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Archive for July, 2008

Bike the Drive 2008

Well, Grace and I both made it to “the cookie ride” this year. We had a great time. On the ride this year with us were Paul and Kenneth , two friends of mine from the burbs.

She was a little disappointed by the scarcity of cookies – for some reason I thought there were more cookie stops than just the two at the Museum of Science and Industry and up at Wilson Av. Usually Grace, like a lot of other four year olds, has trouble sitting still and focusing. However, when she gets on the tag-a-long, it seems like all her nervous energy goes into pedaling and she actually gets a more contemplative. She seemed to take in a lot of the scenery.

Going south to the Museum was a bit difficult at first. Grace is not a morning child, and she was crabby and a bit hungry to start out. We shared a Clif bar, and as we went along, she got more comfortable. People along the way remarked at how much she was pedaling. I honestly think it soaked up the energy – if she weren’t pedaling, she’d have been fidgeting somehow ;-)
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Bicycle Sleeper

We went on vacation last week to McHenry County in Illinois. Grace is now 4 years old, and she loves going out on the bike with me using a Burley Piccolo (a tag-a-long) that has six gears and attaches to my bike frame through a special rack behind the seatpost. Last Monday, she had a busy day hiking with Jen and I through Moraine Hills (I carried her on my shoulders for the last mile) and playing in the pool. That evening I wanted to go for a ride myself, but she begged to go, and I relented. So we got in the car and drove to a point on a bike path, hooked up the tag-a-long and off we went.

We headed through Glacier Park, which is a very beautiful area with a limestone and dirt path and minimal car crossings. The ride is very straight and uniform, the sun was hanging low in the sky, and the evening was warm. After about 3 miles, she started to feel like a loose sack of potatoes back there, so I asked her if she was OK and if she wanted some water. I didn’t get a reply, but I could see that she was sitting up in the rear-view mirror, and occasionally she looked from side to side, so I continued to the end of Glacier Park. At a road crossing there, I stopped and turned around fully: Grace was fast asleep, and yet gripping the handlebars tightly. While I stood there contemplating this turn of events, she gently swayed to one side and the righted herself, all with her eyes firmly closed.

So I did what any loving father would do in that situation, 4 miles from the car on a bike: I took out the water bottle and gave her two good squirts. Grace woke up startled an said, “Daddy, why did you squirt me?” I explained that it wasn’t really a good idea to fall asleep on the tag-a-long, and we really didn’t have any other options other than the bike for getting back before dark. So I turned around and we sang “Wheels on the Bus” all the way home to make sure she stayed awake.

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