My brother and I were avid bike riders growing up. After the training wheels came off, we went from our sporty models with the gold metallic-colored banana seats and “sissy-bar” attachments to the sleeker 10-speed Schwinns and really bicycled all over the place. Perhaps that’s what made me so reflective about taking my own kids out for maiden spins on their respective Spiderman, Disney Princess and Thomas the Train bikes. T, A and X definitely looked ready for some serious riding in their helmets and pads.
But it’s a real double-edge sword: there’s that obvious sense of fatherly pride seeing the two little ones cruising side-by-side and T riding a two-wheeler without any assistance for the first time (interestingly enough, this all took place in the presence of my parents who happened to be visiting from Florida), and then in the very same moment that feeling of, “Uh, I’m getting old.” Wasn’t it just yesterday that I myself was pedaling away, not a care in the world except for the omnipresent anxiety of falling if my dad let go of my seat and “sissy-bar”?
Sentimentality aside, packing the kiddies’ bikes into the back of the minivan and heading to an empty parking lot is without question one of my favorite family activities. Like any all-American kid, they all love bike-riding, and living in L.A., perhaps there’s an X Games in one of their futures? (someone certainly has the appropriate first initial for it!)