ET: The best bike movie ever

ET still inspires kids to take flight on their bikes.

“I want to ride like ET,” said Jamar, during bike club last week.

“You mean that you want to fly?” I asked.

“Yes.”

Thank you Jamar for reminding me of the best bike movie ever.

In the movie’s most famous scene, a gang of bike-riding kids outmaneuver the cops to protect their friend ET. Kids ride like the wind through back alleys and roads and take flight from berms. All the while, Spielberg keeps the camera on the kids’ feet as they furiously pedal.

Anyone who’s ever ridden a one speed bike can relate to this scene. Flight does seem possible and Spielberg captures this feeling perfectly. The dazzling moment where Elliot flies away with ET loaded in his basket captures what all kids intuitively know–that anything is possible on a bike.

That’s exactly how I remember biking as a kid and it’s the primary reason why I started Bike for Life.

Jamar rides like the wind toward the capital.

When I was growing up, every kid in my neighborhood had a one speed bike. Just like in the movie, we rode to the park, the pool, to school and to the grocery store. We owned the road and knew all the cracks, potholes and short cuts along the way. We rode like our lives depended on it, even when it didn’t. If something happened, we’d be ready and NO ONE would catch us.

At 10 years old, we ruled the neighborhood and that’s all that mattered.

Bike for Life teaches kids the joy of biking as transportation. While we can’t take as many shortcuts as I took as I kid, we still go places that cars can’t go. We cruise the bike paths, careen under bridges, bump along the grass in the park, and get rock star parking at the grocery store.

We teach kids that you can go anywhere and do anything on a bike.

And, if you’re lucky, you might even take flight.

Thanks Jamar for the reminder.

The fall session of Bike for Life is now over, but you can still ride your bike well into winter. Stay tuned for more fall and winter adventures. 

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