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As a kid, I loved the freedom that riding my bike provided me. Easily I could hop on the warm seat atop cold steel, strap on my helmet, and jet off to wherever my heart led me. It was just enough freedom to allow me to feel like I was overcoming so much.

Today freedom seems so stifled. You should only get groceries if you wear a mask and gloves to keep yourself and others safe. All of my favorite coffeehouses closed. I can’t commune with the people who I adore and build me up in our weekly church service. Oh, and my mommy disappearing act to Barnes and Noble has is suspended until further notice. All that seems to exist are rules and regulations against the fundamental freedom we crave. Yet, there is hope.

At the very beginning of this shelter-in-place order, we purchased to change the way we live, even if just a little bit. We bought new bikes and bike rack for my husband and I. Its an early 5th anniversary present since our previous desires to go on a vacation is placed on hold… until who knows when. I wake up giddy, looking out the window to see, is it sunny? Warm? If both those boxes can be checked off, we ride.

We ride to the beach to see the water, around the neighborhood, to get groceries, where ever we can we go. Its thrilling, freeing, a reminder that freedom is free during this time. Even more so, we have decided to commit to using our bikes as a preferred form of transportation when everything is all over. A way to both work on our healthy lifestyle and service the environment by keeping it clean, with pedal power.

That little bit of hope helps the anxious being that pulsates inside of me as I wait at home like the rest of the country. It’s an outlet that does its part to aid in ensuring a future free of just a little pollution for my kiddo and generations to come—a small contribution to society in black steel.