time well spent...

Theodore Roosevelt Island

Roosevelt Island... a great local natural resource.... another wonderful wooded park brought to us by The National Park Service... another urban nature walk available to the people in the Washington DC area
if you have not been... you should check it out
it is very tame... a great trail for the young and the old

Roosevelt Island is a great little bicycle destination that is accessible right on the Mount Vernon Trail
it is a great place for a leisurely walk with family and friends
it is a nice place to walk the dog or go running
it is a nice destination for a picnic
Roosevelt Island is NO BIKES zone
which is fine... there needs to be a coming of age where there are natural surface bicycle trails in the parks in DC... but this area is best to be kept bike free

a few weeks back the boys had a half day from school
rather than driving to school... picking the boys up
then rushing home so that they could play Wii
we went for a post school bike ride

the bikes were taken in the car at drop off
then instead of driving to pick them up... I rode my bike to their school
this has been a formula for us a few times of week each week since I got laid off from my job in the spring
it is nice option to driving the car
it is good to get the boys some time on the bike
it is nice to spend some time with the boys and the bike

the ride home tends to be a bit repetitious
it is hard to be creative when we have to take into account crossing the little valley that is Rock Creek Park
we have a few standard routes... an urban route that goes around the hill by going over the Calvert Street Bridge and then over through Adams Morgan
or a few other routes that basically weave around Cleveland Park then feeding straight down and then up Porter Street... which usually has six year old Grant dismounting and walking the final stretch of that climb
that is fine... it is a tough hill... and he is six
personally... I think the route around the steep climb is a more sensible option for the family

on this half day I tried to do things completely different
I tried to take advantage of the day
so... we went for a ride that took us over a multitude of bridges
too many bridges to mention
we paused on the Mount Vernon Trail to hike the loop at Roosevelt Island
not having lunch until we were back downtown

we had snacks... but we waited too long for lunch
okay... I waited too long for lunch
six year old Grant who was so strong and being such a trooper bonked
bonking is tough for anyone of any age
but for a six year old who was taken on a 12 plus mile bike ride that involved a hike
well... it was especially hard for him

it is my feeling that 12 miles on the bike for a six year old may be the equivalent to a century for an adult

on 18th Street in Adams Morgan my little man got off his bike and sat on the sidewalk
the final stretch was more than he could mustard
it took coercion... it took bargaining... in the end... it took patience
once he caught his breath he got on the bike and knocked it out
but not without argument
not without him scolding me for taking him on this long bike ride

today the boys went to school without the bike
it is hard to "make" my sons do what I want
it is hard to "ask" them to be the people that I want them to be
all I want to do is try to help them to be the best that they can be
try to inspire them to try

that day on the bike was time well spent
the looks on their faces as we crossed various bridges
riding their bikes in places where they had only been to by car
their shared excitement and their conversations about various things like the actions of a squirrel that ran dangerously into their path
or there long lists of "what ifs"

it was a good day...
a day where we got home before dark with plenty of time for them to play with their friends on the block
although I can not recall... I bet they ended up getting to play some Wii before the day was done

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