It was an old 1930s Hiawatha: 24″ fat tires, enormous “Longhorn” handlebars, one-speed, coaster brake. I was 7, the bike more than 10 years older. No training wheels: my dad held it steady as I learned to balance and steer. The thrill when I realized he had let go was like my first solo flight, 17 years later. I rode that bike every summer through college. I left it behind when I grew up: my dad got it out when he retired, then got better bikes for himself and my mom. I started riding again at 33, commuting to work on another hand-me-down, and haven’t stopped since, still riding and touring at 69.

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