In the six days since we bought Claire a new bike, we’ve been on three really good rides.
Okay, so it’s not hardcore, but it’s a better average than we’ve tracked in the past nine years.
The girl is growing like a weed… much to her frustration. “I don’t want to be tall!” She’ll exclaim every time me mention her size, usually in the context of new clothes or (case) needed a new bike. Her old bike, a solid Norco kids cycle with an eighteen inch wheelbase ha seen it’s share of asphalt, but by last year her knees were nudging the handlebars and she complained constantly about it.
We went on a neighbourhood ten klick route last year and by the end of it you’d think she’d cycled to the moon for all the complaining she was doing. To be fair, it was pretty small. And it had just one gear, so… slow, exhausting, and frustrating.
We found ourselves bike shopping last weekend, the first day of April and the snow barely cleared from the paths. And the result was a sparkly, new, last-season clearance deal: twenty-six inch frame with twenty-four gear speeds and the most important thing (for a nine-year old girl) a little silver bell for the handlebars.
So, since then we’ve been on three really good rides.
Around the park mostly, but multi-lap practice sessions that I didn’t feel like “we traipsed out here for THAT!”
And then one to the river valley. I snapped the bike rack onto the truck and loaded up our two cycles and we pothole-dodged down to the lot of the dog park where we used to take Sparkle so often but where now I found myself unloading two bikes onto the still-fresh asphalt path leading over to the new bridge.
Six klicks later, through the woods across the new connector trail joining the two pedestrian river crossings, and enough of a sample of the summer-to-come for a kid who was literally bouncing with excitement over her newfound joy on two wheels.
If April is shaping up as an example for the summer, I might need to upgrade my own clunker.