Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Bicyicle Built for One

When I was a child, riding a bike was one of the key pieces of our small town childhood.  Justin didn't grow up in a small town and still he had a similar experience. He used to ride his bike from his house to downtown Grand Forks, which was much farther than a few blocks.  As a farm kid, it was a bit different for me, but no one's parents were shuttling them around to every little activity and practice in a car seat until they weighed 48 pounds.  (Leaping out of a rolling stopped grain truck and walking two blocks because the trucks couldn't drive on the street by the school...now that did happen!)  Especially during summer, kids rode bikes everywhere.  You could find where the fun was happening by which yard had bikes strewn across the lawn.   In front of the swimming pool bikes were practically piled in the parking lot.  Kids streamed up to the Co-Op air compressor to fill their tires.  At school there was always a short little unit about bike safety.  I seem to vaguely remember a "rodeo" or "corral" themed event in a parking lot that addressed safe biking but I can't remember details. 

As I said, I lived on a farm three miles from town so often my siblings and I had to be driven around but we still brought our bikes to town some days and I often ended up riding around on my best friend's older sister's bicycle when we got up to town kid adventures.  I actually didn't learn to ride without training wheels until second grade because my family moved overseas before that and we didn't take bikes with us.  Kind of embarrassing in the kid world! My first bike was a Schwinn banana seater named "The Desert Rose". 

I purchased a new bike in law school so I could ride around to my summer bar review classes and I soon took to riding it on short errands or if, perhaps, I may have drove myself to a bar then took a taxi home and had to retrieve my car the next day. It's good to have some self propelled wheels for those situations...rollerblades work too. One morning I arrived at bar review class and realized I forgot my note packet for the day so I decided to zoom back to my apartment to get it. Outside the building there was a half-circle driveway up to the door and as I started to ride I noticed a line of teenagers lined up to board a bus for a camp or a tour.  While watching them, I failed to watch where I was going and I hit the curb and went flying into the grass with my bike falling on top of me.  They all saw and laughed.  It was downright silly and totally my own fault.  I smiled and rode away while dying inside and fortunately they were gone by the time I returned! 

When me moved to Bismarck I quit riding it altogether after one horrific ride where I ended up walking the bike up a very steep hill cursing my crazy idea to take a trail.  I had rode along a busy street to get to the trail only to find the gate closed across it because trails hadn't opened for the year yet. Then I had to hike back along the busy street up a steep incline. Maybe I would have rode more if we ever lived in a flat part of town, but we never have.  My neighbors often drive to the river and ride trials there but we've never made the effort. 

Finally, our bikes ended up at the farm where, this weekend, I decided to air up my tires for the first time in probably five years.  My kids have never seen me on a bike and Ben was delighted.  I wheeled it over to my dad's shop and aired up the tires and as I took off across the yard he was running right along side me shrieking with glee. 

It was pretty fun biking again although certain areas of the body definitely need to acclimate to sitting on a bike seat again!  I am pleased to say that the inevitable didn't happen, which is having a bird poop on your seat as soon as you leave your bike unattended outside. 

The bike thing was the least of our weekend adventures...we planted the pumpkin patch version 2017!  I feel like it's too early...but what do I know.  We planted some different varieties this year that have a 110 day maturity so we need the extra weeks. 

There is Justin's single row drill all ready to go! The neighbor's dog was helping us out...

I'm really good at dripping seeds into a funnel. 

Next comes the weed control portion of this project.  The best part!

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