Little Girl on a Bike

When thinking of happy childhood days, the carefree feeling of no worries and no fear, the one thing that consistently comes to mind is riding my bicycle.

“The Free Spirit”

“The Free Spirit”

I could spend hours on my bike on a nice summer day. So much so, that I can recall nights when I was trying to go to sleep, and kept kicking myself awake. I would close my eyes, and all I could see was the dirt road before me, feel the bike beneath me, and pedal.

My childhood bike had been a sky blue bike with a white banana seat. I enjoyed embellishing it with stickers of rainbows. It eventually went out of style, and I outgrew it. But I never really got away from the comfort of riding bikes much bigger than the size of a BMX bike. Dirt bikes are still my favorite. I’ve tried to adapt to full size cruisers, or 10 speeds, but they just aren’t as natural to me.

I recently acquired a relic of a bicycle. Smaller, like a dirt bike, but not really child size. It’s from the late 70s or early 80s. A quick search online revealed that it was carried most commonly by Sears. It’s even got a name: “The Free Spirit”. How perfect!

Dirt roads for miles of bike riding. I can hear (in my memories) the sound of the road under my tires.

Dirt roads for miles of bike riding. I can hear (in my memories) the sound of the road under my tires.

In an effort to capture that love of a pass time, I channeled my inner eleven year old. I never had a clear destination when riding my bike. There was nowhere for me to go. Just up and down the old dirt road behind my house. Just the love of the bike, and the breeze in my face and my hair blowing behind me as I raced down the hill.

I shared a video montage of myself riding “The Free Spirit” past the camera. Going this way and that way, and back again. No clear destination, just the love of riding. It is an expression of that childhood feeling, of nothing else existing in that moment (if you haven’t seen it, the link is below).

It is a comforting feeling as an adult, to be able to effortlessly find the carefree spirit of her inner child.