Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Le Petit Tour

My most memorable bicycle rides:

  • As a boy, my mom and her cousin, Joe Jr., rode bikes with my sister and me on the backs of their bikes in the rickety, metal-and-foam child seats of the day, to Aunt Jeannie's house. That was a trip from Central Ave. and Tanglewood to Stonewall, just north of North Parkway. It felt like we traveled across the city; it was four miles.
  • Uncle Johnny and I once rode from our old house on Newhaven to our new house just behind Kirby High School when I was about 14. Now, this was a pretty long haul, about eight miles or so. It was thrilling to bike so far.
  • My friend Jim and I, well into our 20s, once planned to ride from his house in Midtown to Downtown. We thought this ride would take most of the day and planned for such. It took us about 20 minutes.

Yesterday, C and I rode bikes from the Castilo to Elizabeth's house, which is about two miles. It was nothing for me; I knew the distance beforehand, I knew the course we'd take and about how long it would take. But it must have felt to C like we rode across the city.

It was his longest ride to date and he handled it famously. He turned where I told him, he stopped when instructed and changed gears as advised. When we arrived at our destination, he was red-faced hot, but seemed pretty proud of himself.

The bicycle, at his age, is a means to escape. It's his freedom. When he needs some space from his siblings, the confines of the home and even his parents, I want him to know he can jump on his bike and go. And I want him to know how to do that safely.

He will have many more treks, but hopefully he'll remember this one. And, hopefully, I'll be a part of some of his others.