MILo and I took the kids out on their bikes for the first time this season. Yes, I know it’s June. You’re probably wondering why it’s taken so long to get them out.
We have to go all the way downstairs and across the street, then down an elevator, then unlock the storage room door, then pick our way across strollers, wagons, and abandoned sleds. I mean, come on. Biking in NYC is challenging, even before you get outside.
Anyway, we (and by we, I mean MILo) retrieved and serviced all the bikes and off we went. I had visions of an idyllic family bike ride along the Hudson River, but as I often do, I didn’t take the vagaries of children into account.
No training wheels: My seven-year-old learned how to ride without training wheels last summer, so I assumed he would hop on and off we’d go. No. Instead he had to be coaxed on, then screeched in terror, and promptly toppled over. MILo and I split up; he to work on confidence building with Seven, and me to take maniacal Five (who still has the security of training wheels) for a ride.
“I want a hot dog!”: Five was feeling rather smug that he had complete control over his bike. We rode at a good clip along the mall near Hudson Beach at 103rd. He enjoyed ringing his bell and startling every strolling couple that got anywhere near us. He also started the mantra of “I want a hot dog, Mommy!” after smelling the park vendor’s goods. This continued until I couldn’t stand it anymore and we headed back up to find MILo and Seven. I desperately wanted a hot dog by this time, too.
You must be so proud of them. We allowed the kids to ride on the sidewalk along Riverside Drive in the park. People were incredibly understanding, and actually downright lovely about it. I heard how cute the boys were, how proud we must be that they’re riding bikes (um, yes, but it’s not exactly like getting into MIT or anything), and comments about the general awsomeness of us a family unit.
I would have expected pedestrians to be annoyed, terrified, or plain old put out by two boys riding slipshod all over the narrow walkways of the UWS, but once again my neighbors have proven to be downright laid back about life. Perhaps it’s because it was one of the first summer weekends? Or perhaps they’d all been drinking at the Boat Basin. No matter. I appreciated it.