Dear Kent Bikes,
I’m not sure that we’re the first bikes of yours to cross state lines, nor are we the bikes that have traveled the farthest in a set time, but I’m proud and grateful to say that we are the bikes our cyclists have partnered with to make the most of their first-time riding past the length of any city lines.
As a 14-speed road bike, I can see why having a cyclist of your own is so fun. You get to hear the little mantras they say to themselves as they prepare for the winds or that incline heavy hill right in front of them.
I don’t remember a time when these riders didn’t take the time to thank their bikes for carrying them, or a time when they forgot to move us onto the sidewalk as they stopped for a break somewhere on the road.
I do remember the time when one of us hit 45 miles an hour while coasting down a bridge, or the time we all felt fresh clear water spring off our back wheel on the same day our spokes got dressed in sand and sweet salt water.
“Bike and body as one” the riders would whisper.
“We are vehicles” was the group’s mantra.
As a road bike, you really get to know your cyclist.
From planning the day’s route, to watching the squinted, determined look on their faces… you get to be there at every step of the way. We are both more present in the environment, then we would be if we were just fixed to the back of a car. Even when it’s raining, my cyclist says it’s still fun. And in days where flats or detours galore, the optimism of the team got the better of the world.
To see a group of riders become better cyclists? That is something we wouldn’t have gotten anywhere else. What we are is something that hits the spirit of what cycling means to riders and bikes alike: resilience, freedom, and growth.
For that, I thank you, Kent Bikes, for taking a chance on a us and a couple of kids, as they set out to do something ambitious in the world.
A world we carry each other in.