J and I went on our first bike ride of the season yesterday. We used our fabulous Trail-Gator. Oh, Trail-Gator! How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
- You bring all of the joy of “real” bike riding–the speed, the wind in the hair, the ability to easily ride in figure eights–to my not-quite-bike-riding child.
- You take away so much stress: the child isn’t afraid of falling, the parent isn’t waiting for a very slow pedaler or worrying that the kid will veer unexpectedly into traffic.
- You let kids be active participants in the biking so that they feel more grown up and included in a way that they didn’t in the kid bike seat or the trailer.
- You give kiddies the “feel” for bike riding so that they learn to ride on their own miraculously quickly and easily.
- You keep my daughter far enough away from me that she can no longer reach to tickle my belly flab like she did when she was in the bike seat.
- You are unusual enough that when we tool around town, people stop and make delighted remarks as if we are a very modest yet charming parade.
Oh, you beautiful contraption, you! I know that this is our last summer together. You’ll work your magic, I know, and by the end of the summer, J will heap scorn upon you as something for little kids. Please, don’t take it personally. It’s not you: it’s her. I will always remember you and our beautiful summer evenings together. You’ll always have a special place in my heart, but when we’re all ready to move on, it will bring me joy to help find someone else who’ll love you. . . .
Okay, I’m getting silly, but I do love this thing. We got on yesterday and I said, “Okay, J, do you remember how to do this?” and she answered, “Yes! Always go forward, never go back.” This made me laugh because we’d always remind her–it’s really not difficult to pull her along, unless she’s actively braking. If she starts to brake on our way up hill, well–that sucks. But generally, she’s pedaling, too, so it’s not bad at all–sometimes I even coast because she’s pushing me along. I’ve even seen a man biking around town with a child towed behind him and a trailer towed behind the child. Now that takes some muscle. Perhaps a teensy bit dangerous, yet also impressive.
So, if you’ve got a pre-bike-rider in your family, this is an excellent time to think about getting one of these. I’m pretty sure that Target and various other places have similar items, too.
There will be more about biking in our future, I’m sure, but meanwhile, I did stumble upon one time-sensitive item: If you know a spot that could use a bike rack, you can apply for a free or reduced-price bike rack from the Capital District Transportation Committee–complete an application by March 12.