Monday, November 4, 2013

Making (Some) Progress on the Bike

After a rainy few days, the sun came out on Sunday so we were able to get out on our bicycles once again.

We went back to our favorite forest preserve along the Skokie Lagoons, but this time we convinced Kai to go on a different path that goes in the opposite direction. That was no small deal as Kai is a boy who usually prefers to stay well within his comfort zone and just do things that he is very familiar with.

As we started riding, Kai seemed much more comfortable on his bike. He didn’t seem so anxious to be on his bike, and he was pedaling a bit faster than how he started last week. Though still riding far behind Mom, still afraid that he would crash into her if he rode too closely. In the photo below, can you see the tiny spot of pink far ahead of us? That is my wife, and that is about as close as Kai felt comfortable getting.

Besides riding so far behind Mom, when other riders passed going in the opposite direction, Kai would sometimes yell out, “I’m scared!” as if they would crash into him.

But I also heard him humming as he was riding. That was a good indication that he was mostly relaxed and enjoying himself.

But it wouldn’t be an outing with Kai if he didn’t get really upset about something.

Unlike our other path that loops around back to our starting point, this one goes on for many miles. As we did not want to travel all the way to the end, we picked a spot to stop, turn around, and head back.

We had all agreed that our turnaround point would be Lake Street. But it wasn’t until Kai and I stopped to look at a map that we realized that there was no intersection there; rather, there was an overpass.

We tried to yell to Mom to stop before the bridge. But as we were riding so far behind her, we weren’t sure she heard us.

As we slowed down to stop, we yelled to Mom to stop. But she kept riding up and over the bridge, disappearing from view.


I told Kai that Mom would come back soon. But he would not calm down.

“When she comes back, she should get a big punishment!”

I told him that if we were riding closer, Mom would have heard us.

I called her on he cell phone and she came back. Kai wasn’t exactly happy to see her.

“Mom, you did a bad job!”


We resumed riding. Kai was crabby much of the way back, complaining of how his legs couldn’t pedal any longer. I wasn’t surprised that he felt tired. Our old path was about 4 miles; this time we biked about 7 or 8 miles, so we went about twice as far.

I was exhausted, too. Not from the distance, but from constantly exhorting Kai to keep going.

When we caught up with my wife back at the starting point, she was cheerful about how beautiful the new path was. I grumpily agreed.

She enthusiastically praised Kai for making the longer ride.

And though I wasn’t exactly in an enthusiastic mood, I agree. He did deserve the praise.

Progress is measured in many ways. On this day, it was by the length of a little longer bike ride.


  1. That is quite a long distance for a child. Kai did a good job. I bet he had slept well that night!

    “When she comes back, she should get a big punishment!” that was funny!

    1. He hung in pretty well. I think if we had taken another break or two, he would have been even better, but my wife did not want to be away from the dog for too long. Despite that long ride, he still woke me up in the middle of the night!


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