My last bike was a gift from my parents, when I was probably 12 or 13.
On Christmas morning, we unwrapped all the gifts under the tree until there was only one envelope left.
It had my name and Merrick’s on it, and when we picked it up, we discovered the end of a piece of white thread taped on the inside.
That thread ran through a tiny hole in the envelope’s corner and was carefully taped around the edge of the room. It went down the hall and then into the garage where it zig-zagged around objects and finally led out the back door into the yard.
It wound through the garden boxes and across the patio and then under the gate and across the street (it was carefully weighted down on both sides of the street so that any passing cars could run right over it).
Eventually, it arrived at the front door of our neighbors and as Merrick and I rang the doorbell and waited for them to answer, we looked through the glass window on the door and saw two pink bicycles sitting in the entryway.
I remember a lot of screams of joy and our neighbors, who had only grown children, being thrilled to be part of our Christmas morning, and also being delighted that we lived in Las Vegas where Christmas weather was perfectly appropriate for bike riding.
We rode those bikes all over the neighborhood and on family bike rides for the next six years or so until I went away to college.
After I got married, my parents brought it up to Utah, and Bart and I rode to and from school during my last year of college.
That bike came with us to Texas where, for six months or so, when Bart was working downtown and we only had one car, I rode it to and from work every day (whenever I think of that time, I remember listening to the entire Georgia Nicolson series on audio while I rode back and forth).
In Boston, a few weeks after we moved there, Bart and I took those same bikes downtown on the T and rode all over the city.
Months later, when I was pregnant with Ella, we spent an early summer evening riding through Arnold Arboretum, which was spectacular.
We returned to Texas and then, when Landen and her husband only had one car and her job was only about three miles from home, she borrowed that bike and rode it to work for a year or so.
When we moved to North Carolina, I left that bike behind so she could continue to use it and for the first time in about fifteen years, I didn’t own a bike.
And for the last three years, I’ve been without a bike.
Two weeks ago, when my new Columbia Archer bike arrived in a giant box, Bart and I assembled it after the girls went to bed and when it was finished, I took it out for a little spin around the neighborhood.
I only meant to ride for a minute or two, but once I was back on a bike, I couldn’t get enough and I circled the block for a good ten minutes.
The next day, when the girls saw it in the garage, Ella said, “I guess you’ll have to do a lot of practicing to learn how to ride a bike again.”
I assured her that I had a LOT of bike riding experience and that I’d picked it back up without a moment’s hesitation.
It’s been so fun to have a bike again, and this is definitely the cutest bike I’ve ever owned (sorry, Mom and Dad).
The Archer bike, which is available at Toys R Us, has the laid-back look of a beach cruiser, but has lots of bells and whistles, like an aluminum frame with steel front and rear fenders, a cargo rack, seven speeds, and an embossed suspension seat to make it more comfortable.
Columbia was the first company to start selling bikes in the US, back in 1877, and today they have a huge assortment of gorgeous styles so everyone can find a style that appeals to them.
I also found out they were the inventors of the tandem bicycle. The last (and first) time I rode a tandem bike was back in 2008 when Bart and I took an anniversary trip to San Francisco and rented a tandem bike to ride across the Golden Gate Bridge.
Now our bike dates are across the bridge over the neighborhood pond rather than one of the most iconic bridges in the world, but I’m not complaining.
I also need to look into a bike trailer because while my bike doesn’t have a third wheel, my bike rides these days definitely do.
Be sure to check Toys R Us, Target, Amazon, Walmart and Dicks retailers where Columbia Bicycles can be found!
Brooke @ Silver Lining says
What a cute bike!! Family bike rides around the block in these gorgeous Arizona evenings are my dream.
That is so cute!
I love riding my bike. I just rode into work today (the snow just melted in Wisconsin, so I'm enjoying actual "spring" weather for the first time)!
I just want to make sure you know how dangerous it is to listen to music (or audiobooks) while cycling. Just like anything else, distracting driving is bad, but it also limits your ability to hear important sounds, like other cyclists and their bells, cars approaching (if you're on a street or at a street crossing), and pedestrian. Stay safe out there!
Feisty Harriet says
Paige Flamm says
We're planning on getting the entire family bikes for Jay's birthday in August, and I couldn't be more excited about it! I'd love to hear what trailer you end up getting, if you get one!
Yes, it has been a long time since I had a bike, but I've almost been thinking I need one again. Glad to know about Columbia bikes, the Archer in particular. I'll have to check them out. And I loved hearing about your biking past.
I could not find this on Amazon, and Columbia's website didn't have them listed as a retailer. Am I missing something?
You're right! I can't find it on Amazon either – so weird!
Here it is! http://www.toysrus.com/product/index.jsp?productId=82738196
John and Morgan says
A while back, you wrote a post about how you find children's books to read to your girls. I'd love to hear where you get ideas for elementary age young readers too. Love your blog! Thank you!
You have the funnest parents in the history of the world. Such an awesome Christmas story.
And can I add, as someone who has owned 3 bike trailers, Burley is the only way to go. I LOVE my Burley bike trailer (I have a 2 seater that converts to a stroller). Even if I never used it to tow my kids, it's the world's easiest stroller to push because of the enormous tires. I can push 60 pounds of kids with one hand over bumpy sidewalks.
I know this an old post, but I’ve read it several times over the last year as I’m wanting a bike. A year later do you still love it? We have a bike path right behind our house and I haven’t owned a bike since I was a kid. My husband is into researching everything (to death sometimes) but I know that if we do that with bikes we’ll A) spend more money than I want to and B) never actually get bikes. I want a cruiser but I also want something I can get some exercise on, and this seems like the perfect mix (plus it’s adorable). So I guess I’m just wondering if you’re still happy with it 🙂
Janssen Bradshaw says
I’m so useless here because I got pregnant like ten seconds after I wrote this post and with my first trimester issues, I wasn’t supposed to exercise and by the time I was cleared, I didn’t feel very safe balancing on a bike, so I’ve hardly ridden it at all since I wrote this post. But I’m excited to get back into it now that I’m post-six weeks delivery.