Sunday, July 15, 2007

Midnight Bike Ride

bike crowdLast night our thirteen year old daughter joined my husband, the four year old, and I for a Midnight Bike Ride in our community. She has done this event with one or both of us, plus various brothers, for five years now . The bike ride is a blast. It is a ride not a race so it attracts all sorts. In other words, you don't have to be a fanatic bike rider. Oh, the fanatics are there, they just begin in front and finish the 12+ mile route in about ten minutes. There are also whole families riding together, Grandmas and Grandpas, big people little people, not quite sober people, and herds of tweens. Roads are closed on the bike route and the businesses turn on their sprinklers for us to ride through. It is really a great time.

The thirteen year old
Our night was nearly derailed by one of those "what kind of parents" moments. As in, "What kind of parents would bring their four year old out on a bike ride at midnight?" with my husband and I in the role of "those parents". The four year old started out asleep but woke up about fifty feet down the road in complete meltdown and could not be consoled. Not even with goldfish. We stopped and a comedy of errors ensued as a couple of police people on bikes approached to try and assist us. My husband had the idea that the four year old might just have to go potty and wanted to take him behind a tree. With the bike police there? I don't think so. I could tell he was fighting every instinct to tell the bike police to move along and help those who were really in need. In one of my rash motherly instinct moments I decided that the thing to do was for me to turn around with the four year old in the bike trailer and take him home leaving our daughter and my husband to finish the ride without us. Then I tried to pull him out of the trailer, without releasing the seat restraints. Oh yeah, that helped a lot. When I finally got him out my shirt got snagged on my handle bars and we both nearly toppled over. My husband could have helped but he was too busy stewing about the police harassing us. Then came the "I WANT MOMMY" screaming as I handed him to my husband so I could dismount my bike without falling. Finally, as we got him settled back in so I could turn around and be escorted back to my car by the bike police, he stopped crying and started eating goldfish. So I exercised my womanly prerogative to change my mind and decided to continue with the ride. To which the bike police replied, "whatever you want". So we began anew, in dead last. Meaning that almost the entire field of riders was witness to our family crisis on the side of the road.

pre meltdownThe four year old pre-meltdown

We made pretty good progress even with me now pulling the trailer. My big strong husband normally gets that privilege. The four year old, now being fully awake enjoyed the ride very much and was looking forward to the ride through the caves. In the Kansas City area there are several areas in which entire business parks are carved out of limestone caves. Our route took us through one of those caves. It is always a refreshing break from the heat and humidity that hangs in the air even at that late hour. Outside the cave I gave back trailer duty to my husband because it is quite a climb back up to the main road and I had already exhausted my aerobic threshold on the hills up to that point. We made good progress after that and didn't finish last after all.

In the caveIn the caves

Me and hubby

At the conclusion of the ride we got to eat Chris Cakes. Nothing like pancakes and sausage at 2:30 A.M.

This morning my daughter got on the bus to join her brothers at camp. Next year it may be just my husband and I and the four year old, (who will be five by then). Hopefully we can switch him to a tandem bike. One thing is certain, we will make sure he is awake before we start.

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