The Wind in Your Face…Freedom

Evan Green, Staff Writer

It’s been a long time since I learned to ride a bike. I was probably around seven or eight with plenty of free time. It was in the springs and summers where I’d walk to the park, bike in hand, and practice down the sidewalk strips or open courts. There wasn’t much to it. Every couple of days, I’d make loops, practice breaking, all the usual stuff till it came subconsciously.

 I used to even try tricks off the curb sometimes. Eventually, I expanded my routes. Riding down the streets, usually long enough to see the neon signs of the small shops that were open late illuminating the sidewalks. I’d get in trouble for staying out too late. It was freeing, the wind in your face as momentum has you for that one moment in time. I wouldn’t have to worry about the past, the future; even the present couldn’t hold me back. I was able to go my own way, think my own thoughts; it was entirely freeing. 

I usually ride within the spring and summer months,  but sometimes fall just gets too cold.  Though I like biking alone, I usually bike around with my friends as well. Sometimes we do stupid things like a bike version of bumper cars, or we’ll see who can get the highest jump riding down the street. I almost hit the backend of a car because of them, but luckily, I quickly moved out of the way. Of course, all of us were aware of the roads and safety needed to ride around the streets of downtown. 

When winter comes around, I close up shop. Getting snow tires is a pain, plus I prefer walking in the cold anyway. But once the snow melts, the cycle continues, literally. Due to recent times, I haven’t been able to go out as much. However, when I do, it’s even more peaceful. There aren’t as many people, sounds, and even cars. Some late-night rides make me feel like I’m the only one in this town. It’s been a long time with these bike rides in my life. I like to think that they helped me collect my thoughts and even build me as a person. Looking back, knowing that I was the one who taught myself to ride a bike, my habits with it, and the feelings and people I surrounded myself with while doing it says a lot about my character. It was never the learning process that mattered; instead, I did with the skills I gained from the experience.