Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Biking to Riversdale

Although I didn't have a bike, I decided the best way to get the kids to Riversdale Mansion was to bike them. I borrowed a friend's bike (lowered the seat ....) and contacted the other parents I knew who had kids going to see if they wanted to be part of this bike parade to Riversdale. They did. So it would be me and six girls on bikes to camp everday.

I didn't actually think this through very well, actually, but it worked out VERY well in the end. I was so pleased with the results.

Since the Mansion is only a smidge over a mile away, and the first day we took the city streets. A friend, K, biked with us, she took the back, I took the front. The first bit was very much in the neighborhood, and I wasn't worried about the kids. The second street was a little busier, it is a cutthrough street from Queens Chapel to Rt 1 and can get busy with cars and trucks and buses. THEN we had to cross Rt. 1. Then we were back in a neighborhood and it felt better again. 

But I was a little bit nervous about them the whole time.  K9 liked to be first and fasted so she'd try to pass people or block them from passing her. C10 was slow and too big for her bike. N9 looked too small on her bike (we eventually raised her seat, too) and like she was wobbling all over the place because her knees and feet were sticking here and there. P9's bike looked a little big for her, and it was new, so she was still getting used to it. K11 I didn't worry about at all. Q9 also liked the middle of the street, and her bike was about 7 sizes too small.

But we got there safely. Here we are at the mansion:
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P9, N9, K11, C10, Q9, K9

So on the way home and all days after that I took the bike trail with the girls, and it worked out so so so so SOOOOOOO well. It was just over 3 miles, so they got more exercise, I got more exercise.

The first few days I led, and K11 brought up the rear. But K11 got tired of not going able to go fast (C10 is a littttttle bit slow at times on the bike. And the first couple of days she had a one-speed bike that was too small for her. She is also quite cautious) and so we switched it up. K11 went first, and I went last.

THIS was better. I could see all of them at all times. I had to go slow, which I didn't like, but it was OK. I survived. I got to ride one way without the pack, anyway.

Just look at them on the path! Great path, and so much better than city streets!!! We did have to cross streets a couple of times, but not Baltimore Avenue (Rt. 1)! This is C10 passing N9 on the bike path, just because she could. I think N9 was working her hardest to keep up a lot of the time (she was super-focused on the bike ... Q9 is a chit-chatter, but N9 was working on BIKING.)

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Q9 took a couple of turns going first, as did K9. It was, I think, really fun for them to get to be the leader.

Here is Q going first one day. I went second, and K11 and C9 wanted to bring up the rear. Look how tiny her bike is!!! It is on the agenda for replacement. But she was a trooper. She pedaled the whole time and was one of the faster girls.
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C10's bike was also WAY too small. She'd been asked last fall if she wanted a bike, but we didn't buy one at that time because we thought she might grow some between fall and summer. Um. She did. But I guess we put it off a little too long. Anyway, although we couldn't go bike shopping on Monday (Q9 was sick) we went on Tuesday and bought a bike from REI. It helped. Gears, better torque. Although she still wasn't SPEEEEEEEDY, by the end of the week she was able to get up the hills without stopping and walking, which was GREAT.

I mean, look at this, she's even got the heavy backpack on, with no complaints. I did get a little momma-hen-ish when she rode because her skirts were often flapping and I was all like "Your dress is going to get caught in your spokes!!!" which of course it never did. But then I changed my tune to "Your dress is getting dirty!" which it DID and she started tucking that thing right up. But really I should have just shut up.


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