I haven’t had a bicycle of my own since I left home almost 16 years ago. But I want one. I like cycling rather a lot. I see the many upsides, both in terms of me getting exercise and the planet not having to choke on car exhaust fumes because I’m driving. Whenever I pass by a bike shop I eye the pretty, shiny bicycles with envy.
There’s been a bit of a hitch in my cycling dreams, though. Or, more accurately, two hitches – my lovely children, Hannah and Jacob. Whereas I could see riding my bike on a solo outing, I have a hard time picturing myself loading up two children, with a combined weight of almost 65 pounds, and towing them along behind me. Uphill. When I haven’t ridden regularly in over a decade. You see what I’m saying? Even if I had a bike and a bike trailer, I would prefer a gentler re-introduction.
Jacob has cycling dreams of his own
But things recently started looking up for my bicycle dreams. Hannah decided that two-wheelers are for 5-year-olds. Not 4-year-olds, she refused to even entertain the notion before her birthday. Now that she is 5, though, her grandparents gifted her with a very sparkly bicycle of her own, and she loves it. She wants to take off the training wheels and learn to ride it properly. And when she is on that bike, she is fast.
Suddenly, the vision in my head is of Hannah on her own bicycle, and me pulling only 20-month-old Jacob in a trailer. It feels much more manageable to me. I think I could actually manage that. The mere idea does not make me break out in hives, or cause phantom muscle pain in my legs.
Hannah on her new two-wheeler
Working up a little speed
I think it will be a while, yet, before Hannah has the cycling skills to really ride along. We would have to start on side streets, of course, and work our way up. But I definitely see the first glimmers of how it would work. And that’s enough for me, because if I’ve learned anything as a mom, it’s that things change before you know it. If I see the hints of how I could ride my bike places now, I’ll blink my eyes a few times and I’ll be ready to actually attempt a trip to the library or the grocery store with kids in tow.
I’ll just need to track down the prettiest bike ever for myself, first. I’m thinking powder blue right now, with a basket in the front. And maybe some handlebar streamers. Why should kids get all the bicycle bling? In the meantime, if you have older kids I’d love to hear when they were old enough to actually ride their bikes alongside you. What skills did they have to master first? What kind of learning curve was there? Tell me all about it!
PS – On a completely unrelated note, do you remember when I wrote my passionate post and entered the Mabel’s Labels BlogHer contest? Whether you do or not, I am tickled to say that I am in the top 10. Thank you so much to the contest judges – I am really, truly flattered!