I recall it like it was yesterday – the day I took off riding downhill on my San Diego sidewalk, free from helping hands for the first time. I didn’t look back on that day, nor any day since. As a child I rode to explore, to get out of my house, to be independent, to turn on a side road just because I could, to ride as fast up a hill and feel proud of my effort. From those days till now I spend time on my various bicycles for the freedom of the ride, the wind in my face, the enjoyment of seeing the sunrise, of turning a corner on a trail and looking in wonder at a family of sleeping deer, of pedaling as hard as possible on a deserted road to de-stress, spinning the pedals to fly down a hill and yelling “wheeee” into the wind as if I were still a child. I’ve competed in races around the world, slugged my bike across various countries just for the ability to ride “before the kids wake up” or to ride ahead and meet the family car in the next town. I enjoy eating a bowl of ice cream at 8 am after a ride just because it tastes good. I enjoy seeing others enjoying their ride and sometimes tagging along with them for a lively chat or new friendship. I ride because my legs and lungs allow me to explore and I am grateful for every day this is possible.