Getting on my bike again

When we were little, my sister, brother and I used to bike all over our neighbourhood; all the kids did.  We’d go to school, to friend’s houses, to Becker’s and buy treats, or just for a cruise.  We’d also ride down to the creek to misbehave, but our favourite thing to do was ride the hill that was across the street from my parent’s house.  To the under ten crowd, it was steep and long, and we would ride up and down it all day long if we could.  I am pretty sure that all of the neighbourhood kids from that era still have bits of gravel embedded in their skin from wiping out on that hill.  I know I do, as does my sister.

My bike back then was one of the big banana seat bikes with the high handle bars and a sissy bar on the back.  I am sure that it was a hand-me-down from my sister or one of my parent’s friends, but it was still golden to me.  I could easily double on it in comfort, could carry loads of treasure, and rode it all over our community.  As I got older, I biked less and less, and eventually that bike made it up to the cottage, where we rode it down another big hill – a trip that always ended with a jump off the end of the dock into the lake, bike and all.

I was in my mid-thirties before I thought to bike again.  Willy is an avid cyclist, and it was important to him that the lils bike too.  I knew that setting a good example was one way to ensure this, so I took a chance on a bike that I saw posted on freecycle.  It turned out to be a great bike, and I was really starting to enjoy it when we moved to India; enough that I packed the bike up and brought it with me.  I left the bike with a friend when we moved home, so I needed a new bike this spring.

The bike that I bought is quite nice, and I have taken to riding it on most sunny days.  I go for a 30-50 minute ride that ends at the lils’ school, and we all bike home together.  When I first started to ride, I stayed close to home.  I found that if I rode on every street in my community once, the ride was about 30 minutes. This kept me away from traffic and busy streets, and offered enough.  A few weeks in, I found that I was getting bored with the scenery, and started to look farther afield. I knew that if I could just cross that one scary busy street, there was a whole other neighbourhood, and beyond it, the bike path.

Finally, late last week I made the leap.  I rode up to the traffic light, and boldly crossed the road (there is a joke in there somewhere) and meandered through the new neighbourhood to the bike path.  My rides since have been longer and much more of an adventure, and I find I am looking forward to the next ride before I have finished putting my bike in the garage as I arrive home.

I was feeling pretty proud of myself for crossing the big scary road.  Proud that is until Sunday; when Woo was out with Willy and I and asked if he could see where I had been riding.  He didn’t blink as we rode to the traffic light and safely crossed to the other side.  Then Monday, he and his dad went even further than I have ever been, and even crossed under the highway!  Suddenly I feel like I haven’t explored nearly enough.  At least I know he’ll be game to go with me if I want some company!

Category: life, Lils, Parenting | 2 comments

  • Amy says:

    I used to bike everywhere, all over our neighbourhood, and now I’m scared to even be near cars. How does that happen?

  • Willy says:

    I’m so looking forward to longer and farther trips. Goose will keep building up strength over the summer and I can see some fun times ahead for all of us.

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