Working the Heart

Recently we acquired a trail-a-bike from a friend.  It won’t work on my road bike carbon fiber seatpost (duh!), so I’ve connected it to my wife’s junker Schwinn.  If you don’t know, a trail-a-bike is a kids bike with a long extension in place of a front wheel, that attaches to an adult bike.  I’ve taken my 7 year old to school several times on it.  It’s not always an easy ride, partly because of the weight and partly because of the condition of the bike.  It’s good cardio even though it’s short!

SHE ROCKS THAT BIKE!  That’s all I can say!  First, we fly down the drive and out into the street as soon as the bus passes our house.  “Let’s beat the bus!” she hollers from behind me.  She giggles and cheers herself the whole mile to school.  We pull in on the sidewalk and pass cars exhaling CO2 all over the school parking lot, and fly right up to the door.  No waiting.  She hops off, all smiles, and hears all kinds of envy from her fellow students.  “I wish I could ride to school like that!”  “That’s cool!”  “You beat us to school Abbey!”  they shout.  Big eyed kids pop out of cars next to us practically drooling over the style she conveys.  She smiles, hands me her helmet, and says “Thanks dad” and heads for the door.

Over the weekend we went for a real ride, off to the south end of our development where the fields lay fallow because of the financial collapse.  The best part is that the plans for those plots were started long enough ago that the prep work had already been laid.  A lonely sidewalk meanders through the little humps that highlight “Southern Dunes” and we took it.  It was a good mile full of little curves and ups and downs, highlighted by the occasional pond which seems waiting for a golf course manicure.  The sidewalk wanders to the west end of the property, then turns south, paralleling a corn field.  I talked of deer and wildlife I could imagine skirting the field scavenging for breakfast. 

We came to the sidewalks end, abruptly dropping off into a pond, which we did not venture into even though it was just a shallow 10 foot crossing to the other side.  As we were standing there, surveying the beauty of fall turning winter, Abbey and I chatted about how pretty and simple this place was.  “Dad” she said, “I just love being out here, with just nature and you!”  Man, can she work the heart better than that old bike any day!

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