This afternoon, my bicycle came up from the basement, where it’s been for at least a decade. Mr. Chili pumped up the tires (which, amazingly, held the air) and dusted the major cobwebs off and Beanie, Punkin’ and I went for a little ride. We headed off down the street and through a couple of cul-de-sacs, all of us getting a feel for our “new” bikes (Punkin’ is the only one with a NEW bike – an early gift for her tenth birthday; Beanie has Punkin’s old bike and, like I said, I’ve not been on my bicycle in so long that it felt like a brand new experience).
I was surprised by how much I enjoyed being out there with my daughters. We had a lovely, leisurely pedal; we didn’t have a particular destination in mind and the point, really, was to spend some time getting accustomed to our respective rides, but the journey was wonderful. The weather is just about perfect today, our route didn’t have any hills to speak of, and we didn’t have any time constraints. In short, it was an entirely lovely time.
Punkin’ goes off to middle school (gasp! MIDDLE school!) in September. The middle school is exactly 1.2 miles from the Chili homestead (I clocked it from the car when I went to parent orientation night), and I’m thinking that her commute to school is a perfect opportunity for us to bike together. We’ll have to get her a Fort Knox lock for her bike, though, because I don’t think that I can manage getting it home after the trip, but that’s certainly manageable. I won’t mind getting up early enough to go with her (and I can get a bit more workout by continuing home the “long” way – which includes two hills) and I think that it’d be a good chance to be casually alone together – just she and I – to allow for conversation and, well, just mother-daughter-ness. As her teenager-hood fast approaches, I think this alone time is going to be more and more precious and important.
I brought my bike to the local shop for a cleaning and a tune up. I’m going to need a new helmet and a more comforable seat, but I’m already looking forward to the time I’ll have pedaling with my family.