Saturday, May 23, 2009

Calitexican Is A Bikey Girl For Life

In San Francisco, if you are on a bicycle and on flickr, there's a pretty good chance that eventually our paths will cross. Our city is very small and full of wonderful beautiful riders on bicycles enthusiastic and willing to be a part of the change, with their freedom machines. Melyssa is a great example of this, and we are very happy that interwebs has allowed us to connect. Here is her story! Thanks for sharing with us all, Melyssa!! Be sure to visit Melyssa's blog, too.

i guess it's official by calitexican

i want to ride my bicycle by calitexican

i started my love affair with bikes about 20ish years ago after i learned how to ride my two wheel bike in a matter of hours. no training wheels for me! i would then ride my bike to the park with a book every day after school and read until dusk. then i would ride home. funny how some things never change! this nerd still loves bikes and books in parks. this was about second grade, so i guess i was about 7 or 8 years old.

fast forward to 2000. i had never been to the west coast before. my friend and i traveled up and down the left coast from SF to seattle on our bikes. that was lots of fun, and my bike, anita, came with me back to texas and then up to brooklyn then back to berkeley when i moved to go to law school. she was named anita after little orphan annie since we moved around a lot (and she was red).

anita was stolen in berkeley. sad face, but i was ready for an upgrade. then i got bici, my first road bike (a specialized dolce sport). bici was always around, but i didn't really start riding her daily until after law school. a lot happened in and right after law school, including coming down with a particularly bad case of major depression. i was prescribed pills to help me out, and they did make me sleep (something i had a lot of problems doing), but they didn't really make me feel much of anything.

i started riding bici one day after i got one job last year where it didn't really make sense to travel by public transportation. i knew i needed the exercise, "so why not?" i thought to myself. after a couple of weeks i noticed a marked improvement in my mood. this is saying a lot since i had been living with major depression 2 years at this point. i felt better, the pounds started shedding, and i felt stronger. i told/tell my friends riding bici is the best anti-depressant ever. i honestly attribute the change in my mood to riding my bike, and for this i will forever be grateful.

bici and i were riding around so much that i realized that she might be a tad too small for me. my knees hurt a lot, so i took a break from riding her during the short rainy winter we just had. i was torn with the idea of selling bici to get another bike. i started looking at mixtes so i could have more of a range to choose from since i'm pretty short and i wasn't sure what was going on with my knees.

one day i was riding around with a new partner in bike-riding-crime, and we saw a mixte outside a bike shop. she was pretty beat up, but she had a front basket and a back rack. i wanted a bike that was more of a grocery getter, and she fit the bill. i've had her for a couple of months now. best of all, i don't worry about her getting stolen AND i'm now a convert to steel frames. they feel like heaven in the city.

bici #2 has helped me out tremendously with my knee problems. i've also made some minor adjustments to bici #1 so my knees don't hurt as much when we ride around town. yay!

with bici #2, i'm also learning how to fix bikes. she's a centurion le mans mixte, and she's approximately as old as i am. she is starting to show her age, but i plan on making her turquoise and that should be a fun project.

so yeah, i'm a rider por vida man. it keeps me mentally & physically healthier than i was a few years ago. so yay for bikes! my lil pink bike with streamers and no training wheels, anita, bici #1 and bici #2 have all helped to show me the way.

change yr life! ride a bike!!

hola! by meligrosa


  1. Great post! I loved reading this one! S.

  2. Great story and pictures. As a lawyer too, the only thing that gets me up and to the office every day is my bike ride. (I think I need a new job.)

  3. I am so jazzed about this story! Bicycles are cool, but how we are able to use them as tools of self discovery is soooooooo much better!

  4. thanks guys! i am touched and flattered that you guys liked my story. i knew i had to share the mental health benefits of riding my bike because i am not sure if people think about using it as a tool to help ourselves out. and i wanted to share my story to inspire others who may be in a similar situation. medication is easily dispensed, therapy gets expensive, but riding around is just as great for you. and i just can't help but say it: i love my bike.

    thanks again!

  5. miz calitexican, Im so happy we are in the same city because your story is highly inspirational & I feel lucky that we (will, more in the near future :D) get to hang out. I still think is hilarious I met you and cpt.kirk that one day randomly at a rare time I rode in critical mass!! city es bien small <3 xo/m