Saturday, October 17, 2015

Riding Bikes On My Day Off, A Sort Of Family Day

My son was out of school Thursday and Friday for Fall Break. I know, it's a foreign concept to me as well, time that I never got off when I was in school but hey, it's a new era. A kindler, gentler one. While we still have some nice weather I decided to take Thursday off and spend it with the family. That notion got a little lost though as I found out when I got up to an empty house. Turns out my wife had class that day when I could have sworn she said she didn't. I was wrong. So very wrong. She took our son to his friends house where he was hanging out with them.

My not so carefully laid plans for the day were now scrapped. Once my wife came home and we realized how crossed our wires had been (in my defense I did try calling and texting her multiple times to find out what was going on) we called and told them we were coming to pick our son up. An early dinner at Goldie's was the next thing to take care of and once our perfectly edible food was consumed we headed over to Riverside Drive to get some exercise riding bikes.

My son has a bike but my wife and I don't, at least not right now. Instead we utilize this thing called Tulsa Townies which has free bike rentals at three locations, two of which are there on Riverside where there are bike and running trails, a kids play area park and other things. The bikes are basic, bare bones, nothing special and are a bright pink color but I can't really complain about that since it doesn't cost me anything to use them. All you have to do is use a credit card for the rental to guarantee that the bike is returned and then return it in a timely manner. The only thing that can limit you is if there are any bikes at the location you go to and if any of them fit you.

This time around there were five bikes to choose from and for once luck was with me as one was perfect for my height. Usually they're a little bit too short which makes the peddling much harder on these long legs. Just like that we were off, a family riding together by the river, reveling in the sun and the fresh air. Just being outside feeling the breeze on me was invigorating. My son is a new rider having gained his confidence only this summer and he wants to stop far too often for my taste. I'm trying to get him to understand that to improve his stamina you have to keep going, even when you're tired. You try explaining that to an eight year old.

We were able to get him to go farther than we have before simply because we didn't stop every time he wanted to, a major accomplishment achieved. On our way back at a certain point my wife told me to go on ahead, that she would stay with him and go slower as she was a bit tired. That's all I needed to hear. I poured on the speed and pushed it as hard as I could. As a matter of fact I ended up reaching the rental area breathing heavily thirteen minutes ahead of them. Even though I'm old and out of shape my mind still tells me to push it as hard as I can and I try and act the same as I did when I was twenty. I don't know if that's a good way to do things but it's what I've got.

Once they straggled in we returned the bikes and then rewarded ourselves with a movie at Eton Square Cinemas, my favorite place in Tulsa. At home things didn't end as I would have liked but they didn't start that way either so it is what it is. Another day gone, one well worth missing work for. How many more of these am I going to get with the family? Not enough, not enough by a longshot.

Written and Published by Don Leach. May not be used without permission from the the t

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