22 MayBicycling

Yesterday we put the tag-along bike on M1’s old bike (she’s grown into my old mountain bike, and her bike fits me better, though it’s not one of those bikes that helps you along, the gears feel crusty, etc). We went over to the school to practice tooling around. It was a learning experience for both M2 & I — she was very apprehensive about going “fast” which wasn’t very fast at all, and “nooo! If you go down the (tiny) hill, I will SCREAM!” When I laughed, she got off the bike and wouldn’t get back on until I promised not to go down the hill. I told her we’d pedal around the upper parking lot until she felt comfortable enough to go down the hill. After a while, I surprised her and we went around the hill (by going down another hill), then looped around and went up the hill. “WAAOOOOOOOHHOOOOOO! That was fast! Do it again!” Heh. So, eventually we went down the other hill, and then we went home after about an hour of pedaling around the parking lot.

We got the tag-along bike added to my electric bike today. First P & I went out for a short four mile ride to see what it was like to get down to the Burke, to gauge how we were going to get the girls down there safely. Having deemed it… ok, though a few cars didn’t really give much breathing space… about two miles in, I decided if I had to take the back rack off to get the tag-along on, then by golly, that’s just what we had to do. So glad I did. I think today’s ride would have been a lot less fun for me if I hadn’t had a little extra help, mostly in getting started at major intersections, and by about three miles in, and it was *awesome* on the last hill home.

Going one way down to the Burke is fine. The road has a wide shoulder in that direction, so there’s room to pull off safely if something needs fixed like shoelaces (an issue we encountered yesterday, but thankfully not today). On the way home, there is no shoulder and a narrow sidewalk that tends to actually get used by bicycles & pedestrians alike with not much safe passing space. Any error lands you in fast and aggressive traffic. My preferred route home, while much more uphill, is also back residential roads and much less traveled so it at least feels safer.

On today’s ride M2 was enthralled the entire time, and M1 had no problem keeping up (and on occasion even passing ahead of me). The recurring chant for the duration of the ride from my little backseat driver was, “Faster, Mommy! Faster! Faster! SUPER FASTER!” Gotta get that one on her own bike, then I can catch up the tail end of our little caravan, and she can try to keep up with P who claims, “I mostly coasted today.” So glad I could provide him with the hilly route on the way home a couple times so he had a small challenge. Heh.

Things I learned: it’s a challenge to balance for two people, one of whom doesn’t quite get the hang of balance yet. Steering, likewise can be a bit more of a challenge when the balance is slightly awry. I didn’t run into anyone/thing, but my direction wasn’t quite as stable as I wish it were. I expect this to improve, especially since while P & I were out this morning, M2 was apparently dedicatedly trying to figure out how to ride her own bike. The Ms were out in the culdesac when we got home, and we were informed she was THIS >< CLOSE! There was a showing while we were out today, they wanted to see the house, "between 1 & 3." Which. Whatever. As we were pulling up to the last leg of the ride home, we'd have gotten home about 15-20 minutes early. We decided to get ice cream fortification. Nom. It was the perfect time killer and we arrived home at 5 to 3. No idea if the realtor ever showed. If so, she didn't leave a card. Grar. But we had an awesome bike ride & the girls couldn't have done better, & P got to spend time with his newly beloved (his bike), and the rest of the family too.

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