Just Like Riding a Bike

images-82.jpegThis 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.



Filed under celebration, discoveries, general kid stuff, Home and Family, ruminating

4 responses to “Just Like Riding a Bike

  1. True story. My “son-in-law” Gerry typically rode his bike without a helmet. Various family urgings caused him to get one. The day he bought it, and was riding over to our house, his bike slid out from under him on a damp algae-grown sidewalk. He hit his head (helmet) and the thing cracked. He would have been brain-damaged or dead without it. I walked over to the spot where he’d slipped, the sidewalk was so slick I could barely stand up securely. I ain’t tellin’ no lie: very first time he wore the helmet it saved him!

    I wrote a letter to the neighborhood association, and there was a crew out scouring the “algae infested” sidewalks in a couple of days (of course, I wrote the letter on my legal letterhead, mentioned the possibility of a claim on Gerry’s part, alluded to the vast numbers of claims which doubtless would also occur–and graciously said that no cleanup would be used by me/Gerry as evidence of knowledge of danger, because we were so public-spirited that protecting others was crucial to us, blah, blah). Of course, we made no claim.

    Wear that helmet, make your kids wear ’em.

    Happy Memorial Day.

  2. Organic Mama

    What a lovely opportunity for bonding; sounds like a series of great memories in the the making with Punkin’.
    My bike is suspended from a hook in my basement, where is has been since last I used it (the summer before last). Its tires need some pumping, but the seat is relatively comfortable – not like Bob’s, whose idea of comfort revolves around his different equipment. I have been eying said bicycle since the weather improved and am looking forward to toodling around on it, probably huffing and puffing at least initially, to get into better shape. Shall we do some biking this summer?

  3. Gerry, I am a HUGE helmet proponant (as I am of seat belts and safety goggles). I can’t even back my car out of the garage to vacuum it without doing up my seatbelt, and I NEVER get on the seat of a bike – or allow my children to – without a helmet securely in place.

    The reason I need a new helmet is because Punkin’ has my old one (as I imagine she’s going to start appropriating my clothes in the not-too-distant future). The one I wore today was Mr. Chili’s and, if all goes well, he’s going to need his back pretty soon, so I’m going to have to get one for my pretty little noggin. The bike should be tuned up and ready by Thursday; I’ll buy a new helmet when I go to pick it up.

    Along the lines of “why should we expect behavior of our kids that we don’t model,” we very often see a family biking together. Mom’s got a helmet, the two small boys have helmets, the baby on the back of Dad’s bike has a helmet. Dad? No helmet. Apparantly, he is of the belief that his thick head is strong enough to sustain a crash. The girls pointed them out the last time they rode past the house, and the both pointed out the error of the dad’s ways. “YOU guys wear helmets,” they said, “because you like to be safe.”

    Yep – and there’s no stronger message we can send than to follow our own rules.

  4. The time you spend with your daughter now will help the two of you get through the coming hormone wars.

    Good job on the helmets too, although you are preaching to the choir here.

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