Wednesday, March 27, 2019

More biking adventures

I didn't see it happen, but I suppose I heard it.

Each time her tricycle wheels thunked across the joints of the sidewalk, the bell on her handlebars gave a forced chime, a rhythmic *clink-clink* keeping time with the steady squeak of her pedals.

Squeaky-squeaky, THUNK *clink* THUNK *clink*

Squeaky-squeaky, THUNK *clink* THUNK *clink*

She made her way down the sidewalk, pedaling furiously and singing a gleeful, made-up song, "When you fall down, you pick yourself back up and flyyyyyyyy away!"

Squeaky-squeaky, THUNK *clink* THUNK *clink*

I turned my attention to her brother. Today we were working on being a self-starter.

"No one gets to start riding this way," I said again as I held his bicycle seat and he, with great effort, put both feet on his pedals (the little cheater). "You have to start with one foot on the ground. Good. I'm letting go of your seat now. Push down with your top foot and bring your other foot off the ground and onto the pedal. Look up! Look up! Look the direction you're going! Don't forget to steer!"

It's a tricky business, this bicycle riding thing.

"I tried and I can't do it!" he pouted.

"Yes, you did try, but you're supposed to try and then you're supposed to try again. That's the way the saying goes, so let's try again, shall we?"

And that's about when I heard her scream.


I was so confused because I could still hear her bell chiming. I could still hear her wheels thunking. I could still hear her pedals squeaking. But the sounds were all jumbled together...

THUNKY-squeaky *clink-clank* THUNK *clink-clink* squeakety-squeak THUNK THUD *clink*

...and all the while she was screaming.

Her tricycle gave one final THUNK *clink* and then the only sound pulsing in my ears was her screams.

I choked on my breath as I scanned the perimeter. Where was she? She was just here! There was really no where to go. She wasn't anywhere on the sidewalk. She just...disappeared....somehow.

But then I spotted her and her tricycle pretzeled together at the bottom of the hill.

I ran down to her, lifted the tricycle off of her, helped her to her feet, and inspected her for broken bones. She was cradling her wrist and howling to the heavens.

"Let me see," I said.

She flopped her wrist into my outstretched hands.

"It doesn't look broken," I said. "Can you take a deep breath for me? Good. Can you tell me what happened?"

This was partly out of curiosity and partly out of first aid (I figured that if she could calm down enough to tell me what happened that she probably hadn't broken any bones—because I learned earlier this year that I can't always tell when bones are broken).

"I just...wanted...to ride...down...the hill," she hiccuped.

"You saw this freakishly steep hill and just thought you'd ride down it?" I paraphrased back to her.

"Yeah," she said, wiping her nose along the length of her arm.

"That's...pretty hardcore," I said, impressed (and relieved that she seemed to have survived unscathed). "Even Benjamin and Miriam are too scared to ride their bikes down this hill. Wanna try it again?"

She absolutely did not.

Not right then, anyway. But I have a feeling she'll be back on the slopes soon enough.

Anyway, bike lessons are going well. Benjamin can get started on his own fairly regularly now. He wants to ride his bike to school tomorrow (we'll see how that goes). Zoë agreed to ride her tricycle home (even after her big mishap). Alexander had so much fun climbing around on the hill that he pitched a huge fit about getting back into his stroller when it was time to go. And Miriam went down the hill about a dozen times! (Rachel stayed home to read).

Here are a few videos of our biking adventures:





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