To: Moms who want to go on a bike ride with their children, who have waited all summer to do it, and who have not had the chance before today–August 8
From: one who has tried
The first step is to make sure that your 2nd oldest can tootle along happily on her bike. Make sure that even though she is only 4 years old she has been taught her right and left and can turn the correct direction. Do not be too overly shocked or amazed at her intelligence or it will take time away from your bike ride. Praise the Lord Almighty, and move on.
The second step is to get your bike down from the rafters of the garage. It would be much easier if your husband is around to procure it for you, but understand it is August 8 and it is time to get the whole family out on the bike. So whether he is able to do this or not should not be the deciding factor. If he is not around, get it down yourself even if it means treadmarks on your shins as you fumble the awkward and heavy contraption. Also, expect that all the toys currently milling around the garage with be crashed, trampled, and dispersed in a destructive fashion as you lose your grip on the most beloved of summer equipment. Hopefully, you have removed and thus penned up any small animal or baby that could be crushed beneath you as you land with a thud on the grimy cement floor under your bike. Otherwise, much energy will be exerted to prevent your little one’s death.
Once your bicycle is sitting on its own two wheels having been pumped up, ask your husband to attach the trail-along (an extra bike thingy for a child to learn to ride behind/with their parent). This is something you MUST ask your husband to do as you will have no idea what to do or what to use to make this happen. This may take some planning on your part, but once you ask him, you get to watch him be a manly man lifting the trail-along with one hand (and him hardly breaking a sweat). Seeing him will remind you why you married him (this is an especially helpful step if you have just had a fight) and that, indeed, is always beneficial.
Step four requires you practicing with each child (except the baby) to see if this is something you can really do.
We are now at step five. Everyone sit down for this one. This may come as a shock to you, but if you want to go on that bike ride and it is August 8 already and you still haven’t gotten out with all the kids, this is a MUST! Pull your Burley pull-behind trailer out of the garage. Remember the garage? Ground Zero of the Bike disaster? Beneath all that wreckage lies your pull-behind and you will need it. So yank it out, and attach it to the Trail Along.
While you are preparing for step six, look at your train, gulp, take a deep breath, and listen to your 4 year old say, “You have a five wheeled bike, Mom!”
For step six, don your bike helmet–this is an absolute must for all pedalers–load the youngest two in the pull-behind, and have all pedalers take their positions–4 year old on her own bike, the 6 year old on the trail-along because she just hasn’t gotten the hang of riding her bike yet, and you in the front of the bike train.
Step seven: yell at your independent 4 year old to “GET OUTTA THE WAY or I’M GONNA CRASH!” Continue on the road, realize you can’t see your youngest girl (or boy, whatever the case may be), tell her to pass you on the busiest road in town, and try to keep the bike train steady as she passes you.
For step eight, pray, breathe, trust in God, and keep going.
Step nine, take your bike across the other busiest road in town while your independent biker runs as fast as she can to make it across. Once you reach the other side, tell her keep going keep going because the train is way long and is still sticking out into the middle of the road.
The last and final step-Step 10. Arrive at your destination and realize you have to do it all over again when you go back home. However, by now you are an expert and it should be a breeze.