I can still remember that exquisite feeling of freedom when I was 10 years old and my friends and I would pack lunches, jump on our bikes and head off. It was the late 1960s, and the place was the distant edge of suburban Los Angeles.
We’d head off down 23rd Street into the orange groves, sneaking into an old barn and climbing up into the attic to eat our sandwiches.
From my grownup vantage point, it is clear we had not gone very far. But that is not the point. The bikes extended our range, and made us self-contained little units of freedom. We had our lunches in our backpacks and we were beholden to no one but our whims and the practical limitations of where our wheels would take us (as long as we got home by 5).