Monday, May 11, 2009


My mother's day was spent exactly as I requested it: a bike outing at Ohiopyle State Park, riding the rail trail there. The experience increased my craving to go on a long-distance bike ride - an overnight, plus - but also increased my realism level about this.

First, no matter how fun I think it is going to be, no matter how happy I am, there will still be whining. Despite the fact that Emily first biked at age 4 and Hazel at 5, despite their general intrepidness, they still were far happier to stop at streamside than to keep on biking to new and beautiful scenery.

Second, the importance of preparation. We learned early that kids can be lured anywhere with a backpack full of food, but beyond that, though I had a tire patch kit, Brian had to take Hazel's tire to the river to find the hole. Next trip I'll have liquid soap for that; next trip I'll have kid-size innertubes, too.

The trip, whether I manage to plan it for this year or next, will involve difficult moments and triumphs, and nature will be both the fun and the refuge. Emily, above, was grouchy at the long distance (0.5 miles in) and sitting alone. But below, 3 stops later, she's happy again. We fixed the flat on Hazel's bike; we stopped for ice cream; we went farther than we thought they could. We all won, especially me.

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