The wheels of summer | Lavender magazine
Summers are spent on wheels. Eight; of them; four – each new set of wheels leading to the next. A new, extended dose of autonomy and freedom comes with each set.
Roller skates? Roller-skate? Skateboard? Whatever your flavor, these are probably the first wheels you have walked down the aisle or in the block. A scraped knee or an injured wrist – small prices to pay for regained speed.
I remember the neighborhood roller hockey games that closed the cul-de-sac. If you couldn’t skate, you became a team leader; we often had more managers than teams. We were all about inclusion – before it was all the rage.
Birthdays at the ice rink and night skates in the neighborhood. I would compare it to using fins for the first time. All of a sudden, you are fast!
The rite of passage on two wheels. Getting your first bike is like having another arm. Completely game-changing. Going from legs to pedal power is one of the biggest improvements in life.
I dived, hard. It is safe to say that my obsession with bikes started very early. My Christmas wish list read like a parts catalog: a three-piece crankset, a fancy brake lever, or a new set of hubs. Fully motivated by the passion for cycling.
Back to Polyurethane
I can only speak from my own experience. Around the age of 13 I went back to polyurethane wheels, but this time they were mounted on a skateboard.
Another rabbit hole that would see years of my life; once again consumed by a set of wheels. This time it wasn’t about transportation – it was closer to art, imitating a sport. It has become important for me to progress and find my own style. All of the aforementioned wheels were quickly put aside during my years of pushing wood. Even the bikes.
For many Americans, being 16 means receiving the ultimate freedom pass: a driver’s license. Four wheels, an engine and, most importantly, a driver. More freedom, an upgrade in your social life and a place of your own. That is, if you were lucky enough to get a car.
I had my license before I had a car. I listened to Mary J. Blige as I drove my mom’s van to school, stopping occasionally at McDonald’s or picking up a friend on the way.
Once I got my first car, a whole new love story began. I threw paychecks and countless hours on this car and the following vehicles – under the spell of self-enthusiasm.
Two and four. My love of motor vehicles and bicycles lives on. Two modes of transport that still give me joy, and I find that they age well. The most comes when you’re in the saddle, but I’m just as happy in the garage or workshop, tending to my moving machines.
Like chapters in our lives, the wheels we roll through the summer are changing. Age and interest determine which wheels you keep or revisit – and which ones you definitely avoid. Our old wheels can be hung in a garage or remain static, stored in a box. Maybe they are long gone.
The miles and the memories are yours.