It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.
Today wasn’t half bad. Everyone slept through the night, day two of school from home went well, and we got on our bikes.
This year, like last, I’ve got an elementary schooler and a middle schooler. Last school year I escorted them each to school and back, one mile to elementary, 4.5 to middle. This year working full-time had made it impossible for me to bike to either school in either direction. The elementary schooler was biking to and fro on his own while the middle schooler caught the school bus around the corner. Next year they’ll both be at middle school and my younger son is eager to learn the route. I think we’ll need to do a lot of test runs and this is certainly a great time to do ’em. There are a few busy, uncontrolled intersections so this practice is just as much familiarizing the kids with the route as it is getting me comfortable with the idea of them biking so far without me. I Strava’ed our rides and clocked us at 31 minutes there and 39 minutes back. I’m the slowest in the pack on my cargo bike, but my older kid’s lack of regular riding lately had him walking up the one hill on the way home so I suspect our numbers will improve if I switch to a zippier bike and as they get used to riding this much.
Given that it’s only the second day of classes moving online and schedules are still being finalized, I didn’t know until just before we left home that my middle schooler had a social studies class meeting an hour out. I didn’t want to cancel our bike excursion so I brought the laptop and he attended class at a picnic table at school. I was impressed that his teacher recognized the background right away and asked, “Wait, are you…at school right now?” I was even more impressed at my kid’s deadpanned, “What? I thought we were starting back at school today.”
The ride to and fro was a success. There were lots of people with dogs on the school grounds (most area school grassy fields turn into unofficial off-leash dog parks when school isn’t in session) but everyone kept their distance from one another. I’m not sure when we’ll sneak in another practice commute, but hopefully very soon.
On this day in 2013 my younger son learned to ride a pedal bike. We were invited to join a learn-to-ride class at Cascade Bicycle Club where my then-five-year old would be a ringer and my then-three-year old would be a regular student. They needn’t have invited us because the class was well-attended despite a downpour. Everyone started biking, including my little guy!