I first fell in love with asphalt as a child. Our forty acre farm was my whole world, and our blacktop driveway was my personal runway. It was very black and perfectly smooth. And huge.
We used to lay out cushions and books to create obstacle courses we'd run on our polyurethane skateboards. I learned to rollerskate there. And, at the late blooming age of eight, I learned to pedal a bicycle there.
When it was wet, you could see the whole sky in the driveway. It seemed so slippery I was sure I could run and land on my knees and slide like Pete Townsend, who wasn't in the Who yet. As it turns out, it wasn't slippery enough and I experienced my first road rash.
Oh, if that driveway could tell stories. I guess I can instead. It was the launch pad for my first short road rides. As soon as my parents would leave for an errand, I'd jump on my red JC Penney ten-speed and head west on Buffalo Road.
Buffalo Road is the busy highway that connects Rochester and Buffalo, New York. It features two very busy lanes, filled with traffic that includes semi trucks. The small shoulder was my escape for the twenty minutes I had before Mom and Dad returned and I'd push to make it further than the tine before on each try.
This is where my roadie roots originate.