Professor and former WQAD-TV reporter Alan Sivell is biking RAGBRAI and blogging for LMQC about it this year. Follow his adventure right here … and tell him what you think, too!
Pedaling mile after mile this summer as I train for RAGBRAI, I’ve had lots of time to think about our relationship with bikes.
I remember the time I first pedaled away from my parents under my own power. Ah, freedom. It was exhilarating.
My first bike was a tiny 12-incher that had no coast function. When you were up to speed and wanted to stop pedaling for a bit, you had to take your feet off the ever-spinning pedals and stick them out to the sides. There were no brakes.
The bike was just a wee bit dangerous, but functional. However, it wasn’t as fun as the later models.
Take the baby blue model that started with my older sister who passed it to my older brother who passed it to me.
I was thrilled to have it … until I started riding it to school and was informed by the 6th grade boys that it was a girl’s bike.
Funny how those things matter when you are in 3rd grade.
I eventually saved up money for a 3-speed Raleigh. It had gigantic metal baskets on either side of the back wheel to hold the 60 newspapers I delivered every day. Even without the papers, the baskets probably added 20 pounds to the ride.
I still love the freedom of pedaling away from home, the grid, the noise and the responsibilities. I love to go as far as I can power myself. It gives me a small taste of the adventure I experienced in my youth every time I ride.
Do you remember your first bike? Your first taste of bike freedom? Share it here or email me. I want to hear all about it!