My “Red Ryder” … not the BB gun.

For most of my life I’ve had a bike. As a kid my dad graced me with a super cool dirt bike, a red Mongoose! It was the envy of the neighborhood until my brothers got their Diamond Backs of course. Biking was just a daily thing. It was imperative to ride your bike in a pack of 10 kids up and down the street annoying every car that drove past. We would take our bikes down to various local trails and race through the rocky terrain. On adventurous days the older kids would ride around the lake. And of course we’d attach baseball cards to our spokes with clothes pins.

When I got a bit older, my sister and I would bike on our ten speed road bikes to Caldor. We would also ride a couple time a week on our 20 mile trip. We would “pickle” (don’t ask) and at our halfway point we’d stop and get a Diet Raspberry Snapple… just one… and share. Fortunately, we only sustained 1 injury when our bike tires got too close and my sister fell off her bike winding up with several stitches in her leg.

When I moved to Boston, I bought a new bike and even got Katie to take regular trips with me. Trying to avoid ever attempting biking across Interstate 93 ever again, I kept to the local Boston streets. I did take a hiatus from the sport for a while after I flipped over the front of my bike coming down hill at about 20 mph and wound up landing on my elbows. If anyone wonders if picking chunks of asphalt out of your skin with tweezers hurts… YES IT DOES!

Even living in Copenhagen I kept up the biking. Considering that everyone in Denmark bikes as a normal means of transportation, I fit right in. My bike, borrowed from a colleague, was my means to get to and from work. It was my transportation to the grocery store, the park or just a general ride about town.

Sadly, the last few years I haven’t had a bike. I  keep my old bike at our family vacation house on the Jersey Shore because my condo doesn’t have basement storage and I didn’t want a bike hanging from my ceiling. But every time I would see someone ride past me I’d get the little tinge of jealousy. I missed my bike! So I decided, hell with it. I emptied out my guest room closet and got rid of a lot of stuff I hardly use to make room for a new bike. I recently purchased a Redline road bike. It took me a little while to get used to the gear shifts which are not on the handle bars but part of the breaking mechanism. It also took me about 30 minutes and a call to my brother to figure out how to put air in the tires.

Today, I donned my helmet, hopped on and rode a short ride of just 35 miles. 🙂

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Author: Kevin

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5 Comments

  1. The red Mongoose is still in the shed, but it has faded. It is now the pink Mongoose.

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  2. 35 miles!! You will be skinny by the time you get to Brigantine.

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  3. great story and nice bike!!!

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  4. PICKLE!!! Ah, the good old days. I miss biking too but where I live now it’s just main streets with lots of traffic or dead ends. That will not be a problem soon…

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