So this next item was quite the adventure! No really…I didn’t think we’d actually end up doing it.
Bike Ride with Colton (07/01/12)
Here’s a bit of back story:
I own a road bike…that I use to train (when I train) for the MS150, and to ride the MS150. I have the pedals that require the shoes with clips, but I didn’t think this would be the best for a bike ride with Colton. Here’s why:
Colton learned to ride a bike a few years ago, on this little bitty bike with I think 16″ wheels. His dad bought him a new bike about a year and a half ago, but Colton wasn’t quite tall enough for it, so he continued to ride the little bike. Then he got bored and rode his scooter. So, he hasn’t ridden a bike in over a year. I’ve mentioned to him lately that I wanted us to start going for bike rides, that it would be a lot of fun to ride all over the neighborhood and go back in the wooded trails. He always came back saying he’d rather ride his scooter…and what it boiled down to was that he didn’t think he’d still know how to ride a bike and didn’t want to look stupid in front of his friends. I assured him that he would do fine, but if he wanted, we could drive somewhere with a parking lot and he could become re-acquainted with his bike. He wasn’t too keen on this idea.
So lately, I’ve been shopping around for a bike for me. Just a casual bike, not too expensive, and I didn’t need all the bells and whistles. Just a bike that I could ride around the neighborhood with Colt. Well, most of them were around $100 and I just couldn’t bring myself to buy one. So, I decided I would try out Mom & Dad’s ancient bikes. I think one’s a Schwinn and the other I couldn’t remember.
They’ve been sitting in our garage for years…who knows when the last time they’d been ridden. Last Sunday, I told Dad my idea, and we pulled one of the bikes out to air up the tires. Dad has an air compressor, so it was a pretty quick process. In the middle of him airing up the tires, I got nervous thinking it might pop. But he assured me that couldn’t happen. So we finished my bike, and I pulled out Colt’s big bike that had yet to be ridden. Dad aired up the first tire, no problem. We moved on to the second, and POP! He popped the tire! “I thought that couldn’t happen!” I joked. He laughed and said “Well, I guess it can. I’m sorry Deb.” Eh, no problem, I’ll just make a trip up to Academy and get another tube. So, off I went…I bought two, just in case. 🙂 I got back and we began what ended up being a 45 minute process of taking out the old tube and putting in the new tube, which required unscrewing the wheel from the bike and unattaching the chain. Well, we couldn’t get the darn thing back together. I thought Dad was gonna pinch my fingers more than once. So, I told him I’d do it. lol And I did. It was stressful. So, we aired up the tire, without popping it, washed all the cobwebs off my ancient bike, and off we went!
(Well, we had to first give Colt a quick lesson, which lasted maybe 5 minutes, to get him comfortable with riding a bike again. No biggie.)
We got over to the next street before Colt’s chain came loose. So, I fixed it, and off we went! Then about 3 houses down, it came loose again. I knew the wheel was sliding in, allowing the chain to slip because it wasn’t pulled tight. A guy saw we were having trouble, came over with his wrench, and fixed it. And we were off! For real this time!
I had big plans to go pretty far, past his school which is over 2 miles from our house, and who knows where else. Well, Colt was not quite “steady”, shall we say. I spent the whole ride giving him pointers: “Stay to the right of the road.” “Be careful of the parked car, we’ll need to go around it, but still stay to the right of the road.” “Ok, let’s get on the sidewalk now, but stay to the right of the sidewalk.” “Keep your bike steady, quit moving all over the place.” “The sidewalk is kinda curvy, and with the trees we won’t always be able to see people coming towards us.” “Stay to the right!” “Watch out for that rider up ahead.” “Stay to the right!” “Stop!!” “Don’t look off to the side, because when you do you start to move that direction.” “Let’s focus on just looking ahead. Once you are more comfortable, we can start observing the scenery.” “Stay to the right!” “Stop!” “Be careful!” “Stop at the end of the sidewalk and we’ll walk our bikes across the street.” “I said Stop at the end of the sidewalk!” “Stay to the right!” “Be careful of the riders up ahead, just stay steady, and Stay to the right!”
And so it went, for 4 miles. And then we turned around. I was already a bit stressed out. I don’t know how many times he threw his bike down and fell in the grass because he couldn’t stop fast enough. Or how many times I had to say “Stay to the right!” But he was having a great time, and wanted to keep going. He wanted to go to his friend’s house, and ride up to Kroger (at the front of our neighborhood), and go on the wooded trails. But I kindly told him that we would have plenty of time to do that on bike rides to come. That for now, we were just getting used to riding our bikes, but we could go on many more bike rides. And he was ok with that. 🙂 Oh yeah, several times I told him “Stop freaking out. You have to keep your bike steady or you’ll end up all over the place.” After about the third or fourth time of saying “Stop freaking out”, he waited about 10 seconds, and as calm as ever said “Mom, not to be rude or anything, but I think You’re the one that’s freaking out.” I said “Yeah, that’s because you keep almost getting yourself killed!”
We had a great time, and will definitely be going on many more bike rides.
As for my bike, it was a bit rickety, and a couple of times I was worried I wouldn’t make it home. (After so many sudden stops, to keep from running into Colt who had suddenly stopped.)
We’ll see. I’ll try out the other bike, and if that one doesn’t work, then I’ll invest in a new one. I did have my eye on a few at Academy.The important thing is, we had a lot of fun…and this is something we can do as a family whenever we want. Of course, it will be even better in the Spring and Fall when it’s not 100+ degrees outside. Also, I’ve crossed off another item on my list. Yippee!!