A bicycle is many things… a wonderfully elegant example of human ingenuity and craftsmanship.  An efficient form of transportation.  A builder of self-confidence, health, and wealth

A bicycle is a wonderful learning tool, providing valuable life lessons in personal limitations and how to overcome them.  It is a tool for self-confidence

And at any age, a bicycle is freedom.  As a child, a bicycle opened up my world from a few square blocks to a few square miles.  As a young adult, a bicycle provided freedom from the stress of college and the workplace.  And later, a bicycle helped enable freedom from the need for income

I look forward to making many more great biking memories

1980 – Received my first bicycle for my birthday.  Rode it so much the training wheels fell off.  My Dad spends hours with me in the backyard teaching me to ride.  Crashed into house, parked car, and tree.  Learned better balance and eye-hand coordination

1983 – Built a ramp with a board and a wagon.  Landed on front tire and smashed face into the ground.  Learned how to build better ramps

1984 – Got BMX pads and kit for my birthday.  Rode dirt trails all summer

1986 – Spent whole summer riding no-handed.  Got really good at it.  Crashed into our porch.  Learned to be more aware of my surroundings

1987 – After a long winter, I raced my bike into town and down a steep hill.  Watched front tire roll away in front of me.  Lost all skin on both arms and chin and broke left wrist.  Learned the importance of spring maintenance

1988 – Got a ride from a friend on his bike.  Fell off the back onto the tire.  Couldn’t sit down for 2 weeks and learned one possible definition of blue balls

1989 – Bought my first 10 speed bike with money earned from mowing lawns.  Rode 20+ miles a day all summer.  Tried to scare a friend by pretending I was going to run him over with my bike…  accidentally ran him over.  Learned that not all jokes are funny

1990 – Rode my bike 15 miles to a friend’s house.  He wasn’t home.  Rode back home.  Learned to plan ahead

1991 – Bought my first mountain bike (brand new 2 year old model for 75% off) with money from summer job.  Rode it on dirt trails all summer

1992 – Found great dirt trails and a half pipe in the woods.  Got a ticket from the police for not having my bike registered with the city.  Impressed girls and lost respect for authority

1996 – Got a bike rack for the car.  Went for long rides in the woods amongst the fall leaves.  Learned stress management

Bike in Tree on Vashon Island

Bike in Tree on Vashon Island

1998 – Rode dirt trails in Wisconsin and West Virginia with friends on short holidays

(The grounded years – worked too much and didn’t ride)

2003 – Rode the 8 miles to work one day after a long period of inactivity.  Almost vomited and felt dizzy.  Too many hills.  Didn’t ride again for a long time.  Learned to make regular exercise a priority

2005 – Sold my sad neglected mountain bike for $1 at a garage sale.  Learned one great reason to buy things used

2007 – Rode with friends through the 2.5 mile long tunnel on the Iron Horse trail.  Promised myself to start riding again

Tunnel on the Iron Horse Trail outside Seattle

Tunnel on the Iron Horse Trail outside Seattle

2008 – Bought a bike on Craigslist for $50, started riding to work regularly.  Fell in love with biking (again.)  Learned that even biking is “just like riding a bike”

2009 – Went to Burning Man for the first time.  Learned to ride while intoxicated

Biking at Burning Man

Biking at Burning Man

2010 – Bought a new carbon fiber road bike for 50% off.  Started riding 50 mile loops around Lake Washington.  Sold Craigslist bike for $60.  Got my first helmet

2012 – Sold road bike for what I paid for it, started traveling the world.  Made a powered-by-bicycle smoothie

Smoothie by Bicycle

Smoothie by Bicycle

2014 – Rode a bike 900 km around Taiwan.  Got pushed off the road by a bus.  Rode a public bike to Chinese class each day for free

Biking in Taipei

Biking in Taipei

2019 – I spend hours in the backyard, teaching my kid to ride a bike

What is your favorite biking memory?

“I love biking.  It is the closest we can get to flying.” – Robin Williams