Ever since Tea learned to ride his 2-wheeler last summer he’s been begging to ride it on the trail. We’ve taken him on trails in a trailer and on a tagalong, but we insisted he learn to stop safely before he could go on his own bike. Tea argued that dragging both feet on the ground was an acceptable stopping method. Kyle and I disagreed. Finally, after lots of practice, he started using his breaks. So we got a baby bike seat for Pea to ride in, loaded the bikes on the car, and headed to a trail.
Wisconsin has lots of nice, flat, straight, gravel bike trails that run past farms, fields, and woods on old railroad beds. One of these was perfect for Tea’s first solo attempt. The first mile took about 4 years to pedal – he kept stopping to scratch his sweating face and ask for water. The second mile took about 5 decades because he felt obliged to smell and/or pick every third wildflower we passed. On the third mile, he finally got his little legs cranking and we made some good time.
We decided not to push our luck on the first time out, so we turned around and headed back while we were all in good spirits. Tea started to complain that his legs hurt and got a little crabby between miles 3 and 4, but he pulled it together and decided miles 5 and 6 weren’t bad. When we got back to the car, he was still smiling. I was proud of him for biking 6 miles with only 4,387 stops. We got back home and he of course put his helmet back on a circled his bike around the driveway for another hour.
I will not lie – it was monumentally hard to pedal as slowly as we did, especially while balancing Pea behind me (Kyle and I traded bikes part way through so I could try it). But it was a fun morning, and I may have slightly exaggerated the time it took. The boys were happy. The weather was beautiful. I feel like we’re on the cusp of some great family outings. We just have to get Tea’s legs a smidge longer so we can get him on a bike with wheels more than 6″ in diameter. In no time at all, the boys will be out-pedaling me as I struggle to keep up. I’m afraid I’ll be the one asking for water and wildflower breaks.