Recently, I thought back to my college years and how often I rode my bike to work and school. I loved it, especially on those occasions when I would ride home from work after dark. It was exhilirating.
Those reflections came while riding a bike once again, this time, with my 8-year-old daughter, Claire. She squealed with delight as we left our home last night to venture on a 3 1/2-mile loop we started riding last week.
My wife and I had bought nice bikes several years ago with the intention of going on bike rides as a family. We went a few times, then quit. The bikes were gathering dust in the garage before Claire asked me earlier this summer to take her on a bike ride.
We pedaled to Dairy Queen on Snelling Avenue, where we rewarded ourselves with ice cream cones. My No. 3 son, William, came, too. Then, last week, Claire asked me to take her out again. So, we took to the streets near our home and made a loop. At the end, she asked if we could go every night. I said we could try.
So, every day since, she has asked to go. We haven’t made it every time, but we have gone often enough to start solidifying the routine. In all honesty, I’m glad we’re doing it. The rides are bringing back the joy of biking I had almost 30 years ago.
I can thank Claire for that. Seeing her enthusiasm, I can’t help but enjoy it. We have some big ideas for a future ride. I told her about the Cannon Valley Trail near Red Wing and said I’d like to take her there. She asks me about it almost every day. My goal is to do it either later this summer or in the fall.
This has become a way for Claire and I to connect. It is just her and I, which I hope will help build a strong relationship between us. I hope we can have many years of biking together. Right now, she works hard to keep up with me. Someday, I told her, I’ll struggle to keep up with her.
That day will come faster than we think.