This afternoon I borrowed a bike from my friend Jon so I could go for a ride around the neighborhood I’m visiting here in Santa Rosa, California. He lent me a modified 1956 Schwinn bike that he describes as a “clunker.” Old it maybe, a “clunker” perhaps, but it was the most fun bike I’ve ridden in years!
Fitted with thick tires and BMX handlebars, the old Schwinn bike made me feel like I was 10 years old again. I aimlessly rode up and down the residential streets, weaving slowly while playing with the shadow that stretched before me. It was a beautifully warm sunny Sunday afternoon, perfect weather for such a ride, and all that was missing was long conversations about making kites, Airfix kits, or what we might do when we grow up.
The streets of the Junior College Neighborhood seemed like they had been somehow cast back in time. The music on my iPod made me feel like I was in some kind of wholesome Disney movie. There were vintage cars all over the place, and people out in their front yards raking leaves and chatting with neighbors. As I rode around people smiled and waved at me, I waved back and stopped to chat to the friendly folk along the way. “Oh you’re from England,” they would say, before telling me the names of towns in England they had visited or planned to visit “one day.”
Maybe it was the weather, the emergence of the sun that had finally broken few the clouds of the last few days. Maybe it was the “clunker” Schwinn, its thick tires and goofy BMX handlebars. Or perhaps it was a mix of the both, but whatever it was, I felt like I didn’t have a care in the world as I rode around on that bike. I had that feeling I used to know as a kid, when there really were no worries past homework and making sure I was home in time for dinner. It was glorious and I could have stayed in that moment for a long time, just drifting around the streets dreaming of what I’ll do when I get to be a grown up.
There’s only a few days left of 366 pictures now, but if you’re curious where I am, you can find me on a map. Simply click the ‘About Simon Jones’ link at the top of the website then click the ‘Find me on a map‘ link.