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If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older. – Tom Stoppard

 
Let me tell you about my bike. It’s a lime green ‘girly’ bike, complete with a headlight and taillight, an ample-size trunk for snack storage, and a precious multi-colored polka-dot bike bell a friend bought for me in Paris.  It is wicked awesome.  I often receive compliments on my bike when I hit the trail.  “Your bike is so pretty,” says yet another friendly stranger.  “I know, isn’t it?!” is my standard response. 
 
Summer has been my least favorite season as an adult, which is a complete shift from my childhood.  When I was a kid, I LOVED the summer. I’m sure having months away from school contributed to my summer love affair, but I can pinpoint that the majority of my fondest childhood memories center around music, swimming, and riding my bike. My bike = my wheels. My bike gave me freedom. It was my ticket to exploring my backyard and beyond. I remember riding my bike for hours, right up until the last glimpse of daylight, just before it got completely dark.  So, about a year ago, I bought my pretty green bike and began exploring some local trails.  I started to remember why I had loved summer so much . . . 
 
Riding my bike brings about for me a stronger feeling than reminiscing.  It’s like I am reliving my 10-year-old self again and it brings me such great joy, I can’t put it into words. My favorite local trail runs for about 10 miles with a river on one side and trees reaching up to the sky stretching over the path. I smile just at the thought of riding with the breeze, experiencing nature along the trail, and feeling the exertion from my workout. There are several spots along the trail with benches to stop and simply be. When I ride alone, these stopping points allow me a wonderful time of focus, reflection, and gratitude. Riding with friends is my favorite (there’s that quality time again). Even though it can be challenging to carry on a conversation while we’re biking, the act of simply sharing this beloved activity with friends is precious to me. Doing something I love with people who are dear to me who enjoy it as much as I do is such an immense blessing. It doesn’t get much better than that.
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