Author and folding bike enthusiast Daniel Romo shares this nice poem with foldingbiketravels.com. Daniel Romo is the author of Romancing Gravity (Silver Birch Press, 2013) and When Kerosene's Involved (Black Coffee Press, 2013). He teaches English and creative writing, and rides the streets of Long Beach, CA. More of his writing can be found at danielromo.net. By the way, he rides a Dahon Uno; good choice!
We ride our bikes out of June, far away from May. Summer days stick in our spokes: a ninety-five degree record of our travels and soundtrack to seasonal heat. Even better than baseball cards. We pedal down the boulevard; hot wind is neither reminder of hope nor remnants of sin. But our legs are devout faith--grinding away, not having a choice but to put our lives in the hands of humanity. Still, drivers never stop to look right. Two tons of metal makes a man feel invincible. Though the most violent deaths are the result of car crashes. The forecast called for record highs; our singed skin can’t deny that. But we look so pretty. So glistening, red, seering. Yet weather didn’t dictate how long we stayed outside as kids, how much effort we exerted in the name of fun. Nor should it now. We understand these are not the streets we grew up in. The streets that raised us. Where we rode in the back of our grandfathers’ pickups and waved to strangers we passed (when seatbelt laws were less stringent). New paint and bigger buildings have replaced quaint visions. Some of the businesses with Grand Openings just last year have disappeared. Mom and Pops that lined the street can’t compete with major chains. Vacant windows call for help, but a man’s dream is not sufficient enough to pay bills. Freshly-painted bike lanes promote intimate travel, however where is the incentive to ride between the lines when nothing is ever familiar? But we are die-hards, and will continue to ride even when our September fades, and we are too tired to remember the sound of the ticking of our youth.