I purchased a bike several weeks ago, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities to cross train that it has provided. I’ve used it to commute to work. I’ve used it to get to the Wellness Center for workouts. I’ve used it to run errands. I’ve pedaled all around town, burning up calories and strengthening my thighs in the process. Today, I learned that others have bikes also, and that they are overly anxious to ride around town with me. Meet my newest riding partners, Danny and Jocie!
My nephew Danny was celebrating his 8th birthday today with the customary party which included cake and ice cream. Danny’s special gift for the day was a brand new bicycle from his parents. I knew it was special when we pulled up to his house and discovered Danny waiting in the driveway to show us how great his new bike was.
After eating cake and ice cream, and watching Danny and Jocie viciously attack a piñata, I suggested that the two of them join me for a bike ride. Sue drove me home, and I rode back down to their house on my bike only to find Danny waiting for me once again in the driveway with his bike. He shouted to the house for Jocie to join us, and after a brief picture, we were on our way!
I’m used to riding around town with my head down, pedaling like a maniac, traveling from point to point as quickly as possible. Jocie taught me that hydration was more important than speed when she insisted that we stop for a water break four blocks from the house. This practice continued throughout our seven mile adventure, probably contributing to the need to stop at Lincoln Park for a rest room break.
Danny wanted to lead the way, and even though he was still a bit unsteady on his new bike, he spent most of the afternoon speeding on ahead. The two wanted to stop to investigate a vague walking path leading down into a hidden area immediately off the Greenway. The three of us then headed into the dense undergrowth only to discover a discarded pair of “Fruit of the Loom” underwear lying in a clearing. At another location, Jocie confided to me that she had never seen the inside of a “porta potty” and pleaded for the opportunity to investigate the one that sat beside Lincoln Park Golf Course. She quickly bolted for the blue plastic shed and returned to report that it smelled like cherry, her favorite scent.
The highlight of the trip was when Danny and Jocie walked their bikes to the top of the dike, then rode them down the steep embankment, screaming like their hair was on fire on the way down. Danny took a spill while trying to stop at the bottom, and ended up with a scrape on his knee and elbow. Jocie didn’t take a spill, but her trip took her to the edge of the mowed area, mere inches from tall weeds that certainly would have maimed her!
Both Danny and Jocie were beaming with excitement and exhaustion when we pedaled into their driveway a few hours later. Danny showed his Mom his brand new scrapes, and Jocie shared with her Dad how close she was to certain disaster! They headed into their house for dinner, while I took off for home, ready to prepare a dinner of my own.
Today’s ride turned out to be my slowest yet, but also my most enjoyable by far! Thank you Danny and Jocie for teaching me what it means to really ride a bike!