Biking with the Kids
To date my kids have shown limited interest in biking. They both have decent bicycles and proper fitting helmets so we’ve eliminated those excuses for not wanting to ride.
It is a bit frustrating for us parents trying to set a good “active lifestyle” example. There are only a few activities that the whole family can do together that remain in the affordable category. Biking fits the bill.
Tonight we had a bit of a break through. After dinner I convinced the kids to take a short ride around the block. We did a 1km loop with Stefanie leading. In typical fashion, at least in our house, Andrew decides to lead for the next loop. Then he decides to stray onto the bike path. He must have been feeling adventurous. Before long he is leading us down through the woods towards Erindale Park.
It was a cool evening and the trail was in perfect condition. I’m sensing that the kids are starting to have fun. Stefanie noticed a large toad and we stopped briefly to check him out. Stef has a thing for frogs so she was pretty excited to see one.
I kept following along wondering when Andrew might turn around and head back. But he forged on. We arrived at the intersection of Mississauga Road and Dundas Street. Andrew takes a right and heads uphill following Dundas Street when things take a turn for the worse.
I had decided to ride the Schwinn Sierra this evening. I hadn’t noticed that the crank arm had started to loosen. I certainly noticed when it fell off the crank. Now the bike only had one pedal.
I experimented trying to pedal with one foot and it simply doesn’t work. I nearly always bring tools, money or a phone when I ride. Of course tonight I had brought nothing. Reality sets in that I’m stuck 5km from home, with two kids and no way to repair the crank. There is no choice but to walk the bike home. So walk is what I did.
The kids weren’t happy with this setback. They wanted to ride some more. It’s funny how the events had turned.
The kids pedaled ahead then they waited while I would eventually catch up. I tried putting Stefanie on my bike and pulling her while riding her bike. That was unstable and I feared we might collide or become tangled. I gave up on that idea quickly.
The kids ended up stopping at a playscape along the trail. They played while I continued to walk then they caught back up with me.
This story does have a happy ending.
We ended up returning home an hour and a half after we set out for our “trip around the block”. We rolled in just as it got dark. The kids admitted that they enjoyed the ride and had fun stopping at the park. We all got some exercise and covered almost 10 km together.
Stefanie really enjoyed riding the dirt trails. Later I told her about the dirt trails at Hilton Falls and she expressed interest in maybe going there some time. Andrew said he would like to try the same loop again when I could ride instead of walk.
There might be a next time very soon. I’m feeling a small sense of victory.