As a child, I did not have much control over my life. This is true about most children. I did not miss freedom too much, not having consciously known what it feels like. But I hated being told what to wear. I hated being told that I had to like certain things.
I remember this one time we went shopping & my mum wanted me to buy a specific set of clothes. I did not like it very much but I was convinced it's really good. So I caved & said okay. The dress was bought. I wore it maybe three times before burying it into the most remote corner of my wardrobe shelf. Mum was busy enough to not notice its disappearance. But she did say it out loud one day, that I barely wear that nice dress she picked for me.
Oh well. She did notice.
So when I learnt cycling, taught most patiently by my dad, I took to it with unparalleled zeal. Cycling was freedom. And I had finally tasted it. Wind in my hair, any road open to me if I had the time to explore it, my ability to escape quickly if an exploration go too threatening: freedom.
Which is why I still have a cycle. I may not ride it as much. But it's a comfort to know I have my escape waiting close at hand.