The wind whipped my slightly feathered, middle-parted bowl cut as I coasted speedily down Union Street on my 12-speed. I felt triumphant and exhilarated after a long awaited make out sesh with Carla Gresham. It was the summer before my sophomore year. My driver's license wouldn't be until the following year but at least the bike could get me around for the time being. Things were looking up.
If my bike ride was an episode from The Hills, "I Gotta Feeling" by the Black Eyed Peas would be playing in the background as I smiled and head bobbed to the beat. Although I'd also probably be text messaging on an iPhone while driving a BMW suv without a license.
Unfortunately, my moment of euphoria was short lived. A brake handle became detached from the handlebars, which eventually lodged into the spokes of the right front tire. Several facial abrasions and an undiagnosed concussion later, I had to explain to my parents why I disobeyed their order not to pedal the 8 mile return leg from Manch to Hooksett after dark.
Now fast forward to a few weeks ago when I bought a used ("burns my fingers" hot) mountain bike off Craigslist from a shady dude in a Dorchester basement. During one of my subsequent commutes home from work, the post-frenching wipeout of 1991 flashbacked in my head and my thoughts eventually moved to G-sizzle. I think my inner monologue went something like this:
"That kiss was still so worth the wreck. Yeah, I must have been what - 15? Probably... Hmm, where was Carla's dad when the business was going down? (Downshifting as the road inclines.) What the hell am I gonna do if I catch some pumpkin haired teenager sucking face with my little girl? I mean, I don't want to deprive her of innocent teenage rites of passage. I like to think that I'm on the progressive side, but what is too much freedom?... And what about the blatant disobedience of my parents for the sake of a crush? What kind of stunt is G gonna pull that will make me cringe?... Man, this hill goes on forever. I'm definitely sweating through my shirt by now... At least I have a long time to develop a game plan... Hey, maybe I should get one of those bike cabooses so that Greta and I can ride around together."
So on that note, I look to you readers, fellow parents, and anyone who accidentally found themselves on this page. Any good or bad experiences on child seat/attachment-thingies to a bike, out there? If so, what brand and model?
And while you're at it - do you turn a blind eye to frenching under your roof, because at least you know you can find a lame excuse to enter the living room at any moment? Or is it just easier to enforce a strict "no tonsil hockey allowed" zone in your house?