Saturday, August 20, 2011

Riding with Children...the best way to go

I have a good friend who has four children, three girls and a boy with ages from 6-13. This family enjoys biking and have found great bike trails even though they live in suburb of Ottawa with a growth rate that could rival bamboo. You go to bed and in the morning, there is a new shopping center where once there was grass!

Last week I went biking with them. It was delightful. The youngest told me all about the things they see, like ducks and deer. We did see a deer. We stopped and picked wild grapes and I told Joanna that although sour because they stained your hands red they were like blood. We enjoyed our blood berries. The deer that we saw was a handsome buck, lying in a field in the sun. When he saw us he rose and galloped into the nearby woods but not before we saw how glorious he was!

The bike path meandered through sun dappled woods and enabled us to avoid traffic. I learned all about the ipad and the new ipod from Nicole's son David. His older sister, Rachel filled in the details as we spoke about future plans, art and school.

Even Mary who normally is uninspired with matters of bicycle was inspired and I watched as she spun her pedals, weaved and wove and kept up with all of us, her bright robin's egg blue helmet glinting in the sun.

All of Nicole's children were pleased to tell me all about the bike trails and where they stop. Joanna was especially pleased to tell me that the rest stop was the Dairy Queen where there would be ice cream. We ordered the same, a chocolate dipped cone! The others ordered blizzards!

As I rode, I realized that I miss a lot when I ride. I would have missed the buck, probably not noticed the large bunches of wild grapes, have whizzed by the sun playing on the leaves. Cycling with children reminds you that in life it is not about the destination, in this case ice cream, but the real joy is getting there. I enjoyed listening and entering into their world. I learned that my 4 year old ipod is completely and hopelessly outdated. It is the electronic equivalent of a slide rule! I learned about the latest movies, what to avoid (Green Lantern) and what to rent and even purchase (Thor). I learned that 3D movies are not worth the lineups and the hype and I was reminded the kids can go to a waterpark get spun around like a dishrag and spit out of a tube and actually enjoy it.

To any who may be getting bored with the bicycle...ride with will hear and see things that you would otherwise miss!

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