Yesterday I gave myself one of the best gifts ever — I rode a bike where I grew up, for the first time in over 30 years. I rode past Carrie’s house and Tina’s and Katie’s and the house of the guy I called Johnny in my book. I rode to the pool and the fields and where the tunnel used to be. I rode to the train station where a train every half hour takes you 16 miles to Manhattan, where bike riders were just mowed down in a terrorist act, and I felt safer than I feel 900 miles away. And today I get to do it again.
If you have not ridden a bike where you rode as a kid, I can tell you this is one of the most enjoyable, powerful experiences possible for tickling memory alive and for feeling, for one brief moment or day or two, carefree again in our increasingly complicated world. Yes, you can feel like a kid again. And it feels awesome. (It also answers some lingering questions you may have about the credibility of your memory.)