Monday, July 23, 2007

New Found Freedom

I grew up in Westminster, CA. It was pretty flat & and the only 'hills' I had to deal with were freeway overpasses. I used to use my bike a lot when I was a teen - going to the grocery store for my mom, the library, dime store for comics, and later, I'd ride back & forth to the beach.

Our area here is rather hilly. When we lived in a different part of town, it was flat enough, but the road was the same as the quarry, so there were a lot of stinky trucks going that way too. Now we're at the mid-point of a good-sized hill, and you have to go over other hills to get anywhere. I'm not as fond of bike riding when I have to get off to walk the bike for stretches at a time. I'm not even as fond of going too fast down the hill!

The whole family has bikes - we use them here & there. Sometimes we load them up in the back of the truck, drive somewhere and then ride. That might seem beside the point, but we don't have real bike paths near our home, and again - the hill issue.

That being said - While Diana was in Germany, she rode bikes to school and back a lot with Leonie. When they wanted to get anywhere, they rode the bikes. Diana got more bike riding in within two weeks than she's done in her life, I think. She also discovered why I used to enjoy my biking. You get to places sooner, and further away with a bike. There is a feeling of independence & control about being able to go where you want on your own.

Part of that is because at this time, when Trevor or Diana want me to drive them somewhere, they have to do it on my schedule. I have never agreed with a parent just hopping up and taking their kids somewhere. So if they wanted to go to the comic book shop downtown or the mall, they had the option of walking (takes about 20 min downtown, 1 1/2 hours to the mall) or waiting until I was ready to run my errands for the day. If I didn't have errands, they'd have to wait for a day I did. Sometimes they had to wait three days before I was ready to go when they were.

Both Trevor & Diana did Driver's Ed. Neither has a license yet. Mostly because neither of them needs one right now. We live in a town that's small enough you can get where you need on a bike, if you want. I'm good with that.

I told Diana, just remember you're like a Ninja on the bike - invisible to cars!


- Rob said...

It's fairly flat where we are, but the kids rarely ride bikes to get to places. It's mainly due to that ninja comment that you made. They LOVE to take recreational rides though. We have a lot of great trails and parks in Orange County for that.

Lee said...

Eugene Oregon has a goodly number of bike trails that allow you to go various places through the park or in relative safety.

Of course Eugene can be hell to get through when the Ducks game lets out.