I used to ride my bike a lot. Last year I wrote about how it was one of the very few things I missed while I was pregnant. Benjamin and I have even done a few centruy rides together (100 miles in one day), including one in the White Mountains in New Hampshire… which is no joke for someone who’s not big on hills! Last weekend, after having not ridden my bike for nearly 2 years (since I stopped biking slightly before I got pregnant in an effort to slow down and help the babymaking process, and haven’t gotten on the bike since, mostly because we didn’t have a seat for Owen), I got back in the saddle again.
I’ll admit, I was pretty nervous. It took me a little while to get the hang of riding with clipless (aka clip-in… the name is deceiving) pedals, and I’m not always the most coordinated person in terms of balance. I may be relatively strong, but I’m a big dork when it comes to staying upright on the bike.
But I couldn’t resist. The sunny roads were calling my name. And Owen got one of these for his birthday:
So last weekend we took our first ride as a family.
It was awesome.
You know, for the first 5 minutes.
Then we heard a little whining. And I peeked in to see Owen’s helmet down over his eyes, and his poor little head was cocked to the side because the helmet was so heavy. And he was leaning over to one side so far that he was almost horizontal. We had the chest straps pulled as tightly as they would go, but he just wasn’t supported right. We stopped and readjusted.
Then he wailed when I put him back in.
Aha! I thought. I’ll just prop him up and he’ll be all comfy back there. So we tried this:
You can see by the look on his face what he thought of that. And after about 10 minutes of riding the pillows had fallen and he was slumped over again. Humph.
We tried a few other things (like moving him to the outside seat, even though the directions say that if you only have one child to put them in the center), but every time we stopped the bike, he fussed. So we made the first ride very, very short. Not exactly the glorious family bike ride we were hoping for, but I’m sure it’s just something he has to get used to.
Have you used one of these? Any tips for making it more comfortable for a little guy? Also, are there helmets out there that fit tiny heads better than the one we got? I won’t let him ride without a helmet, but the helmet seemed to be causing the most discomfort.
Since Benjamin and I still needed to get our biking fix, and he happened to have a day off of his busy work schedule, we decided to take yesterday off and still have Owen go to daycare. IT WAS AMAZING. We walked Owen (and Schnitzel) to daycare in the morning, and then went out for a long, baby-free bike ride. Man, that felt good. And for those who care, I had nothing to be nervous about. It’s like riding a bike. It all came back to me as soon as my feet hit those pedals.
After our ride we went to Dunkin’ Donuts for coffees (hot for him, iced for me), and did some shopping that we’ve been putting off. We finally found bar stools for our kitchen island! We’ve been standing there since we moved in nearly 2 months ago. We went out to a lovely lunch and even had a glass of wine. Then we did a Trader Joe’s run for all of our favorite things, including super cheap wine (!!!), and headed home. It was a relaxing, wonderful day. And I was doubly relaxed because we weren’t paying a babysitter for every minute (which is something that makes me kind of stressed out on the rare occasion we do a “date night”). All in all, a perfect way to spend the day.