2.26.2011

there has to be something to say...

images and words from a few weeks back
not sure if I said something on this already
there has to be something to say...
just what? the bakfiet is built and is now part of my life it is still a novelty and it is still fun boys like toys and dads like tools the bakfiet is a combination of a toy and a tool the homemade bakfiet is a old man's tall bike for the short around town rides with the kids it is the perfect machine I can carry backpacks and snacks while still having room for soccer balls, kites, or whatever the adventure of the day may ask for there is room
the shots here are from a Friday at the start of a four day weekend for the boys not knowing how to entertain them I gave way to Grant developing a plan that plan involved Grant spending some of his "birthday money" Grant is victim of that common young boy sensation of having to spend that money before it burns a hole in his pocket there is no saving things for a rainy day for this newly turned seven year old a trip to Target in Columbia Heights sounded like a fine way to get the day started the addition of breakfast at the IHOP made it an even more efficient early morning escape plan as it is too easy to loose massive chunks of the day to slowly waking up and twiddling the thumbs in between television, Nintendo DS, and Nintendo Wii things that are all well and good in moderation but definitely no way to spend an entire day! the ride from our home in Mount Pleasant to Target in Columbia Heights is short too short to constitute exercise sure... everything is cumulative... but still... that ride is not enough for us to put a chalk mark on the board saying "exercise done" now back to "screen time" so... I tried to swap The Diner in Adams Morgan for IHOP Grant held strong telling me we had a plan and we were sticking to it that seemed like solid logic it sounded like something a parent would say so... we suited up and left out for Columbia Heights

our trip was a few minutes past what I thought would be RUSH HOUR

I wanted to take to the streets without putting the kids at unnecessary risk
car drivers can lack certain insight into the situation
car drivers have proven that they are not fit to make decisions about the life and safety for others
so... I often have to make those decisions for them
especially when traveling with the boys

so... we travel as a pack
I block for them

I try to teach each of my boys to ride in a way that puts them where they are most safe
but really... blocking for them is the most important thing
I try to stay together as a little cluster


we arrived in Columbia Heights and locked our bikes to a tree
the bicycle parking at the box stores in columbia heights is sparse

it is an obvious problem that should be simple enough to fix
with bikes locked we took off our helmets and gloves and grabbed some breakfast at IHOP

they sat us in a side room with a television
since no one was seated before us I took control of what was on the tube
ZORRO with Antonio Bandaras and Michael Douglas' super hot wife Catherine Zeta Jones
the boys were pleased and no one seemed to complain

being me... in a matter of time I was involved in some conversation with some of the people at the tables around me
we talked about Black History Month and the thought that the IHOP is in the spot where the old Post Office once stood
I learned that the older gentleman and older woman each at different tables had gone to Cardozo and Coolidge High Schools


our conversation ebbed and flowed as we split our conversation between local history and the actors on t
he screen
we compared Michael Douglas to his father Kurt Douglas
which then brought up Martin Sheen and his two kids Emilio and Charlie
the older woman offered up a big question mark when Charlie Sheen was brought up

when Zorro ended there was one of those somewhat stuffy shows where they interview the great actors of our time
ironically enough Charlie Sheen was the guest
which brought some measure to his resume and some insight into his growth as a son of a Hollywood actor

once breakfast was finished we said our goodbyes and left out for our next adventure... TARGET!
it was a short breeze through everyone's favorite box store
Grant bought what he wanted and the boys got to take a glance at a few other toys on display
I tried not to let Grant deviate from the plan

he was able to purchase the one thing he set out to buy... a toy tank... a toy too big for a backpack
good thing I had the cargo rig!

fearing the vortex of the homestead I proposed a few options
everything was met by opposition from young Grant
while Dean was accepting of anything that was proposed

so we rode
Grant entered a panic when he though I was sending us down 16th Street
as he did not want to get any further from home and he definitely did not want to have to climb that hill to get back
many of us are in winter conditioning mode
Grant is no different... he is definitely not as conditioned on the bike as he was when we were riding home from school several days a week during the warm months

our ride took us through Adams Morgan, then across the Ellington Bridge
then we dipped into the park and turned towards the National Zoo

I had considered hanging at the Zoo
but when we exited Target the boys were surprised to see a handful of kids sitting and playing on their bicycles
those kids scattered when I approached
which removed the opportunity for me to instruct them on the notion of not playing with other people's stuff

I was glad the bikes had been locked... as I felt they would have been gone had then not been locked
this thought had me thinking that I would not be able to leave Grant's toy in the wheel barrow as we walked around the zoo
so... I sent the boys into Amazonia while I chill-laxed with the bikes all by my lonesome

after the boys finished their unsupervised loop through Amazonia we finished our ride home where Dean and Grant were able to play with Grant's birthday toy

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