Last night at the end of our block party, I was putting Dawn's bike (my old mountain bike, which still needs a little more modification to be properly sized for her) away and Rachel wanted to come, so I let her sit on the top bar with her feet on the neck & holding the handlebars as I ride-walked it around for a bit. She LOOOOOOVED it! Bought and installed one of those bike seats for her today, got her a helmet (they always make kids look EXTRA dorky, as compared to adult helmets which just make us look dorky) and we went for a ride today. She was a little nervous about actually getting on; it's a contraption, after all; so, as I am not above some occasional bribery, I told her that if we went for a bike ride we could go to Barney's and she could have some milk shake. That did the trick.
I'll tell you what. Even having dropped almost 30 lbs in the last 2+ months, putting 15 lbs of bike seat and 25+ lbs of Rachel on the back had me thinking I was going to die after just 4 blocks of low grade incline up our street. I got more used to it after that, but, MAN am I out of shape! All told we did probably just shy of 3 miles round-trip. We all had a grand old time and we're going to be putting stickers on Rachel's seat starting tomorrow! I'm hoping that after a ride tomorrow maybe she'll be ready for me to take her to school on it, but we'll see. I figure that dropping her at school and then taking the new bike overpass over I-80 to the frontage road to get to work is substantially safer than the way I have used in the past, which involves such delightfully busy streets as Stanford and Powell. I think it was sometime last summer I was on the Powell overpass over the train tracks in the left lane (preemptively to avoid having to change lanes amid the psychotic merge under the I-80 overpass that comes right after it) when some woman called me suicidal. Interestingly, when I pulled up next to her at the light, she rolled up her window and locked the door and did her best not to look at me with this terrified look as if I were some deranged sociopath. Go figure.