Do you have kids? If so, I bet you remember the last time you took a look at your precious angel and thought "do I really need to be with you today?" as they sprouted a second head and whined about whatever the hell it is they decided to whine about this time.
For myself, that was today. All day.
After running errands and grabbing a snack, I decided to tag along with James and Cameron. James just finished building Cameron a road bike and they wanted to go ride and play at the big empty parking lot at City College so Cameron could learn about his bike (which is very different from his every day bike).
I figured that a few acres of smooth pavement, free of cars and open for bicycle speeding would help contain the beast that Declan had decided to emulate for the last several hours. James loaded up the F.U.B. with his bike and Declan's and off we went.
James wanted to ride his Miyata around one last time before he turns it into a fixie (I know. You don't need to point out to me just how much opportunity there will be for teasing here).
While James taught Cameron the joy of the "brifter" and how to pedal with one leg (bonding),
I played with Declan.
There is a path that runs the length of the reservoir and leads nowhere. It has a great view and is one of those places a little kid can feel like they are having an adventure without any real danger of anything happening. I let him lead me up there so he could show me the stellar view of the motorcycle class taking place (as well as the McDonald's he has never been in but always tells me is his favorite).
When everyone was done, Declan was in a much better mood. He has been wanting to ride his bike on the street with us ever since we took off his training wheels. The streets in the neighborhood were unusually quiet and I had James with me to play sweeper so now seemed like the time.
After firm instructions to stay on my right side and a promise from him that he would listen, we started off.
This is an ironic picture to me. This is Phelan Ave. and it is currently one of the most contested streets in San Francisco in the battle for traffic calming and bicycle infrastructure. This is one of the things that has caused my neighborhood to be considered the least bike friendly neighborhood in San Francisco and my neighbors to be the most anti-bike.
I am very proud to say that this is the first City street that my 4 1/2 year old son has ridden on his very own bike.
Declan was great the whole ride home. He listened, he kept his eye open, he watched for cars and he made sure I stopped at the stop sign : ) We couldn't do this most days in my neighborhood, but I am glad we were able to do it today.
Get those kids on their bikes! They will thank you for it : )