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Phoebe & mother on red cruiser bikes, Key West, FL

Mom & Me, Key West, Florida

As an adult, I have enjoyed bike rides with each person in my family-of-origin, independent of one another. This is not a goal I realized I had ’til it was accomplished.

I’m from a project-based family. We like to do things, collect experiences, learn, examine, uncover, understand. And we like bikes!

I remember being a little thing and my paternal grandfather’s adult-sized tricycle. The sound of bike tires bumping over a boardwalk’s wooden slats. Family mythology has it that same tricycle once ran over my mother’s foot, by accident.

I recall the thick, this-might-be-chemical-y-dangerous smell of grease and seeing bikes in bits in my back yard, old chains soaking in a pickle tub, waiting to be scrubbed silver.

Bike tour guide speaks with group

My brother & me on a Princeton, NJ bike tour

My Strawberry Shortcake Big Wheel; the red tricycle belonging to a neighborhood kid that we’d zip around on like it was a scooter ’til our backs ached; the pretty, blue Columbia that was stolen from my front porch, gone possibly a long time before I noticed. Barreling down broke-up concrete sidewalks from 8th Avenue to 7th, back around to 8th, no adult accompanying me because, as long I stuck to the sidewalk, no need. Learning that freedom can be bought at Toys-R-Us and sized up when my legs grew too long.

Place to place, and person to person. Child to sibling to parent.

On bike in Somerville, MA

Dad on Somerville Library Bike Tour

Bikes in Somerville Library parking lot

Fun in a Somerville lot with Dad and Dave

There’s nothing like that early love, or the connections it offers. The relationships it helps sustain.

Wooded road

Phoebe on a winding MA road