Riding on Bikes with Boys

[Liam->] has recently gotten the hang of riding a two-wheeler without benefit of training wheels. He’s been teetering enthusiastically around our street for a couple of weeks now, finally causing me to decide yesterday evening that we should go bike riding together.

Of course, nothing is ever as easy as it sounds around our house. Abigail didn’t want him to use her bike, which is in good shape and a reasonably good size for him, so we grabbed a tiny little bike that looks more like it belongs under a clown in the circus than under a five year old boy. (Perhaps I should add one of those funny squeeze bulb horns to complete the effect.) A quick inspection, however, revealed that the back tire was flat. I grabbed the cigarette-lighter powered air compressor and pumped it up, only to discover that it had a slow leak. He’d be able to ride it for about five minutes at a stretch, and would then need reinflation.

So, we tossed his bike and mine in the van and headed to the bike store to get a replacement tire. Closed! Curses! Fortunately, I’d had the foresight to borrow a manual air pump from [Possum John->] before we left. We went on down to the San Marcos River, unloaded our bikes, helmets, and accessories, pumped up the back tire again, and headed down the riverwalk together.

We had a great time tooling down the sidewalks, getting grins from passersby and stopping every few minutes to put more air in his tires. We rode on sidewalks, across bridges, and on gravel paths, occasionally coming close to collisions with innocent bystanders, but always avoiding catastrophe. He made it a good deal farther than I had expected, and talked all the rest of the evening about how much fun he’d had, though it would be difficult to determine who had the better time.