Like Riding a Bicycle…

Just recently I have fallen in love with bicycles.

To be more specific, beach cruiser, retro-style bicycles have captured my heart and when I see my neighbors cruising to brunch with their little baskets and bicycle bells, my heart goes pitter-patter.

Recently, I had a day off of work and spent some time at my sister’s house in the quaint neighborhood of Orange. For those of you who don’t know the city of Orange, the city of Orange has an old-timey, laid-back kind of feel that makes one feel as though they stepped into an episode of “The Wonder Years” or even “Happy Days”. Many of the homes are historically preserved and The Circle itself is a true Orange County gem.

It was the perfect summer day when I woke up that morning. The kind of day that makes you not want to sit around in your pajamas all day, but get out and do something! As my sister was getting ready to run off to work, I poked my head around the garage and saw her bicycle hanging from one of the beams. There it was. Just hanging there and calling my name. That familiar pitter-patter began in my heart, but simultaneously my stomach began to do flips and my palms felt all kinds of clammy. “What is your problem???” I began to question myself. As a child, I used to love riding my bike with my friends around the neighborhood and down to the park. One of my favorite dresses has bicycles on it for goodness sake! Sure, I had my share of tumbles and spills, but then it became clear to me what my real fear was. The difference between 8-year-old knees becoming scraped and bruised and 28-year-old egos becoming scraped and bruised.

Franklin D. Roosevelt once said,”The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” and with that, I took down that bike and decided that I wasn’t going to be a 28 year-old wimp anymore(or at least not a 28 year-old poser/wimp who wears bicycle dresses)! As I told my sister that I was going to take her bike for a little cruise around the neighborhood, I saw the shock in her eyes, but chose to ignore it. Somehow I don’t think “me” and the words “cruise around the neighborhood on your bike” just flowed together as seamlessly as I had imagined,but nonetheless, she gave me an encouraging smile and parted with me saying,”Have a great ride”.

And you know what? I did. The beginning felt a little bit rocky, but as I began to ride down the street with the breeze blowing through my hair it felt like reuniting with an old friend. Some things had to be re-acquainted and reintroduced, but before I knew it I was smiling and feeling like I had been doing this for ages. I rode around the neighborhoods and realized how much you sometimes miss when you’re just driving in a car. I passed neighbors talking about their winter gardens, smelled summertime jasmine bushes, and even stopped to hear the bells chime at an old cathedral just because I could.

That day I conquered a fear, and re-acquainted with an old friend, which for a day off, is not too shabby.

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