I bought a bike

I bought a bike yesterday. A purple and pink bike. On somewhat of a whim.

I’ve wanted to pick up a new bike somewhere — a yard sale would have done — because the bulky red Trek mountain bike that I’ve had for years is cumbersome and not fit for leisure riding with my kids. I tried to take the damn nuisance to the park about a month ago, and I had a helluva time getting it in the back of our SUV and trying to fit my daughter’s bike with training wheels in there too. Now of course a bike rack would solve that problem, but the Trek is just too much bike for me. Plus my husband has taken to riding it lately and that leaves me bike-less.

So while I didn’t intend to buy a bike yesterday, I bought a bike.

In Germany our oldest child learned to ride a two-wheeler. I was pretty happy for him, but I was also happy for me. More things we can do together that don’t involve dinosaurs, Legos, make-believe, or wrestling on the ground. I told my husband that I wanted to get a new bike because then the four of us could ride together. A new milestone for our family. Just imagining us biking with our growing children, who are gaining independence, sounded wonderful. When I was at the grocery store recently I took a short-cut down the baby aisle, and looked at the shelves upon shelves of baby formula and diapers, and thought I am SO glad I am not tied to that anymore. I want a bike!

I ran into T.J. Maxx to return a purse that I bought on impulse two days before our trip and when I got home I realized it was ugly and I didn’t need it. I opened the door to T.J. Maxx and right before my very eyes was this beautiful purple and pink Schwinn cruiser bike. Vintage looking. Carrier on the back for a personal item. Light brown seat. Just my size. Right price. I stopped and looked at. I had never seen a bike a T.J. Maxx before. I thought, wow I bet it’ll go quickly.

After I made the return I glanced back at the bike. My first ‘real’ bike was a  Shwinn and the memory washed over me. When I reached the car I looked up the make/model online. Good reviews. Fifty dollars cheaper at T.J. Maxx. I sat. I thought. I got out of the car. I went back inside, and five minutes later I was cruising around the back parking lot of  T.J. Maxx feeling awesome and already picturing a basket with a picnic lunch hanging over the handle bars.

I didn’t intend to buy a bike yesterday, and once I got it in the car I started to wonder if it’d just be another item I’d return. But no, I thought. This bike is a keeper. This purple and pink bike. Purple and pink aren’t historically ‘my colors’ but that was another reason that pushed me to buy the bike. Why not those colors?

My kids were impressed when I got home. I took it for a spin for them. Yes this bike is just what I need after being away for almost a month and now trying to settle back in with renewed energy. Travel and vacation and basically any break from the routine or life change you go through, you always come ‘home’ with a new perspective, a different angle, inspiration, an idea, fresh thoughts about how you can get more out of your life… and then with FORWARD motion, and if you are brave enough, you pedal.

I am ready to enjoy the rest of summer at home. Peacefully. We have a few weeks before a new school year begins. Time enough to buy a bike rack and explore our surroundings. And while it is a little too early, I am already starting to feel the presence of a new season, and more opportunities to bike, right around the corner.

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