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  1. #1
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    Does the bicycle tap into your inner child?

    In many ways adult responsibilities and work seem to make one forget to have fun. Eventually this leads to an empty existence where you might become disconnected from the feeling of having fun. As though it's an alien experience that you can't directly relate to. I've had tendencies like that, and then riding my bicycle makes me remember what playing is all about.

    It's hard to put into words. But when I get out on the bicycle on a spring morning like this, the feeling is intoxicating. I reconnect with a little boy that still lives inside me. The energy goes to my legs as though coming from nowhere. I might ride very hard and get really winded. But there's nothing unpleasant about it at all. It's just that little boy inside letting his love for the world out while he charges up a hill and then loves that feeling of coasting down the other side.

    I remember what it was like when I was about eight years old and my parents started letting me go pretty much wherever I wanted to on the bicycle. What a wonderful feeling that was on a Saturday morning with the whole day, mine to do with what I wanted. What a feeling of freedom. I knew I wanted to travel the world. As a teenager I ran away from home a couple times. When I was 11 I made it a few hundred miles before being returned home. I mentally projected myself forward to being an adult, and the life I would enjoy, free to make my own agenda, to go where I want to, do what I want to. I'm not quite living the life I had in mind, but it's the bicycle that brings it closer.

    Now, particularly on a tour, I recapture that same feeling. Nothing is better than when I first get out on a beautiful morning with an empty road and a rising sun. It feels so wonderful to feel physically fit for the day. Not as a side-effect of grueling effort. Just as a natural side effect of this lifestyle. Here's another day served up by God to enjoy.

    The magic of childhood is that physical fitness is just a side effect of living. When I was a kid we didn't watch much TV. There were three channels, and not much on. No video games. When I got home from school I'd ditch my books and pretty soon I was on my bicycle and/or playing in the woods. Each day of fun becomes the enabler for another one.

    As an adult it's a little harder to live that way - for me anyway. But more than anything else, it's the bicycle that enables me to come pretty close to that.

    The feeling of spring is unique. It gives me new energy to live and enjoy the world.

    Does riding the bicycle do similar things for you? Does it bring back memories of a simpler time and rekindle a feeling of freedom?

  2. #2
    Garlic
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    Absolutely! It's the main reason I ride. Commuting by bicycle is what kept me sane and healthy through my working career. It's probably the main reason I'm still healthy, active and happy as I approach my seventh decade. Thanks for the post.

  3. #3
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    I don't need a bike for that. My inner child runs rampant all the time.

  4. #4
    Senior Member MikeRides's Avatar
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    If my bike was a 20" BMX model with pegs installed on the wheels and had a girl sitting on the handlebars, I'd say yes, but really it's just another mode of transportation for me that I tend to enjoy. As a kid, I wasn't looking to ride long distance, I was showing off at the neighborhood [unofficial] bmx track. Now that I'm older, I'm more interested in seeing new things/places and love the opportunity to do so at a slower pace rather than by car.
    Want to ride fast? Just ride with a slower group.
    Want to feel like a kid again? Dust off that old bike hanging in your garage!

  5. #5
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    I would say it is one of the things that lets my inner child out to play. Within the last few weeks, here's what else let the little kid out - went sled-riding on my old flexible flyer sled, flew a kite on a really breezy day, played kick the can across the parking lot at work, played a board game, saw a kid's movie at the theater with my wife. Most of these things were with my 12 year old, but the kite-flying was solo. If you really want to see my inner child run loose, take me to Disney World in Orlando. Seriously, I think I enjoy it at least as much, if not more, than my daughter.

    I'm really bummed when I can't get a ride in, though. I'm suffering considerable withdrawal due to time constraints right now.

  6. #6
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    Actually the older I get the more childish I seem to get. Peeing my pants included.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
    I would say it is one of the things that lets my inner child out to play. Within the last few weeks, here's what else let the little kid out - went sled-riding on my old flexible flyer sled, flew a kite on a really breezy day, played kick the can across the parking lot at work, played a board game, saw a kid's movie at the theater with my wife. Most of these things were with my 12 year old, but the kite-flying was solo. If you really want to see my inner child run loose, take me to Disney World in Orlando. Seriously, I think I enjoy it at least as much, if not more, than my daughter.

    I'm really bummed when I can't get a ride in, though. I'm suffering considerable withdrawal due to time constraints right now.
    All good! Having a child helps bring out the inner child too. Mine is grown and out on her own for 10 years...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piratebike View Post
    Actually the older I get the more childish I seem to get. Peeing my pants included.
    Ha! But I'd guess you don't get a lot of help cleaning up afterwards.

  9. #9
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    I decided to grown up in my next life....If the adults can't handle it....Oh Well!...
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeRides View Post
    If my bike was a 20" BMX model with pegs installed on the wheels and had a girl sitting on the handlebars, I'd say yes
    If you're talking about at the naked bike ride, who needs 20" BMX/pegs?

    Wanna ride on my handlebars?

  11. #11
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    Yep.......see below.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Walter S View Post
    Ha! But I'd guess you don't get a lot of help cleaning up afterwards.
    That probably "Depends" on the precautions he takes. See what I did there?

  13. #13
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    While I'm riding my bike, I am a kid again and feel little pain, or tiredness. But when I get off after riding too far, fast, hard,.... I'm still the same old, beat up guy I saw in the mirror this morning.... Hope I don't get leg cramps tonight.

  14. #14
    Senior Member B200Pilot's Avatar
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    Great question. Once upon a time in Eastern Europe during the "good ol' commie days" (*insert sarcasm), I would dream that my parents would buy me a bike... Not just any bike. The type of bike kids in America would ride to school; the type of bike the kids in "ET the extraterrestrial" rode. I always dreamed of a BMX type bike or a mini "10 speed". I would dream that I would ride my bike from my house to my grandparents' house (45 kms) away, a distance that seemed enormous during those days.

    Fast forward to the early 90s and my dad went to Germany for the first time and brought me back (a used) BMX with BLUE TIRES!!!!!! I was the happiest kid in town and honestly the envy of many. That bike was the best bike I ever had. I would ride it all over the city, to school to my friend's house, though I never quite made it to my grandparents' house.

    Fast forward a few more years and we emigrated to Canada. I had my first mountain bike and my friend and I would ride it from North York to Toronto Pearson Airport to "watch the planes land"... We would leave on Saturday morning and ride a good 4 - 5 hours to get there, watch the planes, eat a hamburger and then ride back to the subway station and train it back home for a late supper. Those were great times during summer vacation. My passion for adventure (on a bicycle) never died and my love for aviation transformed into a career.

    Now, 20 years later at the age of thirty-three, the feeling of freedom is always there when I ride my bike.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by B200Pilot View Post
    Great question. Once upon a time in Eastern Europe during the "good ol' commie days" (*insert sarcasm), I would dream that my parents would buy me a bike... Not just any bike. The type of bike kids in America would ride to school; the type of bike the kids in "ET the extraterrestrial" rode. I always dreamed of a BMX type bike or a mini "10 speed". I would dream that I would ride my bike from my house to my grandparents' house (45 kms) away, a distance that seemed enormous during those days.

    Fast forward to the early 90s and my dad went to Germany for the first time and brought me back (a used) BMX with BLUE TIRES!!!!!! I was the happiest kid in town and honestly the envy of many. That bike was the best bike I ever had. I would ride it all over the city, to school to my friend's house, though I never quite made it to my grandparents' house.

    Fast forward a few more years and we emigrated to Canada. I had my first mountain bike and my friend and I would ride it from North York to Toronto Pearson Airport to "watch the planes land"... We would leave on Saturday morning and ride a good 4 - 5 hours to get there, watch the planes, eat a hamburger and then ride back to the subway station and train it back home for a late supper. Those were great times during summer vacation. My passion for adventure (on a bicycle) never died and my love for aviation transformed into a career.

    Now, 20 years later at the age of thirty-three, the feeling of freedom is always there when I ride my bike.
    Nice to hear. Sounds like you have similar feelings. Here in Atlanta we have Peachtree Dekalb Airport (not the big Atlanta airport) where they have a little greenspace area and some playground equipment. I go there regularly and use it as a rest stop to hang out and "watch the planes land".

    I got my private pilot's license when I was about 25. For a while I wanted to make a career of it. But by that time I already had a job as a computer programmer, a wife, and a baby. I looked at the kind of money I'd make for the first few years and all the time away from home and backed out. As it was, I never went beyond VFR. I did a bunch of instrument training but never completed it - just flew under the hood, etc. a number of times.

    The most capable plane I ever piloted was a Cessna 182 RG, constant speed prop. Seems like it would go around 180 mph as I recall.

    But I've always loved flying too. It's great that you made a career out of something you truly enjoy doing. What more can one hope for?
    Last edited by Walter S; 04-04-14 at 11:32 AM.

  16. #16
    Senior Member LuckySailor's Avatar
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    yep, I hear what you're your saying. I used to live In Gainesville, just down the road from OP some years ago-it's Gods country and it was great to get out and ride there. But honestly, ANYWHERE on a bike is great! But that's not all he was suggesting. As a kid, my buddy and I used to ride to any mini golf place we could go. Sometimes a few times a week.Those were great times. Also, I grew up with an old steel Columbia tandem. We broke the frame several times and Dad would take it to work and weld it or braze it(can't remember) Anyhow, finally I purchased a tandem 2 years ago. My wife had never been on before, but she absolutely loves it. As do I. So many memories. Going out and riding as I did last weekend, only 20 miles was great even if it was 34 degrees. Can't wait til Sunday to go out again. Riding indoors just doesn't cut it!

  17. #17
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    I also like helping a little to instill similar feelings in children today. If I see a child riding with training wheels, I comment on what a cool looking bicycle they've got and sometimes see an apparent feeling of pride as they hold their head high and smile.

    Recently on tour I stopped at a Waffle House for a bite and there was a little boy there that was apparently nothing short of awe-struck as he checked out my rig and asked what I was up to.

    It's fun to enjoy my ride and feel like an inspiration to more new riders too.

  18. #18
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    If it didn't, I wouldn't even own one.
    Currently riding a 2013 Handsome Devil custom build and an early 90's Specialized Rockhopper Single-Speed.

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