Sunday, June 20, 2004

First Ride to the Park

Yesterday the Little Boy and I had our first bike ride to the park. We had a couple of things to do before we could ride. I needed a tube for my bike, and we both needed a helmet. So we headed off to Wally-World (walmart) and picked ourselves out a couple of nice helmets. When I was a kid, we never wore helmets. We just didn't even think of it. However in California there is a law that was passed a couple years ago that says, 'if your under 18 years of age, you are wearing a helmet'. Of course, I have to have one too, I need to be a good example to the Little Boy. So now with helmets in hand we head to the bike shop to get my tubes.

So we get to the bike shop, locate the tubes, now business is taken care, of and the Little Boy and I can peruse the shop. Instantly we are magnetically attracted to some very nice bikes in our sizes. The one the little boy likes is a very nice aluminum trike, and I pick a very nice aluminum bike. After ten minutes of looking and wanting, and the Little Boy trying to take a test ride on the one he had picked out we decided that it would be financially responsible of us to pay for our parts and go. On the way out we see the new Trek Medone, which is the bike Lance Armstrong will be riding in the Tour de France. So I am looking up at it in awe, and the Little Boy reaches out and spins the rear wheel (Gasp) and he says "Cool!". That rear wheel cost more then both of our bikes combined. It made me laugh, I would of never reached out and spin the wheel, I knew how much it cost. He doesn't know dollar signs. So one wheel is just as good as another. And he was right, it was cool! On the way to the front a salesman asked us if we needed any help. I said, "I need to get my stuff and go before I buy something big and my wife divorces me", to which he said, "hey, stay awhile". Anyhow we got our stuff and headed for home.

Once we are home we get to work on changing out my tube and getting our new helmets fitted and adjusted. Everything it working good, everyone is safe, so we are off. The goal is to make it to the park and back. The park is about five blocks from the house on very residental streets. So here is how it played out. My plan was to keep The Little Boy between me and the curb. I would act as the buffer between him and any traffic that we may happen upon. He would start to pedal, so I would get in the pedals (my bike has toe-clips, I am so glad I didn't go with clipless, it would of killed me on this ride), then he would pedal about 20 feet, and the stop and make the "errrt" stopping noise when he was stopping. We did this no less then 15 times. This is when we (me) came up with our riding matra, "Pedal, Pedal, Pedaallll". Now this isn't to be said loud in an unkind fashion. It must be chanted in a comical tone to receive the desired results. Which is the Little Boy pedaling further than 20 feet before stopping. So about 10 to 15 minutes after we started we got to the park. Granted when I walk to the park it takes 5 minutes, but it was a victory none the less.

Now that we made it to the park we would ride around a little. Our park has a very nice paved path that is just perfect for kids to ride their bikes around. We made about 4 loops. After each loop we would stop at a picnic table and have a drink from my water bottle. I showed the Little Boy how it works, and it just tickled him. I am going to have to get him one for his very own. (especially if Cheetos are involved in the snacking process). After our 4th victory lap around the park My Beautiful Wife pulls up and tells us about a yard sale just a couple of house down. So she parks in front of the house, and gets out, and Calls to the Little Boy, and I right there next to him chatting our matra got him to ride not stop to her. Which was almost 200 feet away from the park. Sure I only had to pedal four times, but it was four good ones and I was proud. We looked at the yard sale for a little bit, and then decided (it was lunch time, our tummies decided) it was time to go home and get something to eat.

The Little Boy was really pumped up for the ride home. He looked and me and said, "Let's ride fast". With the pace that we had going to the park, I took this to mean lets go 40 feet before we hit the brakes and make the "errrrt" sound. However to my surprise he pedaled a good two blocks before needing a little rest. Once rested he said, "Let's ride fast", to which I replied "I will ride as fast as you can go". And he would pedal (I would let off the brakes and coast) for a good little bit, and then need little rest. Lets face it, it is tough when you are little to pedal or walk any distance with out a little rest.  Anyhow we turned on to our street, and the Little Boy was just about done. With a lot of coaxing we got to the house. The poor Little guy didn't have the strength to pedal up the driveway. So I go off and helped push him up and in. He got off, sweating, and panting, ready for some rest. I got off, mentally more tired than any ride I had ever been on, but didn't even get winded. All and All one of the best rides I've ever been on.

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