pass the street my childhood best friend used to live on. The trees that were once twigs stuck into the grass are now lush and aged, covering the the fronts of the houses.

Then I approach the house I grew up in. I see the basketball hoop where I used to crush it at Around the World and HORSE, despite my height. Practice makes mediocre, y'all. The people that live there now added a pool. Good for them, I sense lots of love in that household. I keep going on this trail, passing the streets that were so familiar, remembering the bus route from elementary school and the friends I made on the bus. Remember life before smart phones? (Yeah, me neither.) I pass the neighborhood where my science teacher, Mr. Smith, lived and probably hated that his students knew where his house was.

I keep going and eventually made it to my elementary, middle and high school. There were some kids out having soccer practice - did I get smaller or did high school kids get bigger? Probably both.

So many fun memories at this school.
Like that time Blake brought me here in his red truck and tried to kiss me.
And all the lunches in Mr. Sands classroom.
And my only detention EVER. It was from Mrs. Ronan for chewing gum and I'll never forgive her for ruining my life perfect record.
And leaving room for Jesus at school dances.
And the time Mrs. Delaney yelled, "Fucking tubas!" in band and the whole school knew about it in like 5 minutes.

I ride from there back across town to my old neighborhood, leaving the trail behind to ride down my old street. I remember all the kids I used to babysit and wonder if I'd even recognize them now, or them me. I wonder if my neighbors miss my recluse of a father living in the house alone long after we all grew up or if they appreciate that a young family moved in. As I approach the front of my old home, I realize how huge it is. How did my dad afford this? As a single parent barely paying my bills now, there's no way I could buy a house like this, shoooooooot.

I find the trail and follow it back home, taking the scenic route weaving through neighborhoods. I race the setting sun so that I'd get home by the time the street lights came on. Seemed fitting, those are the rules when you go out riding bikes after school work.


15 miles later and I didn't need the wine after all.

5 comments:

  1. I loved this post! What a great night and trip down memory lane!

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  2. That is awesome! And amazing!
    xoxo
    Rachel

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  3. This is so damn lovely I wanna go ride a bike...might have to dust mine off after 10 YEARS today :)

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  4. That sounds like an awesome bike ride. I have been reminiscing about the country road I grew upon after seeing a house go up for sale on it... which NEVER happens. Oh to live back on that road.

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  5. I love a nice cruiser bike. Bought one at an auction for cheap & it even has a sweet basket on front. Did you find a new seat? That's the only part of riding I hate.
    Great post!

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