kids and bikes... one of my kids and one of his bikes...

the other day was wheel day
wheels day for the kids in pre-k

just as a matter of chance lisa had to be at work early which passed the task of drop off to me
since I seldom handle drop off of the kids it is still a bit of a pleasure
definitely more of a pleasure than a task

grant wanted to bring his skateboard
dad wanted grant to bring his bike

we brought both long board and bicycle... we also brought WABA Spoke Cards and some Neighborhood Pace Car packets... as well as the requisite helmet and the sometimes popular cycling gloves

we drove across town to school attempting to be a few minutes early
we were not so early but we were not late
which gave grant a few minutes to ride his bike on the vacant playground
I wanted Grant to have some familiarity of the loops and the routes without the variable of the chaos of kids
I also wanted to guide Grant on the asphalt embankments

Grant stayed clear of the embankments giving me a sense that there need not be a discussion or even a dry run
honestly if I had though he was going to ride the embankment I would have pushed the issue of a pre-ride
but it seemed like he had no intention of taking things in that direction we did not discuss it

we entered the class room and things were wild
it is after all Anarchy in the Pre-K
add the end of the year energy which is celebrated by a once of a year adventure known as Wheel Day
kids were stoked... there were skateboards, scooters, bikes, and push bikes...
before wheels day began Grant was giving Spoke Cards to some kids who rode their bikes
I handed off the Neighborhood Pace Car packets to the teacher

after the standard morning routine which included my reading Shrek by William Steig
then finally the much awaited Wheel Day for the Pre K started
the kids lined up and then moved orderly through the halls and out onto the playground
grant and I were some of the lasts ones out the door

grant was the first one with his helmet on and on the bike
also the only one with the training wheels off
I assisted some of the kids with helmets and knee pads
cheered on some of the kids I came to know better through U5 soccer and cheered on some kids i only know from drop offs and pick ups and the occasional field trip

in all the chaos I could see Grant looping around the basketball court and then looping a bigger loop that dipped between the fence and the jungle gym
I worked my way over towards him
we talked as he rode by

in control he dodged or stopped for other wheeled travelers
kids on skateboards rode headfirst down the embankment which gave me anxiety
but after a few runs I saw that the trip to the plastic surgeon was only a case of the worst case scenario and not a guarantee on ever run over a certain speed

grant and I spoke as he looped around
of course I snapped some photos
I made mention of his being the only kid on a bike with no training wheels
he was riding... there was a distinct difference between his effort on the actual bicycle and the other kids many of which were on toy versions of skateboards or bicycles

I think this was a breakthrough day in the comfort and confidence on this bike
a bike that has been seen as being too big and moving about a tad awkward
Grant had been dwarfing his last bike... dwarfing with extreme comfort
achieving speeds that did not seem stable on a bike a tad too small for a child

when Grant stepped onto the bigger bike with the bigger wheels his comfort level dropped
along with feeling less confident created a little bit of reversion in skill
also a little less attraction to the notion of biking as a whole

I remember throwing my leg over my first 29er... my first 29er with a 22 inch frame
I had been accustom to bikes that were tragically small
getting on the bike that was the proper fit was unfamiliar and awkward
it took some getting use to
then it all became natural and the previous fit had a feeling of being awkward, unfamiliar, and unnatural

grant taking a break at the Rock Creek Golf Course
nice riding the hills with my son in tow
sometimes he pedals when he wants to
sometimes he pedals when he has to... I make him
it is important for him to carry his own weight

there is not just a difference when Grant pedals
when Grant wants to pedal I can feel the power
strong little engine in that strong little man

I think that the confidence and the comfort that was gained on Wheel Day has also re-ignited Grant's interest in the bike
at one of Dean's soccer practices Grant rode the paved trail that loops the large conglomeration of open fields

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