August 23, 2012

Biker Babe

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!


  1. Watermelon helmet... aaawwww... its too cute on him...

  2. I can totally relate to this. I love to ride my bike - rode to and from work five days a week up until 36 weeks pregnant both pregnancies. Since having my little ones I rarely take a ride. Now Theo is riding and I suspect by next summer our whole family will be bike-mobile. I just took my bike to the shop for a tune up with the hope that once the littles start school next week I'll go for a ride a few times a week (to the coffee shop!)

  3. ps. that watermelon helmet is beyond awesome!

  4. That helmet is so sweet! And what a cool seat. He looks so excited to be right there up front. We bought a bike trailer for Audrey and she hates it. I'm thinking that she would really dig a seat that is right up front with us though. Would you mind sharing the name of the bike seat you bought?

    1. It's the Wee Ride kangaroo. It was actually less expensive than the helmet and you can send them a picture of your bike and they'll tell you if it's compatible. I love it, not sure how I'd feel about being the one with him in front of me like that but apparently it's actually easier to control the bike that way versus in the back.

  5. I didn't get my license until I was about that age too. I would get so nervous during the road test that I failed twice. I rarely road a bike though. It was the bus for me. :) I love how Little Smith's tongue is sticking out. So cute!

  6. Oh my goodness - a watermelon helmet! You´re killing me, too darn cute! :-)

  7. I love Little's hat!! Awesome! Your story cracked me up. Sorry you lost a beloved bike.

  8. Such fantastic pictures (are you available for lessons?)! I'm thinking about making Thing 2 wait to get his license until he's 25 because the thought of him driving freaks me out (not my children in general driving, just him, in specific)-- does that count?

  9. I haven't ridden a bike in years, but long to. We need too much equipment now with all the littles. But you'd better believe when they are riding, we will get back into it! I love the watermelon helmet for W! And don't feel bad about getting your license a little later... I had to learn on a manual transmission and so my little brother learned before I did. In fact, he pretty much taught me how to drive. He'll never let me live that down!