I’ve long felt that the fact that neither of our kids are enthusiastic bikers is one of our Great Parental Failings. Both Cute W and I really like to bike. We brought the kids along early with a trailer and later the Trail-gator.
I think that part of the problem is that kids just bike less in general these days. I was thinking about a couple of my own most vivid biking-as-a-kid memories. The first was when I lived in Texas, so I was in 2nd or 3rd grade, and I was playing at my friend Haley’s house about a mile away until we had a fight, and I left her without telling anyone I was leaving. The second was one of my favorite past-times once we’d moved to New York, where we lived on a huge hill. I mean, the hill could serve as a blue trail at most Northeastern ski resorts, and I loved to barrel straight down it without a helmet. It occurred to me that if either of these happened today, I can imagine CPS getting involved.
We also live on a busy street. We have a sidewalk, but it’s cracked and bumpy, and then there’s a lovely smooth street with slightly too many cars going too fast on it. So the kids never really warmed up to biking.
Over the summer, J was bored-bored-bored on numerous occasions, and I made a list of things for her to do. One of them was just to bike more so that she’d feel more comfortable. And miraculously, it worked. She started tooling around the neighborhood, twisting and turning unnecessarily, and experimenting with lifting one hand off the handlebars. She was actually liking it! Hoorary. So I was feeling pretty triumphant about the whole thing and I planned to write a post about it. And in the interval in which I didn’t get around to writing the post, she’s decided that her bike is too small and M’s bike is too large and she’s going to boycott the whole process until Goldilocks or Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny delivers a bike that is just exactly right. Sigh. But it was a great couple of weeks, anyway.
Toward the end of summer we managed to fit in a last-minute art class for J with Maureen Sausa at Lions Park in Niskayuna.
The little train station building now houses a small art gallery, and apparently there will be more art classes coming–you can check Maureen’s Facebook page for updates. J and her new friends loved painting en plein air.
Reporting to the art class reminded me of the existence of the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail (I linked to the Facebook page because it seems more updated than the main site, but here’s a helpful list of access points to the trail from that site). I went there often when the kiddos were little. I remember that one of my first outings as a new mama was to meet a nursing group there, and I managed to get terribly lost and arrived 45 minutes late and sobbing. Ah. Good times.
In any case, I was excited to rediscover the bike-hike trail, because it really is lovely. Cute W, J, and I did a couple of biking excursions (M somehow always had some other social engagement). We liked jumping off the bikes and rambling into the twisty little trails as well, crossing over Balltown Road on that overpass before the Rexford Bridge (how had we lived here so long without ever having done that?), and biking to downtown Schenectady for the greenmarket. Hopefully we’ll do more biking whenever the Bike Fairy delivers A 24″ bike.