The past few days have been packed full of fun things toddlers like to do. So packed, mama and dada are more worn out than little monkey man. We went to the Muhammad Ali Center today with his cousins, uncle and granny. He enjoyed it. He always enjoys time spent with other kids. And loves time with granny. He ran around the training ring exhibit and we held him up so he could hit the speed bag. He shadowboxed and danced to the music. We roamed around some more and I did my best to explain some of the Black historical events that were (excellently) represented on the walls. My son is almost 21 months. He just mostly pointed at stuff and ran.
Until we got to the exhibit with Muhammad Ali's bicycle.
"Biiiiike!!!" he yelled in awe, all while trying to figure out how and why a bicycle was inside of the museum. He squatted down to check out the chain and examined the kickstand with his head turned sideways.
"Ooo!" He said while looking up at me with his big brown eyes. He ran his tiny hand along the seat.
"Muhammad Ali's bicycle! He rode it to train to become the greatest of all time." I explained to him.
"Yeah!" he yelled as if he understood.
My son, the budding bicycle enthusiast. *smiles*
He loves going on bike rides. Which works our perfectly for our family. His eyes light up, he dances and his little finger points at the bicycles that line the entire length of our hallway.
"Ooooo! Biiike!!" he yells every time we walk down the hall.
"Vroom vroom!" he said. He says it when he sees cars and trucks or when he wants to leave or go on a bike ride. He tries to put his helmet on, but most of time he puts it on backwards.
Bicycling is important in our household. It's our lifestyle. It's part of how my husband makes a living. It's how my husband and I fell in love. We began dating very soon after we met; like two days after we met. Instant connecion. Instant love. Just like the movies say. "We felt like we had known each other forever, the moment we met..."
We began doing various hobbies together. Going to see our friends perform with their bands, playing poker, watching one of our best friend's create artwork and bicycling. The one that caught on the most was bicycling.(Although, we love watching our son's Godfather create.) What started out as a fun hobby for us, turned into a lifestyle. A car free, heart healthy and intense lifestyle.
I fell in love with him.
I fell in love with riding the busy streets of the city.
I fell in love with pedaling.
My husband has always been a bicycle fanatic. He loves them. He loves the way they ride, the way the move, the way they look and the fact that you use your own energy to propel it forward. I also enjoyed bicycle rides with my older brother while growing up. One day while riding with him I broke my finger in a wreck and I never rode again, until I met my husband. He also had a traumatic experience or two on a bicycle. Between getting hit by a car and a bad wreck, he thought he'd never ride again. Or at least that's what the doctors told him.
We started out slow. I hadn't been on a bicycle in at least seven years at that time and him at least three. We both got cruisers. Comfortable. Stylish. Easy. We thought this was as far as it would go, but I found myself bored with doing anything else. So we jumped on the "saddle" and rode. We rode everywhere. Together. Always. Zooming through the city on cruisers. In traffic. People in cars weren't used to seeing us. Nor were they used to sharing the road. The streets were always scarce with bicyclists at the time, not the story now. We must have ridden thousands of miles together.
When we became more aggressive and secure in our riding again, we bought better, faster bicycles. I found myself using bicycle lingo and wanting to spend money on ways to make my riding experiences more effiecient. Riding in traffic, splitting cars, heavy breathing and dodging cars. My senses became keen, I could hear cars coming from far away. Shoulder checking cars and yelling "hey! You're in my spot!! Get over!" This girl was a bicycle monster. Still am. The summer of 2005 we watched the entire Tour De France together in our first apartment, which had no air conditioning. We watched and then we went out and pedaled. We rode to bike shops, grocery stores, my parent's house, our friends houses, scenic park rides, rides late at night through the Butchertown Greenway...everywhere. Anywhere. Any time.
And then we found jobs.
All day. Rain, sleet and snow. Bicycle messengers. Us. I never thought that would happen when I met my husband. Our bicycling life has had it's ups and downs, but it's still there. My husband got hit by another car. We got married (4 years ago in a week!)! I got pregnant and couldn't ride. We lost bicycles and gained bicycles. It'll never go away. It's us. It's who we are and apparently it's in our blood.
Our son, a budding bicycle enthusiast.