The last bike I owned was from when I was about 8-12 years old. It was pink and said "Miss Sassy" on the side. I installed a basket (Strawberry Shortcake, from my older bike) in which I shuttled around my guinea pig, Jingles. I would bike around the block (on the sidewalk), or around a parking lot at the end of my street. Occasionally we would ride on the Minuteman Bike Path, other times on the Mystic River Bike Path. Maybe once or twice a summer our family would go to Maine or the Berkshires and we would ride bikes on quiet roads. These are my biking memories. All very safe, all very conducive to bikes and bike-riding. Since I haven't had a bike since then, I tend to get a little nervous about them. I know how to ride one of course, but am still attached to kids bikes. Bright colors, fat tires, and pedal brakes. The biggest problem I have with bikes these days is the hand brake. It seems totally foreign to me. If I want to stop my feet, why would I use my hand?? Shouldn't it all be related?? Shouldn't my feet control what my feet are doing?? I will definitely still ride on "grown up" bikes, but it just makes me nervous. And biking on the road makes me nervous, probably because I don't feel very stable. All of this leads up to a very happy surprise this morning. I am in Nantucket this week, dog-sitting a lovely Irish Setter named Maisy. Bikes are a pretty standard mode of transportation in Nantucket, so I knew I would be on one at some point. But we are in Sconset, and it is summer, and it is crowded so I was also dreading having to clumsily maneuver myself around lots of big huge cars. This morning was the first test, we open the garage, see several very cute beach bikes with baskets (Petunia is not as malleable as my guinea pig was, she won't get in). I take a deep breath and get on, and LO! Pedal Brakes!!! Hurrah!!!
A lovely, breezy, scenic bike ride along the Sconset Beach followed. How relaxing!!!