Miles of Smiles

Jerome Glick - Silver Springs, Maryland

Miles of Smiles

My first bike wasn't of much significance - a small black Mongoose with training wheels that my dad removed at some point in my childhood. But I didn't start to become a serious "biker" until my middle and high school years. In 2006, my mom and I went to Target for a new bicycle as I was growing out of my old one. I picked out a red Magna Excitor; the cheapest full-suspension mountain bike in stock. Over 2100 miles later, this faithful workhorse rolls onward. The bike has seen a lot, from the time it was almost too big for me until my first year away at college. It has taken me around the neighborhood countless times, over the many trails in the DC metropolitan area, through the downtown streets and past the memorials of DC itself. It has served as the testbed for my cargo-carrying experiments, first with the neat rack fashioned from a Staples wire basket and locker shelf, then with the four buckets, towing the recycling bins and trash cans. Twice the bike has carried me and my gear over 50 miles in a day on the C&O Canal towpath - full suspension was a blessing. Through the heat, rain, and New York snow, it has been my daily college commuter. My bike never backed down, even when I had to tow my cello through Hurricane Sandy to our stubborn conductor's orchestra rehearsal. "Any bike you buy from Target won't last for six months," said a co-worker at the local shop. But this machine has proved the phrase wrong. It has seen me through my growing years and isn't going to stop charging forward as long as it has a home. What a wonderful thing a bicycle is.

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