I still have lots of little girl in me.
I think I was 10 when I got my green banana seat bike with tassels on the handlebars and the flag hanging off the back. I remember the wind on my face and the sheer exhilaration of flying down the hills near my house, tassels whistling as I rode.
I was the envy of the neighborhood.
I didn’t feel much different yesterday. For Christmas, my amazing hubby bought me a sports bike for my triathlon. Other Christmas gifts from family included the helmet, the fashionable sunglasses and the padded butt shorts.
This week we went to the bike shop to get the bike fitted. It was a warm day so when we came home, I decided to go for a ride. I’ve never clipped on to pedals before so I was way nervous about falling over.
Sam decided that she should pull out the camera to catch any mishaps on film.
I didn’t dare ride down to the park without practicing, so we put the bike in the back of the truck and drove there. I climbed out, walking like a penguin, toes stuck in the air so as not to ruin my cleats. Brian carried the bike to the sidewalk. Sam pulled out her humongo camera.
People were walking by and staring, some laughing under their breath.
I tried to walk on my heels and look cool.
I am a biker, I repeated to myself.
Brian set the bike on the path and I climbed on board. Sam clicked away. People were walking by.
I felt ten years old again.
I clicked one foot in and pushed off, I clicked the other foot in. I started to ride and saw obstacles up ahead. A mom with a little boy on his own new bike. I rode by praying he wouldn’t swerve into my path. Mom pointed me out, “Look son, she has a big girl bike!”
I smiled. Oh yeah.
I dodged a dog and a person and a stroller. I started feeling more confident and pedaled harder. The wind was against my face, the sun on my back, the people smiling back at me.
I rounded the loop to come up on Sam and Brian. Sam started clicking some action shots as I came closer.
I unclicked my shoes.
I didn’t fall.
Brian smiled big. “Take another loop, babe.”
I pushed off and rounded the curve again. I was grinning like a school girl and I decided then and there that I’d like some tassels. Tassels on my sports bike. And maybe a flag. And a horn.
I’ll be the coolest chick doing that triathlon in August: tassels, horn and flag a wavin.
Sometimes 10 years old is just right.