Thursday, August 15, 2013

20 Miles.

Today I went on an epic adventure. There was rain, and friends, and blackberries, and even a wipe out!

I have been wanting to increase my range from home ever since I got back from Portland. So when MaLora told me that she and her son were going on a ride to Greenlake and did I want to come along? I was scared for a minute and then jumped on it!
This morning we got up early and ate a hurried breakfast of eggs and peaches and got on the bike. The first part of this particular ride is a bit difficult because it's mostly uphill to the Interurban trail where I was meeting MaLora. I knew this from previous rides and  gritted my teeth as I pushed up the biggest hill. Gideon encouraged me with "You can do it, Mommy! Go, Mom!" He always does this on hills and it's amazing what a little boost it gives me!
Once we met up at the trail it started raining. I thought the kids might complain but nope! They were, in fact, delighted. The ride to Greenlake was uneventful and I couldn't believe what great time we were making. We had hoped to hang out at the wading pool but they didn't fill it up because of the rain. We abandoned it in favor the nearby play ground where our 3 boys managed to get thoroughly wet and gross.

Eventually, everyone was hungry so we went to this cute little cafe I'd never seen before that has coffee, crepes, and teriyaki. What a combination, right!?! But it was delicious and they had play area for the kiddos. Because somehow an hour+ at the park was not enough!

We headed home soon after and it was uphill pretty much the whole way. It was fairly gradual, though, and I was surprised at my progress. I chatted with MaLora as I climbed hills that would have been impossible for to ride up when I first started biking with the kids only four short months ago.  We split up when we were about 2 miles from our respective houses to finish our rides.
As we swung through Lake City we stopped to pick blackberries along an untended and overgrown hedge. After gathering quite a few we decided to take an alternate route home to look for other untended hedges that might be bearing black berries and that's when things got a little harry.

I turned down a road that looked overgrown only to discover that it was, in fact, a hidden cove of huge luxury homes with fancy gates and manicured yards. Plus, there was giant hill. Not wanting to invade the rich people's space I tried to turn around. I had never tried to execute a U-turn on a hill. It probably would have been fine if I wasn't carrying any cargo, but with 65+ pounds of children on board, not counting seats and gear, it was a huge mistake. And as soon as I turned the handlebars I knew it and we were on the ground before I could do a single thing.

Zeke was crying and Gideon was screaming and sobbing "Oh no!!! The bwackberries!!! We won't have any for the Winter!!!" Someone has clearly been reading too much Blueberry Sal. I unbuckled and removed them from their seats in turn. Zeke was calm but Gideon was devastated that all his hard work had spilled onto the street. Once I stood up the bike and picked up the berries all was right with the world.
The kids wanted back on immediately and Gideon chattered on and on about how our helmets (and God) protect us from falls and it was "just a widdle crash" and "everything is safe". We rode home that last half a mile to our house uneventfully and I didn't even have a huge adrenaline rush like the first couple times we spilled the bike. I guess the kids and I are used to it as a hazard of riding.
Today's adventure proved to me that I really do have it in my to go as far as I need to by bike and that I'm ready for the next step in family biking, a cargo bike. I know I've been writing about our biking adventures a lot lately; those of you who have been following this blog for a long time know I tend to blog about whatever I'm interested in. But my goal as I move forward is to blog about biking a little less exclusively because, well, biking has turned into just another great thing in my life. Just like sewing or cooking, or parenting. The novelty of biking has worn off and I've decided to keep it :)

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