So I had a couple kids in the interim of this and my previous post (probably about 4 years ago). As a result my commuting experiment took quite the hiatus. It was one thing for me to take the risk of riding down Washington Ave at 10 at night after work, trying to avoid tipsy girls on teetering heels walking out from between cars. And quite another to know I was totally responsible for someone else. You know, maternal instinct and all that stuff.
Those are them. The older will be 3 in December and the younger is 18 months. 16 months apart, go big or go home.
Note the bike helmet. A, as I like to call her, is already an avid biker. Her bike of choice is a "Strider". Its small and has no pedals. The basic premise is that balancing is much more difficult to learn as opposed to pedaling. Training wheels teach you to pedal but we all take nose dives and scrape elbows while learning to ride because we lack the balance. So on this apparatus, she scoots along to pick up speed and then lifts her feet and coasts, learning to balance.
She is fairly adept at this. In fact her favorite ride is from our home in the Old Sixth Ward to Spotts Park and an art instillation known as "The Blue Trees" along Memorial Drive. 1.5 miles may not seem like very far, but on 2yr old legs it is quite the trek. I have found that the only days we can do the ride to completion is on a Saturday or Sunday morning. This is simply because there are so many bikers and runners out who cheer her on, their encouragement spurs her to keep going. We have tried the ride on off days and make it about 1/3 of the way before she wants to stop. I could be waving pompoms like a maniac, my enthusiasm means nothing.
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We are lucky in that we have direct access to the rapidly improving hike and bike trails along Buffalo Bayou. Riding with kids and teaching kids to ride in Houston is a whole different kettle of fish compared to bombing down the road solo. That is probably where the direction of this blog will go, assuming I keep it up this time. Pedaling Houston with kids.