Wednesday, September 1, 2010

I Want to Ride My Bicycle

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my
Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like

-Queen, Bicycle Race

It is technically still summer, but those lazy do-nothing days are over. My Little Bugs are already in the middle of their second week of school. Even though we're on a state mandated regular schedule now, some of the fun of summer has carried over into our new routine. We did Extreme Bike Makeovers this summer and they have made a daily appearance in the Little Bugs' commute to school. Everybody loves it.

To tell you how this came about, I have to tell a little back story. The Easter Bunny got carried away one year and brought new bikes for the Little Bugs and me {the Bunny asked Mr. Bug if he wanted a bike too, but Mr. Bug was happy with some nice dark chocolate a gift card to Barnes & Noble}. Grasshopper loved his Spiderman bike {with training wheels} and rode it for hours and hours. He was so cute. He'd put on his helmet and say, I'm going biking. He still uses the word bike as a verb. He never says he's going to ride his bike; he's always going to bike somewhere. It cracks me up :lol:.

LadyBug wasn't super happy with hers though, because it had Dora the Explorer all over it and even though Dora isn't super girly, she doesn't have superpowers. It was the smallest bike the Easter Bunny could find {and let me tell you, trying to find bikes at Easter is like trying to find the Big Bunny himself} and the only one {for girls} that wasn't pink. The whole pedals and balance and moving forward and steering was a little scary for LadyBug and she had a couple of spills, which put her off. So we got a trailer bike for her and I handled the balance and speed and steering and she was a great pedaler :wink:.

We rode bikes . . . oh, excuse me. Let me start over. We went biking a lot that summer. The next summer? Not so much. Last summer . . . hardly at all. But this summer has been the summer of bikes. The Little bugs spent a week with their cousins {Miss Butterfly, Mantis, Capn' Underpants and Roly Poly Bug} and they rode bikes together a ton. Grasshopper became attached to the bike he rode up there. Miss Butterfly had outgrown it {have I mentioned that she has a tall dad?} and had a new bike, so Grasshopper brought her old one home.

The bike that Grasshopper brought home, as it was, was on its second life. In its first life, it was a pink {girls} BMX bike by Huffy. As a matter of fact, it was my pink BMX bike. I got it for my ninth birthday {which was a bit of irony, since my birthday is in January and it is a little difficult to ride on ice and snow :rofl:}. My sister, Julie {Miss Butterfly's mom}, got an identical bike for her birthday later that year. Our dad painted our names on the chain guards so we could tell them apart. I'm pretty sure that our younger sisters even rode these bikes after Julie and I had outgrown them. Eventually the pedals on one of the bikes needed replacing {I'm not sure which still has the original pedals, but I'm guessing it was Julie's because of the bike style} so one of the bikes had spiky pedals and one had flat pedals. Julie took my bike for Miss Butterfly because hers had the spiky pedals on it.

Even though my bike was pink and pretty and a just a little tough, it took me a long time to figure it out how to ride it. My dad would take me out and he'd run behind me holding on to the seat, over and over and over, up and down the sidewalk in front of our house. As soon as he'd let go, I would crash. Some of the crashes weren't so bad. I'd just use the grass as a soft place to land. But then there were a few bad ones into sidewalks and bushes and trees, which would result in me taking a little break from the bike until all the scrapes had healed over. Even after I learned to ride the bike properly, I still had a few good spills. I slid in a pile of gravel on a newly paved road and ended up with scrapes from my knee to my ankle, on my palm and up my arm to my elbow. My dad heard me scream from two blocks away. Even now, I still don't feel all that steady on a bike :lol:.

Back to our summer: when the kids got home, Grasshopper with his new bike {which had been painted turquoise while in the care of Miss Butterfly} in tow, we decided that we were going to give the bikes an update for more riding fun. We got new handlebar grips for both bikes. We removed the Dora seat from LadyBug's and got her a new seat and pedals {which didn't fit :rolleyes:. Still working on that}. And with a little bit of spray paint, we breathed new life into those bikes.

And now the Little Bugs ride their bikes everywhere. They ride them to friends' houses. They ride them to pick each other up from friends' houses. Grasshopper rides his to scouts every week, which is one house and a parking lot away. It takes him longer to put his helmet on and bring his bike around than it would to walk. LadyBug likes to see how many times she can ride around the block before she runs out of wind. And they ride them to school and back every day. Grasshopper puts his bike chain over his head and one shoulder and then under the other arm. I love it because my kids are doing amazing, incredible, grown-up things. I think that is why they like it too :wink:.

Extreme Bike Makeover Design Team

Color Team: Grasshopper & LadyBug

Paint Artist: Elizabeth

Mechanical Engineering: Mr. Bug


SueWis said...

I love biking! You didn't mention: do you have a bike now?

Unknown said...

This is a great story. I can still remember the freedom that having a bike gives you. I don't ride much anymore - bad knees! I would love to feel the wind in my hair again.

QuiltNut Creations said...

I love how Grasshopper uses bike as a verb lol!

and this is what great childhood memories are made of

Shay said...

This brought back a lot of childhood memories for me. I used to love to ride my bike. It's so great that your kids have had the opportunity to have fun in that way and that the whole family got involved.

Jennifer Lovell said...

I love that your kids are bikers, and also I could tell that they're willing to be safe bikers (with their helmets and their locks). Good for them. My kids are having fun biking this summer too. Audrey just learned how to ride without training wheels, and Tate is now riding a big boy bike (with training wheels) instead of the kind with no pedals (which you push with your feet on the ground). It's fun to see all the biking, but especially the happy faces on the bikes :).

Annelise said...

i like the matching helmets :) what a good idea to make the bikes new again!

Jill said...

Okay, so I know my comment is like 6 months late. But I was looking around on your blog (since I've only just started reading it) and saw the link to this entry. I recognized the title of the song- we love that one here. So, Click, and here I am.
Totally loved reading this story!
YES, we did ride those bikes, only times had changed enough that Dad merely painted over the names with a white stripe instead of painting OUR names on them. See, it's dangerous to have stuff with your name visible on it now. But my stripe ended in a point and Rob's ended in a curve. Still visibly different. And yours was mine.
This post was especially timely for me to read. Christmas 2009, our boys got bikes. YAY. This past Christmas, I got a bike! Only it didn't have gears or hand brakes and I was afraid I wouldn't remember how to stop correctly. It was a BEAUTIFUL pink schwinn in the old fashioned style with a swoopy dress/girl center bar and a rack on the back and awesome curved handle bars, and fenders over the tires. But I traded it just last week (finally) for a BEAUTIFUL, but not so classic, Purple bike, still with swoopy center bar, but with mountain bike handles (and gears and hand brakes) instead, and no fenders or rack on the back. I think I'm going to take my kids and our bikes over to North Park to ride on the walking trail that goes around the baseball fields.
I'm so excited spring is here!