Introduction - Learning to Ride. - Grampies Go Unhinged - CycleBlaze

July 22, 2017

Introduction - Learning to Ride.

We have been cycling for most of our lives. And in the last seven years when we started blogging we have logged 43,184 km on trips long and short. That is actually more than the circumference of the earth at the equator, commonly given as 40,075 km! But that is not what this blog is about. It's about the very first independent rides that two of our grandkids, Avi and Violet, will be doing with us. We fully expect that they will eventually cycle further, and certainly faster, than their grandparents. It's time to get going!

This situation, of course, is not new and has been shared by parents and grandparents through time. For example, look at this bit from the autobiography of our Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau:

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Avi and Violet have been along with us many times before. But each time they have been tethered (hinged) by means of the excellent recumbent tandem solution called the WeeHoo. For kids 3 to about 7 this is really great. Probably our best description of WeeHoo and other ways that parents can attach kids to their bikes can be found in our blog: Grampies Go Panhandling

In fact the whole blog, if we say so ourselves, is a darn good description of taking 5 year olds on a 150-200 km trail ride, with camping, over eight days.

At the time, we challenged the notion that anyone might have that this was a pretty trivial short spin. We described the challenge for us and for our bikes, and we looked at it from the kids' point of view:

"The children faced highly variable hours, physical spaces with literally no boundaries (such as camping in an open field), unfamiliar and high carb food, long hours of sitting on a bike, limited books and toys, absence of momma and daddy, high daytime temperatures with limited shade, etc. In addition, they were presented with lakes and rivers, myriad flowers, deer, beaver, moose, and other animals, gold mines, silver mines, museum tours, trolley tours, new streets, mountains, waterfalls, and any number of other forms of new experience."

Avi and Violet are open to all sorts of new experiences (and they like to record them!).
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But the one thing the kids did not have to cope with was the physical challenge of guiding a bike and pedalling the needed distances.
But now we are going to try the next stage, a gentle introduction to the fun of that physical challenge.

Avi and Violet have turned nine today, as I write this! We know that elsewhere in the world, elsewhere in the city, no doubt elsewhere on their street, kids as young as 5 are zooming around on two wheelers, on sidewalks, streets, and bike paths. But everyone has a different situation, and though Avi and Violet learned to ride years ago, they just have not been out there beyond their school yard. Until now!

Now we will return to the Trail of the Coeur d'Alene, but this time - no WeeHoos. We will start with some one day forays along the trail, and end with the wilder Trail of the Hiawatha. Check out the next entry for more about these trails, and the plan.

WeeHoo riding is neat, but four year olds are mainly just passengers.
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Bike Friday plus WeeHoo makes a quite impressive kit. We are impressed, anyway.
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As the kids get older they can more actively help with the journey.
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And sometimes you really
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Even a WeeHoo rider can be pretty beaten up on a rough trail.
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So here they are, little treasures that we hope will follow in our tire tracks.
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The moment when a kid first rides free on a two wheeler is something that they and their parent may remember for life. We happened to catch it, for Avi and Laurie:

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