Recently, my husband and I went on one of our many outdoor adventures with the kids. We went bike riding along the great Youghiogheny [yaw-ki-gay-nee] River in Ohiopyle State Park. The bike trail stretches for 27 miles and there are some spectacular views both on the trail and down below where the white water rapids await. It’s a great trail for any number of leisure activities. However, our activity for the day was to bike 3 or 4 miles, then, hike a short trail down to the rapids, and bike back, so I thought! My husband, it seems, had other plans for us!
For reasons that allude me, my husband is one who believes in pushing a person’s limits for his or her greater good. I, on the other hand, am more practical and know immediately when enough is enough! Assuming we were taking a 6 mile roundtrip baby bike trip as always and then, heading back for lunch, imagine my surprise when we ended up taking a 3 hour, 16 mile bike-a-thon that we will not soon forget!
Mind you we are traveling with a 2-year-old, 5, 6, and 8-year-old. All were biking on their own except for the 2-year-old who rides in a baby trailer hitched to my husband’s bike. The 5-year-old was sputtering as fast as 2 little legs can go on her pint size 12 inch Dora the Explorer Bike equipped with training wheels. I think she made it to about mile 4 before she threw in the towel and joined my youngest in the trailer. As for her little bicycle, we bungeed it to my husband’s handle bars! Okay, so that’s one down and 5 more of us to go, yet we trek on despite all the signs telling us that this will not end well!
Several times we passed trails that took travelers down to the river below, any of which, would have been fine for us. Yet, my husband was determined to find the perfect spot. And, the perfect spot that he was in search of happened to be another 5 miles away and included a somewhat precarious hike down to the river. Once there, we were finally able to enjoy all the hard work our legs did to get us this far. Everyone was starving and looked forward to a nice picnic lunch by the water. There was only one problem! The food was back at the car! The only thing I brought along were a few tangerines and a bag of cherries as a snack. My little bikers were not happy! Just another reason why clear communication is key.
Once I had the opportunity to scan my surroundings, I finally uncovered the reasoning behind my husband’s madness! He was reminiscing to a time about 8 years back when we had taken this same bike ride and stopped to embrace nature at this very same location, only we were almost 10 years younger and had only one little baby boy to tug along with us. Lots had changed since then, but it was clear that my husband’s desire for adventure had not wavered one little bit!
So, of course, after his short lived jaunt with the past, it was time for the excruciating journey back. With near empty bellies, and quickly depleting water bottles, we had no choice but to brave the hostile trail that laid in wait for its dreary passengers. Needless to say, we all made it back in one piece, but just barely. It was even hard on my husband, but would that be enough to stop him from doing it again? No, it probably would not! Ever since this episode the mere mention of taking a bike ride sends post traumatic shock waves rippling through each of the kids. Hopefully, that will soon change because, in all seriousness, bike riding as a family is a great activity that allows for all members to be active participants on a journey towards togetherness, keeping the familymill strong, healthy, and closely knit, the way it should be!