As of this weekend, I have a new cycling buddy! That is, my sister moved to Austin this weekend, to my great jubilation. In honor of her arrival, I have given her Grey Bike, and all it's many accessories, so that we can go for bike rides and generally cause non-motorized mayhem.
Two things about this that leap out at me - one, the Grey Bike is the nicest bike my sister has ever had. Two, she's never really ridden in the street. I'm super-proud, she's moving to new places, trying new things, making it happen, all that jazz.
Last night we hopped on our bikes for a ride to the pub (hey, the beer was cheap and there was football on). The ride to the pub involves a rather large hill, a descent on the way there, and a long climb on the way back. The alcohol helps the climbs go by faster, I admit.
The thing that astonished me is that while my sister has all the characteristics of someone who is new to biking, she looks comfortable on the bike and is utterly fearless in traffic. Perhaps this is a result of her driving tendencies, which have recently included a ticket for driving nearly 20 mph over the speed limit. Maybe it's the same inner fire that makes me want to break a car in half rather than yield. But holy damn it was fun to ride with someone whom fear is not a thought. She stops with balance, she takes the lane, and climbing the hill on the way home, she stood up and gutted it out until the purpose of shifting became more apparent.
In summary, while I consider this to be paying it forward, it sort of feels like the universe is paying me back on this one.