Sometimes I feel like I’m caught in the spin cycle; going around and around and around.
A couple weeks ago I lamented our Summer weather pattern in Indiana (see my post entitled, and in Today’s Weather…), and yes, it continues. I’ve been trying to get into a rhythm of riding 3-4 times a week. However… the storms are in a pattern of hitting us just about every night. Now, before this degenerates into (more) moaning about the weather let me move forward. Today, the storms went NORTH and I hurried home to change my clothes and hit the road!
With visions of 30-40 miles, or hill climbing, in my head I walked in the door only to remember that tonight was the scheduled community ride on the bike paths through our area! Daddy had a decision to make…quickly; a) offer an alternative to the eldest daughter and fulfill my desire, or b) follow through on what I had promised and take the opportunity to invest in my eldest. Not much of a choice really, I offered Gracie ice cream tomorrow night so I could go on my ride tonight!
NO…I didn’t! I’m not a moron! I took my second, and ONLY, option! Besides, I wouldn’t actually WRITE about taking option A if I had. C’mon! Give a guy SOME credit!
Yep, the plans changed.
That solitary 35 miles turned into an 8.5 mile ride with two lovely ladies. Originally it was supposed to be just me and Grace. She’s my 11 year old with a budding interest in riding with her dad. I’m trying to do all i can to nurture that interest short of buying the $780 Cyclocross bike (recently reduced to $550) she so strongly desires. That’s part of why these little rides are so important…they are an investment! She asked if her soul-sister Katie might join us to which I answered, “of course!” Thirty minutes later there are three bikes in the drive, tires fully inflated, helmets strapped on and we are off to the trails!
We had a lovely ride. The girls followed my directions in learning how to ride with traffic on the trails. We explored places they had never been before and they climbed their first out-of-the-neighborhood hill. I was very proud of them and encouraged them on!
Mid-way water fountains are the Bomb! (Do the kids today still use that phrase?)
The girls recognized our locations after a while, choruses of “I know where we are,” rang out from time to time. What I cherished the most were those moments they saw things one can only discover from a bike. The trees, creeks, critters, etc. one cannot see from the comfort of the car. I think my smile gave me away.
The plan for a bike ride morphed into a Daddy-Daughter(s) date.
Seriously! Does ANYONE belt out One Direction tunes better than a pair of 11 year old girls? “That’s what makes you Beautiful!”
Is there any better way to cap off a strenuous ride then dinner at Moe’s Southwest Grill? I think NOT! I found myself playing chauffer to two giddy girls belting out One Direction’s “That’s What Makes You Beautiful.” With the top down on the ‘vert I did gather some amused gazes, and I WAS quick to point out the girls hidden in the back seat to explain my choice of music at such high volume. They sang and I laughed… and mused at the charm of this moment as a dad. In a dad kind of way this was awesome!
The plan for a Daddy-Daughter(s) date morphed into a sleep over.
I love Katie. She isn’t my kid, but she is my kid’s soul-sister, of that there is no doubt. She is respectful, she is obedient, and she knows we love her. I sincerely hope these two little nut-jobs spend the rest of their lives together in some way. They are good for each other.
Yeah… this was all staged.
Even now they are in Gracie’s bed doing whatever it is that 11-year old girls do that makes them giggle then go silent when dad knocks on the door. I want to encourage that sisterhood at every turn. Truly, what IS the most important thing in life if not those relationships that nurture us (and allow us to nurture them) for a lifetime?
Life is just like a good ride.
You never know what’s gonna happen until to you just get on and get going. If you do that you will see things you may have never seen otherwise and might never see again. It’s a chance to invest in yourself and others. And the life long relationships you are blessed with along the way make every hill, head wind, tumble and tough day worth it in the end.
Today was a good day to be a dad.
I’m so glad I tossed the plans and took the ride. I hope you have a ride like I did…SOON! Please, tell me (us) all about it! Until then…
Enjoy the ride!
FYI… this is the look you get when you say something silly like, “Let’s go another 6 miles!”