Cornfield Meet

Things collide here.

(Almost) Freewheeling

My daughter and I just got back from taking her new big-kid bike for its inaugural spin.

Three miles total from home to one of her friends’ houses and back. Distance-wise, it’s not far, but we live on a relatively isolated cul-de-sac that’s not part of a bigger development, so once you’re past the end of our street, you pass mostly fields and woods and houses set back a ways. Car traffic tends to move at something beyond that “allotment crawl,” and for the most part, there are no sidewalks.

Funny to think, watching her pedal ahead of me, that this is an adult-sized bike, probably the biggest bike that Jenn & I will ever get her. I mention this to Kelsey while we’re riding, and her response is something along the lines that if that’s the case, it’s awfully cool that it’s purple.

I know I got a speedometer for my coaster bike when I turned 13, but I don’t remember when my riding limits started extending beyond the end of the street. I remember after I got my ten-speed that mom sent me to return a cookie sheet to a friend of hers, in a house we passed about a quarter of the way through today’s ride, halfway to the turnaround point.

We passed a spot where there used to be a barn that a friend and I used to sneak into, and where there was a strange open-seating six-wheeled amphibious craft of some kind. There were also bales and bales of old clothes bound up and stored, and we’d jump onto them from one of the barn’s higher levels, sunlight slanting in through the walls. The barn’s been gone a few years, the fields have closed in around it, and unless you know where it was, you can’t really tell anything’s different.

I’m thinking this summer my daughter will be up to making that ride to her friend’s house without me trailing along to give advice on listening for cars, shifting only while pedaling, and getting in low gear at the bottom of the short-but-steep hill rather than trying to switch halfway up.

There’s certainly more traffic on one stretch of the ride than there was when I was a kid – a housing development replacing a field will do that – but all those houses also mean that traffic’s a bit slower than it used to be. And we did our biking without handy cell phones and the mandatory helmets.

Our ride was sunny and chilly enough for a little windburned feeling, a bit of cold-ear ache, and that hands-thawing-out itch when we came inside.

March 30, 2009 - Posted by | geek, Ohio, Sports | , ,

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