My cousin Michael is in town this week. We grew up together in Seattle. He’s one year younger but lots smarter. When we were kids we got into all kinds of trouble together. As I recall I was always the bad influence. Before we got to high schools we spent all out time together riding our BMX bikes all over town. Once we got a little older we saw less of each other but strangely followed similar paths.
I was motorcycle crazy in my early 20’s and did a little road racing out of the Seattle area. Michael started racing several years after I moved to Montana. He was smarter about it and didn’t fall off as much so he actually finished all of his races. When I moved to Montana in 1989 I shifted all my focus to racing Road, Cross and MTB bikes,mainly road. I was a pretty good expert MTB racer but I could win road races so I enjoyed them more. After Michael quit racing motorcycles (read, when he got married) he switched to bicycles too. He’s now an avid MTB rider and does some road riding.
So now are paths have converged again and we can revert to those days when we were 12 years old riding our BMX bikes from one side of Seattle to the other. It really points out the liberating feeling you get when you ride a bike. I think kids love bicycles so much because they provide a freedom that is new and they can begin to explore their world. If you’re lucky it’s a feeling that never wears off.