Our newest fun family hobby of choice is bike riding. We'd tried riding all together in the past, but Asher couldn't keep up at all on his trike--which meant that I was pulling him and Lila in the bike trailer. Ha. After going up the hill out of our neighborhood, I was huffing and puffing--but not blowing any houses down. And I was literally having a difficult time riding slow enough to stay by Asher. We also tried having the boys ride while Ryan and I walked with the stroller. Now we were too slow. But when Reed learned how to ride his new, bigger bike with no training wheels a few months ago and Asher graduated from the trike to the bike with training wheels and both boys were sufficiently proficient riders, we decided to give family bike rides another try.
For one of our first trips, we decided to bike to Walgreens to pick out a movie for family movie night. I'm not sure this decision was among our best decisions to date. Because, as it turns out, Walgreens is 1.5 miles downhill from our house. Riding those 1.5 miles downhill was not bad at all until we got to the Durango/Blue Diamond intersection, which boasts NO SIDEWALK. No sidewalk! And this intersection is large and busy. Our trip down Durango and across the street was a little bit terrifying. But we made it to Walgreens, picked out our movie (The Lego Movie) (it was awesome) (parenthetical statements) (poor grammar), grabbed two powerades to re-hydrate ourselves and a bag of animal crackers to distract Lila from screaming, then broke the news to the boys: it was time to ride back home. Uphill.
We took a smarter route to somewhat bypass the Durango/Blue Diamond intersection of death, then were on our merry way. Except we weren't quite as merry as we were on the trip to Walgreen's. Asher was hot and tired. He was also hot. And really tired. Did I mention he was hot and tired? Eventually, we sent Ryan ahead while I rode the slower pace with the kids. He returned 10ish minutes later with the car to rescue us! Apparently Reed didn't want to be rescued, though, so Ryan took the two tiny ones (Ash and Lila) and Reed and rode the rest of the way home. Honestly, lightened of my Lila burden and able to bike at Reed's faster pace, the ride home was not bad at all.
For our next bike trip, we had a more ideal destination in mind: Reed's elementary school. The ride is 1.2 miles, but is relatively flat. And the uphill parts of the ride come on the trip out, not back. We got to the school without incident, then spent some time weaving through the obstacle course of cones in the parking lot. Our only mishap came when Ryan and Reed tried to go off-roading and Reed bailed in the rocks. Oops.
One Saturday while Ryan was at work, I decided to take the kids bike riding by myself. I was a little nervous because Ryan usually sticks with Reed at a faster pace while I hang back with Asher, whose little legs just don't go quite as fast as Reed's. But we worked out a system where Reed would ride ahead, still within my vision, and would pause occasionally for us to catch up. We made it all the way to Forbuss with no complaining, then took a break in the shade for a drink of water. (I'm not going to lie, I was pretty proud of myself for remembering the water bottles.) The only complainer on the way home was Lila--not that I blame her. She is trapped in a bike trailer.
We've been on a few other family bike rides, usually to Forbuss (because we live close to nothing else!), and have always ended the same way: very hot and sweaty. We need fall to come, stat. Anyway, we like to follow up our bike rides with popsicles while we park ourselves in front of various fans and try to remember why we thought spending time outside was a good idea at all.
But really, we love where we live.