LOCATION: Atlanta, GA
OCCUPATION: Computer Science Student, Barista
I hated they way they rode. I hated how every time we went riding together, I got left behind.
Itfs funny how time passes though, and how things change. It took a summer to realize that I wasnft getting left behind anymore, that I was keeping up with the boys and their fancy bikes. That my own bike and I went faster and seemed prettier every day, and that boy (with the pretty eyes and lopsided smile) stopped being what I thought about at the end of the day, but instead I went to sleep thinking of the feeling of the wind blowing in my hair as I wove in and out of traffic, passing idling car after idling car, and how inviting and free the road ahead of me looked. I was living for the moments when I would catch a yellow light and soar on through to a series of greens.
Ifve long since left that boy and his friends behind me. It took a dysfunctional relationship and an open road to deal with the fact that relationships are hard when youfre young and in school and not yet settled down... but the real ones that will and should always last are easy. My relationship with my bike has always been an easy one. In our years together, it has always been there, and I have never felt as though I am alone when I am riding my bike. It is my companion to school, to work, to home, and to adventure\even when I would wonder how much fun I was really having choking through the car exhaust in the blisteringly hot or intolerably humid Atlanta weather, I would always realize that even when I hated riding, I would hate the idea of not riding even more.
My bike and I share many of the highlights of my life: the grueling 24-hour urban relay races through the streets of Atlanta, the reckless antics that bored students with no obligations and all the city before them can get into, endlessly inclining loops at the Dick Lane Velodrome, and even further, all the way to Chicago for NACCCfs. Ifve changed how I look at the world these days\I look at it in terms of riding. I look for hills and routes; I look for others like myself. I identify strangers by the bikes they ride and consider the apparent social life my bike shares with others each day at the bike rack. When I graduate this May, I will ride my bike to the ceremony, and when I leave this place to see what else is out there, I will take my bike with me.