I made a significant investment in my inner child today. Over the past 30 years, the focus has been on collecting responsibility. Now I have reached a place in my life where shedding responsibility and exploring have taken over! Today that investment looks like a few new items: bike rack, bike, glitter streamers and a rainbow helmet that lights up. My soul already feels lighter! There is a road bike in my garage that happened to be about 2000 miles away. That bike is 10 years and has seen me through all kinds of life events. After 2 knee surgeries, I had to hang up my running shoes and find another form of exercise. Biking seemed perfect. At that phase of my life, I used to exercise to soothe my stress. Hell, I still do, but with less panic or sense of urgency. Yet much like the need for new luggage before I left home since the old luggage carried so much emotional baggage with it, the old bike does the same with regards to exercise.
When I left home the end of March, biking did not cross my mind. Hiking was my focus, but now that I am in Sioux Falls something has shifted. I simply love this town and everything about it. There happen to be 26 miles of bike trails around the city. I have run a handful of those miles and borrowed my housemates’ bikes for a few more of them. I have been pining to ride more of the trails to simply explore. This desire is not about stress relief, escaping emotional discomfort or weight loss. This is all about the craving exploration around the town with a smile on my face!
Entering a small local bike shop, Spoke-N-Sport, made my heart sing! Walking in the door, I was greeted by a wonderfully knowledgeable salesman, Pete. I explained that I am traveling all over the country so I need a rack that can withstand that abuse and one that I can navigate alone while getting in and out of the back of the car often. Guess what?! Yakima already solved my problem with a 34-pound drop-down rack!
Next step was to find a bike that met my new life need; fun! Rather than sticking to paved roads, I wanted to try my hand at gravel and dirt trails. Yes, I remember that usually, I steer clear of any kind of “mountain biking”. This is more of a dirt path kind of bike that navigates small molehills well. It is a giant step for me! How could I resist when the bike of choice is purple?
Next was to find a helmet that expresses my desire of riding for fun exploration. My eyes scanned the wall and locked in on my dream helmet. Sadly, it was a helmet for 8 to 14-year-olds. Expressing my sadness to Pete, his eyes lit up as he told me to try it on because they sent a large one. My hands were on the helmet before he finished his sentence. Before I placed it on my head, my new BFF Pete stopped me to turn on the glittering lights embedded in the front of this helmet. I swear I squealed with delight! It was too big, but Pete promised me they could add the needed padding. Many friends report that I have such a small face, apparently, they are right. My head is smaller than a 14-year-old!
The last step was all about accessories! Spotting the glitter streamers brought me right back to childhood and college. Like most young ones, I had streamers on my bike. When I went off to college I had a bike to get me around campus that I tricked out with blue glitter streamers. Oddly enough, someone stole my streamers just before I went home for the summer. If they needed the joy of streamers, I’d gladly given mine to them. It only seemed right to bring new glitter streamers to life again at this point in my life!
My plan is to ride off into the sunset on my purple bike with pink glitter streamers wearing my light up rainbow helmet laughing and smiling from ear to ear. Who wants to join me along Sioux Falls bike trails? We can always stop to do yoga under a tree!
Happy biker chick