I didn't get my driver's license until I was 25. It's odd because I'm from a small town where a person does need to drive, but I was just freaked out by getting behind the wheel. Being without a car, my bike always meant freedom and independence to me.
I still remember my very first real bike, a strawberry colored model with a banana seat. My father, who didn't live near us, surprised me with it waiting on the sidewalk after school and I rode and pushed it home, beaming with pride the whole way.
Then in middle school I got my prized mountain bike which I rode everywhere (except on mountains). I loved that thing, it came with me to college and I brought it when I moved to Boston. My very first night in this city I locked it carefully to the rack outside my building only to wake up and find it completely stripped, the back wheel and gears were gone. That's when I learned that you need to lock both of your wheels, a depressing lesson. I didn't have a car at the time (still couldn't drive), so I had to awkwardly carry a back-wheel-less bike to the shop and make a trade. That was a bad day.
About a year later I met Big Smith who is a big biking cheerleader (I'm pretty sure that's not going to be his favorite description). He likes bikes. We started doing a lot of rides around the city and on my 30th birthday he gave me a beautiful bike that I love so much I'm afraid to leave it anywhere, even with both wheels locked.
The day before I learned that I was pregnant we went for a huge ride along the river, into a neighboring town where we found a Mexican restaurant, indulged in several margaritas, and then dizzily pedaled the long distance back sweating, huffing, and second guessing our judgment.
And then for some reason I just stopped riding my bike. I was busy I guess, I think some small part of me was afraid when I was pregnant (which I know is illogical), and then we had a baby and a few times I would say I was going for a ride and not follow through. Sadly two years went by and my bike just sat there, until we finally got a seat for Little Smith and went on our first ever family bike ride. I realized that there are muscles I have not been using, it was tough! I'm glad I didn't have the extra weight of the kid on my bike because I struggled to keep up with the boys as is. It really was fun though, a great feeling to get back on the saddle.
*and thanks so much to Lea for filling us in on the only bike seat that would work with our mountain bikes!