This was the best weekend ever.
The kids woke this morning and asked to have the training wheels removed from their bikes. This came as a complete surprise because they really haven’t shown any interest in the bikes since last summer, preferring instead to cruise around on their scooters. We’ve tried to get the training wheels off with little success but this morning they both wanted to ride without the outriggers.
Within a few very short minutes, they were riding up and down our street with little or no assistance. It was as if they decided “today is the day I’m going to ride a bike like a grown up,” much like toddlers decide they’re going to be potty trained. It has to be their idea.
After lunch, we set out for a park with a long, paved multi-use trail for them to practice on. Sammy needed some assistance to get going, but Rob took off and was instantly at the head of the pack.
Once going, Sam did very well, too, considering it was her first outing without the training wheels. What a joy having them ride beside me.
Rob seems to have some natural talent. He’s very relaxed on the bike and has already figured out how to absorb bumps by lifting his butt off the saddle. He had a ball riding in the grass, and even got out of the saddle to tackle a little hill.
I was amazed to see him ride in tight figure-eights to show off his ability to turn the bike by leaning. I wonder if all the rides on the Burley Piccolo have contributed to a sense of comfort leaning over.
We rode in the park for about two hours, ending on a nice stretch of gravel which they handled without batting an eye.
I’m so proud and shocked by the rapid progress they made. It’s as if someone updated their “cycling firmware” overnight and gave them instantaneous skills. Their ability to ride opens up a host of vacation possibilities.
Last night, I spent my first night in my new Tarptent Moment, which I bought for bike packing. At just a hair over two pounds, it sleeps one and sets up in about 2 minutes. It’s easily the fastest pitching tent I’ve ever owned or been in. It is ventilated extremely well. I slept in a 40 degree down bag with a cap on my head in the low 40’s last night with both doors open and did not experience a drop of condensation. And I was plenty warm. I can’t wait to strap it to a bike and head into the woods.
And finally, Friday wasn’t bad either. I successfully defended my doctoral dissertation. It took Way longer than it should have to get to this point, but I made it. I made it with a lot of support, encouragement and love from many special people in my life. Thank you.
Now I can finally plan a vacation without school work hanging over my head and making me feel guilty and nauseated about not having finished. Somehow I think the vacation will involve some form of cycling now that everyone can ride independently.