One of my favorite photos shows me at age ten in the driveway of the house where I grew up. Two good friends and I face the camera on our new three-speed bikes, grinning from ear to ear.
A bicycle was my sole means of transportation in college. But I didn’t bike much after that except around the neighborhood with the children. When I biked four miles on vacation one summer, I thought that was a great accomplishment.
It wasn’t until 1985 when we took our first real bicycle vacation that I came to love biking for biking’s sake. For the next twenty-five years, we vacationed by bicycle every summer, and then forty to fifty miles a day was no problem.
Things change. Peter’s Parkinson’s disease brought an end to our bicycle vacations five years ago. But, until recently, we could still bike short distances together on the weekends. Last month, that too ended when Peter’s cardiologist told him to stop biking altogether.
Tuesday night, we sold his bike to a lovely student from Niger. We had so much fun talking to her that we were tempted to just give her the bike. When she offered us $15 less than our asking price, we sold it to her for even less.
We watched her ride off with very mixed emotions, one more reminder that “We had our time.”