Full of Possibilities. The road looking East across the Spanish Plains.
I was ten years old when I got my first real bike. I knew it was real because it didn’t have any training wheels. It was a florescent orange Huffy starter bike. It had 18 speeds, three of which I used, and a water bottle cage. My grandfather bought it for me when he visited my family from New York City. He and my dad spent a few hours in garage assembling it before letting me take it out on its inaugural ride in the playground across the street, the two of them watching from afar as I rode around in the fading summer sun, my brand new bike cutting wild orange streaks across the hard blacktop. Eventually the sun fell behind the trees and it was too dark to ride. My mom called me inside and I got ready for bed. She turned out the light to my room but I couldn’t sleep. I wasn’t tired. All I could think about was that bike, and the places it could take me.
That summer I rode any chance I got. I’d zip through the nearby schoolyard and barrel down ramps in abandoned parking lots, always stopping at the streets my mom told me I couldn’t cross because they were too busy, or too far away and I might get lost and not be able to find my way home. I remember one day standing on that invisible border with my Cheeto-colored bike between my legs, looking out into the oncoming traffic, and wondering just how far, if there were no restrictions, I could take it. Seemed to me that with a bike at your feet, the possibilities were endless.
It took me 14 more years, but eventually I found out what my ten year-old self already knew: you can go anywhere you want on a bike, you just gotta keep pedaling.