Wednesday, August 28, 2013
Extreme heat advisory? Oh! Well I'll just take my kids on a 20 mile bike ride!
For a long time I have wanted to take my kids biking on the Oak Leaf Trail on the east side of Milwaukee. I have wondered about biking all the way to my parents' house too.
Yesterday I was home with my kids for the day and wanted to do something fun with them.
Also the temperature was in the high nineties and apparently there were heat advisories all over the place.
So naturally, that is the day I choose to take my kids biking all the way to City Market in Shorewood to meet my parents for lunch, to Yo Mama in Shorewood for dessert and then back home again. A round 20ish mile ride. Coen requested it when I suggested we drive our bikes over there.
"I can make it!" He said. "I did 12 miles for the Bike, Walk, Eat!"
I packed us three water bottles full of ice water and we had a lovely time on the way there. We stopped as frequently as Coen wanted for water breaks and had a really nice conversation after Coen said, while biking through the corner of Walnut and 30th Street, "Why is this town so old and run down?"
I called my parents to tell them we'd be about 20-30 minutes late for lunch and Coen demanded that I not tell them we were biking. He wanted it to be surprise when we pulled up on bikes, 10 miles later. "Just tell them we had a little trouble getting started", He said.
Which was true. Lucy and Coen both took forever to get the stuff together they wanted to bring along and I had to traipse up and down the basement stairs with the bikes, the bike pump, the bike lock and so on.
"It's not a lie." He said. "It's just leaving out part of the truth. That's what I did in my class. When I was sitting with friends and we were supposed to be working but we were arguing about something and Ms. Wendy would ask us what was going on. I'd just say 'we had a little trouble getting started', which was true but we knew we were supposed to be working."
I laughed. "Wow! Are you going to use that with Ms. Jamie too?"
"Is that bad?" Coen asked.
"Well..It's always best to be honest, but it just makes me laugh. Did it work?"
"No." Coen said. "Ms. Wendy always wanted more information."
So we arrived, sweaty but happy to City Market and ate lunch. Coen downed another water and a bottle of soda. "That felt like a well-deserved break." He said as we biked on to Yo Mama for frozen yogurt.
But the way home? Not such a happy tale.
I took us up Capital to Roosevelt, thinking it was a straighter shot than the way we came, but man, the wind was in our faces, the heat of the day was upon us and it was just not easy.
Coen was unhappily wishing we had a ride home and I was unhappily berating myself for letting us embark on such an endeavor in the first place. Tad called us as we rode up Capital and I answered it. "What are you guys doing?" He asked. "Are you en route?"
"Yes" I said, declining to tell him just exactly how we were en route, calling upon Coen's classroom method of information withholding.
We drank water until our water got warm and stopped in many shady spots along the way. The hour and a half that it took us to get there almost doubled for the ride home. We got some Gatorade at a gas station around where Roosevelt and Sherman cross and headed down Sherman to get home.
We had to stop on some church steps to rest and I splashed Coen with our warm water and we drank more cold Gatorade. I put my arm around him and apologized for taking him on such a journey. Lucy sat back in her bike trailer and read a book, red-faced, but smiling and drinking an entire 32 ounce blue beverage.
"It was my idea." Coen said.
"Well, yeah but I'm a grown up and I should just say that maybe today's not the best day for such an idea. But at any rate...see those stop lights up there?"
"That's Washington Park and then we will be almost home."
And once we got into Washington Park he happily biked on through and we finally made it at almost 5 in the afternoon. Coen went straight to his air conditioned room to read Harry Potter and Lucy and I played in the sprinkler until bedtime.
"I'm exhausted." Coen said to his dad when he came home from work. "We had an adventure today."
I smiled sheepishly at Tad who was a bit shocked at my decision. "I knew you were going to do something that would make me uncomfortable today." He said.
"I could just feel it in the air."
The 97 degree air.