A Bicycle Miracle

July 4, 2008 at 3:15 pm Leave a comment

I know this is a San Francisco site. I do. It’s just that the (elementary) school year ended only a couple weeks ago and that’s prime travel time for me – and an amazing, a remarkable, an unprecedented bike thing happened in Boulder Colorado this weekend. My mom hopped her little self onto a bicycle for the first time in 14 years, and we set off on a 4 hour bike ride to beat all. Now I love bicycles. My little brother works in a bike shop. My father is pretty much down for whatever mode of transportation seems best. How, then, did my mom stay off two wheels for a decade and a half? Why? Is she just fond of fossil fuels? No, although she does like the smell at gas stations. My mom loves saving the world, eats organic local produce from a CSA, volunteers at a wildlife sanctuary. She just has a tumultuous history with bicycles.

History : When I was nine, we lived in a rural Pennsylvania neighborhood experiencing slow erosion; now it’s drowned in a sea of suburbia, with all the surrounding farms built into housing developments. So the road that my parents’ house sits on is paved now, but in the early 1990s it was much more dangerous and interesting: trucks would come by now and again to pour tar, then pour gravel over the tar, leaving us with a surface of tiny, jagged, mostly-secure rocks. During the summer, when the heat would melt the tar a little, I could (and did) sit on the curb and pull up bits of gravel to throw at the middle of the road, but otherwise I’d just do my best not to fall. So when I was nine, my brother and I went on a bike ride with my mom up this street while my dad was at work.

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