My hair runs wild in the wind, instead of being trapped under a cover, and flies uncontrollably all around, enabling a stray hair to brush my face frequently. The rush of acceleration and speed downhill excites a thrill of exhilaration along with flowing calmness. I am free and unrestrained of any bulky, uncomfortable objects. I feel the gliding swiftness of motion as well as the whiz and whir of the wheel. This experience of complete liberty and soothing tranquility is the most remarkable feeling of sheer joy. It is an activity that I enjoy with the lightest heart and clearest mind, and a hobby that brings utter happiness--disregarding the fact that I am breaking the law.
On that specific day, it was a cheerful, warm summer evening with a pleasant blue sky patched with shining bundles of clouds. Verdant green grass and leaves on tall, large trees adorn the front yards of charming, yet common houses located on the bend formed from a neighborhood cul-de-sac. I gaze at the bright, picturesque scene from the glass front door before the wood entrance door and see how the summer sun stimulates a silent glow radiating off the lush grass. The ambiance of a quiet, suburban neighborhood along with the epitome of a perfect summer day entices me to play outside and explore this natural scenery at once. I call out, “Mom, can I go ride my bike?”
My mom replies, “ Sure, the heat should have decreased.”
I say, “ I’m going to Maya's house,” which is an everyday occurrence. I usually bike to Maya’s house daily in the evening during the summer, since she is one of my best friends and lives in this neighborhood.
My mom says “Okay, wait for Dad and your brother.”
I respond, “I’ll wait outside.” Then, I apply sunscreen, slip my shoes on, and open the garage door to retrieve my metallic, purple bicycle decorated with stickers reading words like rebel or street style. I forcefully nudge the bicycle kickstand back and hop onto the bicycle seat for a trip down the driveway into a circular dead-end. My knee bumps the chunky, hard bicycle helmet hanging off the left handle of my bike, which is kept there in case I somehow meet a specifically rigorous trail. I don’t wear it when I normally ride--I don’t want to. Furthermore, I am very experienced with biking in this community, and that helmet is particularly unflattering and stuffy.
I circle around the end of the cul-de-sac, which steadily elevates towards the center of the circle, a maintenance cover. I envision the maintenance cover as a pedestal because it is the highest point of the road. Once I position myself up there, I can soar downhill with the deafening sound of the wind whooshing past my ear and the velocity faster than a car. I spin around the circle, alternating going on or off the sidewalk, for a while until I see my dad, mom, and brother, Chase, come out of the garage. I start ahead by bolting down the slope from the highest point. Feeling adventurous, I restrain myself from pushing back on the pedal to lessen the pace, but I hover my foot over the brake pedal for when it gets too fast or if I am about to crash into something.
As I plunge down the elevation, I feel the wind in my hair, the thundering noise of the resisting air, the drone of the continuously rotating wheels, and the excitement derived from plummeting steadfast. If I had worn the helmet, the wind wouldn’t be riding on my hair, and I wouldn’t be able to feel the delightful rise and fall of the path. Nearing the bottom of the slope, I begin pedaling and pass the stop sign at the end of the street to meet another descent. I know that my parents are behind following me and that they trust me to bike on my own to Maya’s house, so I descend the hill. I press my foot on the brake pedal as I dive down because cars are more recurrent on this road outside of our little circle. This neighborhood is mostly safe, and I am confident about riding around this area since I’ve done it so many times.
I am exceedingly familiar with my community, but I never tire of the houses every time I travel on my bicycle. I relish the peaceful neighborhood setting made up of each individual home and their embellishments. There is something so restful about pedaling a bicycle around a suburban residential area on a lovely summer evening--even though I am breaking my state’s helmet laws. At first, I worried about not wearing a bicycle helmet because a police officer, who came to my school to give a lecture regarding bicycle safety, said that it was illegal to not wear a helmet when biking. I decided that I much prefer bicycling without an uncomfortable, hefty weight strapped onto my head and that the helmet would be much better off dangling on the handle.
I leisurely pedal my way to Maya's house admiring the beauty of each uniquely constructed residence decorated with flourishing greenery, and after one last hill, I reach her residence. Maya and her two other siblings are already riding on the road in front of their dwelling. Maya isn’t wearing her helmet, neither is her sister, but her brother, who is the youngest, has it snapped to his head. Maya, her sister, and I break the helmet laws together and that is our method of savoring the gift of biking.
Maya waves and exclaims, “Hi, Bree!”
I wave back and say, “ Hi Maya!” We bike aimlessly about telling each other the events of our summer, the books we read, or other topics of things that just happened to be relevant. We go to the playground adjacent to her house and simply sway on the swingset while discussing our favorite subjects. Then we strenuously ride our bicycles up the largest hill in the neighborhood, which is near her house, to test our physical abilities and to race down the equally long slope on the other side. I notice that my parents and my brother have caught up and are socializing with Maya's parents. My family stays here talking, playing, and laughing until the sky starts to darken--it is getting late.
We say our goodbyes whilst remembering that we will probably come again tomorrow. I lead the pack back home who are especially eager to drink water and rest in air conditioning. I ride my bike on the same route back to our house, but this time, I’m trekking up on the hills I’ve gone down and descending the hills I’ve gone up. The cool dusk air and undisturbed atmosphere allows for mindful thinking accompanied by the clank of the pedals stroking up and down. Breathing heavily, I hike up the final stretch, the first hill I so boldly plunged. One final push of the pedal and I reach the top of the hill or the end of the cul-de-sac.
I bike all over the circle embracing the rush of each curve and stride and waiting for my family. I feel the freedom pulsing through me during each shift of the pedal and turn of the handlebar. When I see my parents and brother approaching, I skid up the driveway and return my bike to its rightful place with a clunk of the unused helmet attached to the handgrip. Bicycling in this peaceful, serene neighborhood is the greatest pleasure, and I intend to continue doing it with the wind running in my hair.