Velocipede Adventures ostensibly began in my neighborhood as a child when I tried to see how many times I could ride my bike around in a circle before getting too dizzy. Or when I rode my bike all the way out of the labyrinthine subdivisions, if only to ride around a grocery store parking lot. Or when I rode down twilit golf course paths, around the water hazards and over artificial hills, deciding that my first date would include trespassing on a golf course to watch the sunset. Or when I rode the golf course paths in daylight and got yelled at by old people for being in the way and not wearing a helmet.
The name came when I bought a bike in college — a sky blue Schwinn from Wally the Bike Guy, the best fifty dollars I ever spent. I named the vehicle The Velocipede, a grandiose name for something that was clearly not. And when I tired of academic tedium, of boredom, or of not being being covered with mud, I set off for adventure. My rides inspired me to eloquence, to musical composition even:
(To the tune of “Velocipede Adventure! Theme,” which I can’t recall ever singing aloud but is yelled in punk rock bursts.)
On a bike!
On a bike!
In the road! (Or in the woods, or wherever I happened to be.)
I rode that bike to epiphanies and mental breakdowns, uphill both ways, through rain and snow and heat and gloom of night, to places where I had to stop and ask what town I was in and how to get home, over hiking trails in forests my inner child envied, to mermaid statues in the woods, past the golf course where my first break up happened at sunset.
Now, a year-and-a-half after I left that bike in another’s hands, I lend the self-aggrandizing name of those well-spent hours to this slice of internet. I will persist with this name. I’ve somehow ended up where I am, and I’ll somehow end up where I’m supposed to get. Maybe there is adventure along the way. Maybe the whole long thing is adventure.