I was an early walker. My mom says that I was that scarey nine month old that every mother dreads. I suppose I was working on proclaiming who I was going to be at an early age. We did not see eye to eye on my choosen modes of transportation, and she would frequently remind me of what a hardheaded child I was. I had obviously taken after my father; no matter the fact that I had not grown up with him.
They both attempted to purchase me a car. My dad sold it, because I refused to drive it. I sold the car my mom gave me as soon as it stopped working. Which was probably fine with her, because I rarely drove it around town. It had only given me the excuse to drive to places that I had never walked before. Now my mom was worried that I would get hurt in places like Richmond and Washinton D.C. It was probably best that I didn’t have a car. In the state of Virginia you actually have to sell a car! You can’t just give it away, so fifty dollars got rid of my first actual car. It was a Nova (no go in Spanish hahaha) and the last I heard that car ran for several more years.
One of the few childhood toys I still have is pretty much a bike. Sure, it looks like an over Americanized horse, but in the long run it’s a bike for the toddler crowd. The funny thing was I was scared of heights, and any loss of control. Bikes seemed like the worst idea ever in my book. So I remained a walker for many years. During high school you could find me walking home from my first job, a Sonic Drive-in, at midnight. My mom was not privy to these insane ideas in transportation, and I was fine with that. It gave me time to think. I was the first kid in my class old enough to get a drivers license, and I was more than likely one of the last high schoolers to get my drivers license. I was just as happy to take the bus home, and sit with my cello as my main company. I couldn’t understand why everyone was in such a rush. Fortunately, my younger brother took up the torch in getting his drivers license sooner than the rest of the crowd. All in all, this may have a lot to say about my general personality and the way I’ve lived my life. I’m only now, at the age of thirty, going to college. You could easily call me the tortoise. I just don’t understand you hares. Do you have any idea how much you’re missing!?!
Walking has been my saving grace. In my worst times I would walk the streets of Roanoke late at night. Night walks are the best. Everyone is asleep and you can finally hear. Walking to me has been what yoga is to much of the spiritual crowd, my meditation. I have counted steps with my eyes closed, forgotten where I was and what I was thinking, prayed for days, and cried in the summer heat after learning about the death of a friend. Walking has at times been the only action that I could honestly understand. I have even walked my bike through many of the city blocks of Portland. Really, who walks a bike? I do.
I have just as many adventures walking as I do biking. So I would simply like it to be known that walking is my first love. It is much simplier than riding a bike. I never have to fix a flat, true my tires, or grease the chain. I can go as I am. Really you can, I’ve meet a few naked walkers on my travels! Yes, I may write about riding my bike in Roanoke, but Roanoke has embraced me in all different modes of transportation. Remember this experiment is not simply about riding your bike and being crazy. I’d like to think it’s about stopping for a moment and seeing something more. Realizing that we all have this moment. Don’t rush by it too quickly. You just might miss the point.