Walking aimlessly through the aisles of the local department store, I turn the corner and come upon a flourish of shiny metallic bicycles all uniformly lined and double stacked in magnificent rows of splendor. The smell of rubber overcomes me and I am immersed back in time to a long forgotten childhood memory. I instantly visualize myself racing along the sidewalks of my beloved hometown on my little orange Huffy with black racing stripes, high handlebars and a long black banana seat. I can almost hear the tires whirling beneath me as my feet frantically pump the rubber pedals….I can feel the wind rush against my face when suddenly… “PRICE-CHECK-HOMEGOODS”, crackles brashly across the intercom speakers overhead and I come crashing down, back into the WALMART toy department. I stare wistfully at the glorious procession of shiny red racers and elegant black mountain bikes, and then, I spotted it….a rather unattractive, Pistachio Green, Huffy Cruiser. With no fancy gear shifts or shiny chrome accessories along with that hideous Pistachio color, it did not fit in. I studied its big, sturdy tires and the enormous white seat that rested snugly atop a layer of curly springs. It had character that was for sure. It stood there alone, among the sleek, specimens of modern technology, proud, strong and sturdy, much like me.
It seemed like a hundred years since the thought of riding a bicycle had even crossed my mind, yet something drew me to it. I reached out and touched the soft leather seat and then I clutched the white rubber handlebar grips. They felt glorious in my hands as I slowly rolled the contraption from its designated place in line, much like one would lead a thoroughbred out of its stable. As I gently popped the kickstand down, I could see people in the aisles trying not to stare, but they watched inquisitively from the corner of their eyes. As I studied the Pistachio Green stallion, I suddenly realized that we were meant for one another. I knew in my heart that I might never have the courage to actually climb upon that majestic cruiser to take a ride, and yet I rolled it proudly through the store and to the front register. As I handed the cashier my money I thought to myself, “Sometimes, starting one’s life over means doing things for the first time….again.“