I come from a family of cyclists – and I didn’t know it until just recently.
To be sure, bicycles have always been in my life. As a child, I often admired an old sepia photo of my parents posing beside a bicycle on their first date. But I don’t recall ever seeing Mom or Dad ride bikes the entire time I was growing up. It may have been because we lived in a hilly neighborhood, and they (like many) couldn’t fight the hills. Yet bikes were present. We have photos of my dad helping me with my first trike and later they bought me my first bicycle too. But our family spent a lot of time on other activities that involved more musical instruments than wheels.
So as a bicycle lover, I always felt like the odd-duck. The years rolled by and I grew up with this feeling — though it didn’t stop me from riding. I asked for a bicycle as an anniversary gift from my first husband. And when our son came along, I rode with my child plopped securely into a baby seat on the back. A lifetime later, Brian and I tried riding beach cruisers in Newport. Though that adventure failed, it worked too, in that we discovered happiness with Pedego bikes. But I was still the odd one in the family. And when we made the decision to own a bicycle shop — well, siblings averted their eyes any time our store was mentioned.
But then, a few months ago I reconnected with some cousins. These are people about my age whom I hadn’t seen in decades. We lost track of each other so many years ago. I found them via the Internet, and what a jubilant surprise it was to learn that their family had enjoyed many family biking trips together – to the degree that they’d taken riding trips in foreign countries. Moreover, their parents keep a garage full of bicycles! These parents, Mel and Nancy, are young and fit into their 70s and are superb role (and roll) models for all of us. When both generations of cousins arrived at the shop for a first visit, I could swear all the bike bells rang with joy.
Mom and Dad passed away years ago, but I believe they would have loved seeing our group of reconnected cousins taking off on a Pedego electric bike tour of Naples Island that day. It was such a pleasure to feel the shared love for an activity among family members. Here’s to the best reunion ever!
See you on the bike path …