Lessons in Urban Biking
1. Sidewalks are not suitable for bike riding. They are often bumpy and cracked and covered with debris. Sometimes they disappear altogether.
Charlotte kept saying, “This is going to be bumpy,” as she rode over trash and sticks and rocks.
2. That smell means there is an animal rotting somewhere near you.
And while that squirrel is pretty fresh and cute and looks like a stuffed animal. We are not going to touch it or learn about it’s anatomy at this time.
3. When you fall, you must get back up and on the saddle again.
I know there will be many more falls in the future.
4. When you take off your helmet, your hair will be sweaty and matted to your head. This is often referred to as helmet head. Own it. It’s a much cooler way to identify with the bike riding population than wearing spandex.
“Let’s pretend to bike to Target.” Really, Charlotte? That’s where you want to go in your fantasy? Upon further questioning, she made it clear she wanted to go to get gummy bears and fruit snacks (thanks, Uncle Daniel and Grandma). When we got to where she said the store was, she said, “Please help me take my helmet off to go to the store.” She clasped her helmet around her bike, and I felt really sad that I am going to have a new baby soon, and we won’t be going on many (any?) bike rides this summer.
5. When you see something interesting stop and investigate.
Ok, so I wouldn’t necessarily consider this abandoned house on our block “interesting,” but the trash from the driveway was recently removed, and the kudzu that had overtaken the yard had been mowed down. The handwritten “For Sale” sign claiming all the house needed was some TLC had also disappeared. Why not walk around? Who knew it would make such a great imaginary Target?
6. Be prepared for the possibility of rain.
And hope you are as close to home as we were.