Stuff I Wrote Elsewhere: Cycling Edition

It is about the bike:

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).


  1. From a distant MS cousin, now in PA:
    “What a great article. Every cyclist can relate to that feeling — I remember it as a child, riding across the corn fields to the “store” across the field for a cold Coca Cola from the big old top-loading cooler filled with ice water. And riding down the lane past the barn to the “back 40″, where I could watch the kudzu grow and feel totally alone and in charge. That’s still the feeling when I ride past Amish farms and see barefoot children working in their gardens …
    I’m so sorry I didn’t know Bill. I know I would have liked him. But isn’t it wonderful that he lives on in both the wisdom and the mechanical expertise he shared with friends — even with cousins like me whom he never met!”

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