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Tuesday, July 18, 2017

The Twelve Mile Bike Ride

I've been chronicling Kayla's journey to becoming an independent bike rider and two years ago she finally started riding a bike.

The year following that we didn't do much bike riding out as a family, but Kayla would frequently ride her bike around the block and gained more confidence and independence. Finally we took a family bike ride was off of our street/block and through a different part of our development. It was about 2 miles and I don't know what took me so long to do that with Kayla. For some reason I kept thinking that although she was riding around our street, she still wasn't ready to venture beyond that. All went well and we did that multiple times last year.

Because we live in the South where it's warm pretty much year round, we found ourselves taking our bikes out to an actual bike/running/walking (paved) trail on Christmas Eve day when it was near 70 degrees. This was the first time we took our bikes out of development ... and one of the things I had been longing to do while waiting/hoping/wishing Kayla would learn to ride a bike.

We had no set goals or predetermined spot along the trail where we planned to stop and turn around. We just figured we would ride a bit until Kayla got tired and then turn around. This particular trail actually ends up at Kayla's school ... about 6 miles from where we started. We mentioned that to Kayla, not with the intention of biking out there, but just as a point of reference - Hey this goes to your school!

Well, that was all the motivation she needed and the goal was set: she wanted to bike to her school. Of course the context of six miles means nothing to her. She was on the Running Club at school last year and part of their run would take them on this trail, but no where near where we were starting, it was only out near the school and back. But since the trail looks similar most of the way through, Kayla kept thinking we were closer to her school by saying that's where they would run for Running Club.

Anyway, we made it out to her school and what I was afraid of happening did happen. She was done. There was no motivation to go back the six miles we just came to get back to our van. We just started pedaling to go back when it started, "My legs are tired." Not that I blamed her. I think we were too ambitious thinking we could do a 12.6 mile bike ride our first time out as a family. But we had no choice, we had to bike back the way we came.

Joe was able to distract her and make her forget about her tired legs and we were once again off. A few more complaints here and there, but overall she did great on the way back. Until that one time she decided to stop. She came to a dead stop with Joe biking right behind her. He was behind her because a couple was walking on the opposite side of the path. He crashed into her bike with his handlebars going into her back. Of course there were tears, lots of tears. I worried about her getting back on her bike and just knew she wouldn't after that; yet we weren't quite close enough to our van for it to be a quick walk either. This was the moment of truth - would she quit after the crash and refuse to get back on? Or would she get back on that horse again?

Joe was able to calm her down and thankfully the tears dried up and she did it. She got back on her bike and we finally made it back to the van.

I was so proud of her for completing our first bike ride out on a trail, and just over 12 miles at that!


Anonymous said...

oh my! and what a journey, a very long 12 mile bike ride. what an adventure for Kayla and the rest of the family! and best part,( after the bike incident) she got back on the bike and continued riding, . WOW!! yea Kayla! so proud of you. YOU DID IT!!!!! love grandma donna

Cate said...

I love this so much. we did bike camp this spring and abby just isn't ready, and it's been making me sad. I know she will get there, but it's so nice to see proof. thank you.

Cindy said...

This is just amazing! What a great accomplishment and on her first big ride too! (Beth never did learn to ride a two wheeler without training wheels. Just never could balance well enough.) Great job Kayla! And the whole family. Such a fun outing!