Responsible parenting and leadership are a start. In between reaching for the sky (Toy Story rocks).

Screw the darkness. I prefer the lightness of Pop.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Never Say Never to Ever

In 1975, my sister and I rode our bikes over four miles round trip to school and back home again. I was 10 years old and she was 8. We rode through what was at the time part new housing development and part walnut orchard. In fact, the last half mile to school was through a creepy walnut orchard, one where legend spoke of a scary orchard owner who would shoot you onsite with a shotgun full of rock salt.


Fortunately for us, we never ran into said scary orchard owner with shotgun. Never happened, and I don't remember any of our friends who rode or walked through the orchard every running into anyone near that description. No, each round trip was pretty uneventful, just to and from school, though the chilly fog of winter, and the super hot of early summer and fall.

We rode our bikes everywhere. To the nearby mall, to the donut store after I finished by paper route, to baseball and flag football practice. To school and back. Everywhere.

I've had a bicycle most of my life, and then after the Mama (what I lovingly call my wife) and I got together, we had our own bikes that we rode along the ocean where we live. Considering how environmentally and health conscious folks are here in Santa Cruz, we were only hobbyist bike riders during the warmer months. A lot of hiking, running and walking year round, but not much bike action.

Then we had two children, and our bikes sat for years rusting under plastic tarps in our backyard. Even after our girls started experimenting with little bikes with training wheels and a tiny push bike without pedals, they weren't big fans. I'm sure that had something to do with the fact that we weren't riding our bikes, and they didn't really ride with other friends either. Needless to say, bike-to-school day isn't a big hit with the B-hive. We really thought we'd never be a biker family some day.

Plus, we're really too far away and live down a big hill for them to ride their bikes to their school, and unlike when we were little, they wouldn't be riding by themselves for years to come, even if they did dig their bikes. That's a whole other post about traffic and safety and free-range resistance for another time.

Beatrice started riding a razor scooter more than a bike, and Bryce preferred the non-pedal tiny racer bike, and that's where we've been for some time now. Flitting around here and there on the street above us or an empty parking lot below us was the extent. And then, a new boldness took hold, and the girls wanted to start going down the little hill on our street -- very, very fast. Of course, being the good parents we were, we watched out for cars while they burned rubber and tore around the corner off the hill.

One thing led to another, and when I was on one of my work trips, Beatrice and Bryce both wanted to start riding their bigger bikes (that were rotting in the garage). Just like that. Presto.

Who'd a-thunk we'd be dusting off and pumping up the tires of our decaying bikes and adjusting our bike helmets once again to join in on the bike-riding fun. As adults, we're too quick to say "forget it -- no way" when it comes to trying new or old things and taking risks and simply just making the time to do it. Never say never to ever when it comes to your kids, that's for dang sure. More #BhivePower for me, please.

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