My Grandpa is turning 80 this year, but he looks and acts like a man twenty years younger.
A few years ago, he and my Grandma moved into a retirement community — the type where everyone has their own houses but the community provides entertainment and various types of clubs and things for retired people to do. And sometime soon after they moved there, my Grandpa got involved with a group of gentlemen that bicycle from city to city several times a week. So he got a bike. The bike wouldn't fit in their car, so they got a bigger car. And then last fall, he crashed the bike. So he got a new 21-speed bike. And then he decided to get a road bike, and that he didn't need his "old" one anymore.
So he gave the "old" but barely used bike to me. I had been wanting a bicycle since my birthday last year. And now that I have a gas-guzzling truck, I'd rather bike to places that are nearby than drive. It's too hot to do much biking right now — we've got expected highs in the upper 90s this week — but I expect when the weather cools down a bit, it will be perfect riding weather.
When we received the bike, it didn't have any of its parts attached, like reflectors or a kickstand. "Those slow you down!" Grandpa said. Instead, he gave me a Wal-Mart bag filled with various bicycling accoutrements, which Matt re-attached fairly easily. So now I have a working kickstand, and a blinky light so people hopefully won't run me over. Always important. In addition, Matt had an old bike chain at his parents' house that no one was using, and I found this not-too-dorky-looking helmet at Target. (I tried to pick a pretty one. Even my sister said it didn't look too bad.)
Bell Athena, via Target
The other day, we had an unusually cool evening — in the 80s! — so I decided I should maybe figure out how to ride a bike again. Because I think the last time I rode a bike might have been the fifth grade, because it was that year that I crashed my bike on my neighbor's gravel driveway and bashed myself all up. I still have specks of gravel in my chin from that incident.
So with Matt worrying that I was going to crash or get hit by cars, I took the bike out and rode the mile loop around the neighborhood that we normally take when we go for walks. And I have to admit, it was kind of scary. I was afraid to go too fast, and I was afraid of falling over when I turned corners. I wobbled a lot. I found it hard to go in straight lines. But I imagine it'll get easier as I keep going.
When was the last time you rode a bike? Do you share any hobbies with your grandparents?