Monday, August 27, 2012

Ice Cream Wimp

Being the overbooked parents we are, both our boys were late to their bicycle competence.  Each of them had resigned themselves to scooters forever, even after their friends had mastered no-training wheels a couple of summers earlier, since it appeared their parents would never take the time to get them past that last hurdle of balance.

I am pleased that we did finally manage to get them both past this block, so that they can both ride confidently around the neighborhood.  I blogged about Teddy finally getting there, but was too busy to blog Barley's achievement last summer.

They've mostly been confined to the inner and outer loops of our very small little neighborhood.  When Teddy's middle school friends are riding to and from school on their own, in the rain, in the dark, in and out of traffic, we're still leery of it all.  There is a very busy road between us and the school and most of Teddy's friends, and we are just now getting comfortable with allowing Teddy to visit his friends without us in broad daylight, by bike.

Imagine our stunned surprise and chagrin, when we left Barley, 3 years younger, with a babysitter one evening and learned she had taken him on a 5-mile ride to a not-so-close park along that same busy street!  At dusk!  She had asked for permission to take him bike riding, and had he indicated any interest at all in putting down his handheld video game, we would have outlined rules, like "only inside the complex".  He told us he didn't want to ride bikes, so we shrugged and left.

The sitter apparently took that for permission, and somehow cajoled him into getting on the bike.  What with her legs being so much longer than his, and knowing how "close" the park was, they got there before dark, taking lots of breaks.  Barley was very excited to tell us about his adventure the next morning!  

So, well, the bike lanes are huge around this area.  And the shopping center with Baskin Robbins ice cream is not nearly so far away (2 miles?), so when Barley suggested we try riding there Saturday afternoon, I thought it sounded achievable.  We agreed  we would not actually buy ice cream this time, just see if we could do it.

Well, I about died!  OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but close.  I guess my 2.5X weekly elliptical workouts at the gym (average 20 minutes each) are NOT rigorous enough, because I pooped out halfway there.  I pushed myself a little further, and estimate we made it about 2/3 way before I called it quits and had us both ride home again.  (In hindsight, bringing cash, pushing to get there, and then resting for 20 minutes eating ice cream would have been a much better plan.  Doh!)

We practiced good safety, and made it home, hydrated and hale.  Well, maybe I had to rest another 20 minutes at the neighborhood park while Barley rode home and got me some more water, but, well, we survived.  It is my new goal to get in shape to be able to complete that ride before Barley ends elementary school.  It's a memory I'd like to etch for both of us, before he gets too old to want to do that anymore.

In my defense, my cheap ToysRUs bike was also having issues.  I need to tighten the handlbars and raise the seat--I felt like I was riding a clown bike, and so was probably working harder than I needed to be.  Barley was full of energy after our adventure--not even winded AT ALL.  Punk.


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  2. Punk indeed! Ok, I'll sign on to that goal; by the end of this school year, we'll have a family ride down for ice cream! No reason why we shouldn't be able to make it that far, assuming we get your bike street-ready.


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