Biking is one of the few activities that will get me out of the house, but when I left for the College of Wooster, I had to leave my bike behind. However, my parents took this Spring Break as an opportunity to supply me with a bike at school.
The few times I am outdoors at home (meaning away from the computer or a book), I am hiking in the woods, poking at bugs in the garden, taking pictures, or riding my bike. I love that sense of flight, even though it is mostly restricted to the ground. I can swoop, glide, stop, slide, and climb. Since I live out in the country a little ways, I can’t use it as an effective mode of transportation. But it is very effective as a toy, an exercise of the kinesthetic side of playing.
Now that I’m at college, I have to get from one building to another many times every day, and often I have to walk the full length of the campus to do so. While the scenery is nice, I do get annoyed at the lag time. If I forget something back in my room, I have to double back and add 5-10 minutes to my travel time, which is a considerable amount when one is trying to get to class on time.
My folks spotted an ad in the paper for a $75 mountain bike. It was some grad student at UVa who repairs dead bikes. After cleaning grease off the back rims (WTF?) so the back brakes would work, adding reflector tape and lights, and adjusting the seat, it was ready to go. Oh, and the rear derailleur cable snapped, so I had to install a new one. Other than that, it works fine. We stuffed it in the car, packed around it, and now I’ve got an extra bike, just for school. (I feel kind of skeezy. sings: got bikes in every area code…)
Now I can get downtown, or uptown, or around campus in a few minutes. But more importantly, I can fly. I race around campus, testing the speed-radius-friction-angle parameters of the bike, playing with (stationary) obstacles and terrain. I can’t do a lot of the tricks I’d like to, due to the type of bike, but that’s okay. That feeling of flying free — that’s all I really want.