Kids Will Keep Us Honest

Trip to the BookstoreThis past Saturday my biking motivation was in the toilet. I had a terrible cold that left me feeling a tad lethargic, plus Tim was out of town and I was flying solo with the kids. I tapped all of my energy pedaling both kids to a soccer game in the morning. So, when it was time to go out again in the afternoon, I heard the car calling my name and begging me to take it for a short drive. I convinced myself that I could justify a trip in the car to pick up a birthday gift at our local bookstore and then drop the seven-year-old at the party. At least I was combining trips.

I had all of the excuses covered.

As we were walking out the door, I said, “Let’s go get in the car, kids” To my surprise, the seven–year–old protested said trip: “we’re not driving, I hate cars, let’s take the Xtracycle”.

How could I say no to that?

I didn’t.

I grabbed our hats, mittens and warmer coats, got the bike out of the garage, loaded the kids on the Snapdeck and away we pedaled. The kids didn’t even fight about who got to sit in the front. We enjoyed the ride, taking in the crisp fall air, and savored the kind of Seattle fall day that makes nine-months of rain a little bit more bearable.

Half way to our destination, I turned around and thanked my daughter for saving us from a stinky car trip.

Turns out, other kids feel the same way.

The combination of my daughter’s insistence on riding the Xtracycle and reading those handmade posters promoting bike infrastructure and denouncing the automobile, gives me a little bit of hope for our future generation.

– Anne

10 responses to “Kids Will Keep Us Honest

  1. My boys are the same way. My 6 yo is going to try and ride to school through the Winter with me.

  2. Apparently my best attempts at brain-washing my son have not worked yet. Most days he asks if we can drive the car when I tell him we are going to load up the X, and when I am the one to suggest the car (only when absolutely necessary), he couldn’t be more agreeable!

    We are making progress, though winter is right around the corner. When he saw me come home from work last night pretty drenched by the rain, he was less than impressed!

    He’s only 4….I’ve got lots of time to work on him!

  3. I live in a hilly part of Oakland, so any trip involves a steep climb. My 12 year old is always ready to ride the bike, but his 9 year old bro is still alittle resistant to climbing the hill home.

  4. Yup. That’s how it is at our house too.

    Go, KIDS!

  5. Ha! I love this post. Elliott, my co-writer at our blog says things like this all of the time. His older child calls the Xtracycle “the best bike ever!” now. I think they absolutely love riding on it.

  6. Thanks for all of the comments.

    Devin and Christine – So great to hear about other kids who love bikes.

    Mary Beth – my son complained a lot at that age too – I think it’s a developmental thing. Just don’t give in!

    Andy – my sister lives in Oakland – those hills are steep! Kudos to anyone (kid or adult) who rides them on a regular basis.

    ABB – Glad you liked the post. I checked out your blog – good work.

  7. I’m not that brave. I’ve been under the weather for 2 weeks, and started driving my car.

    With winter around the corner, I hope that I don’t wimp out completely. Please post the winter wear suggestions again, please.

    Thank you,
    ~Lavanna Martin

  8. Lavanna – We’ll do a winter post soon. Thanks for the request!

    Grandma watched the kids this weekend and my daughter even convinced her to ride bikes to the store to get groceries. Too bad they didn’t bring a camera – I would have loved a photo of that! Kids are the best.

  9. You helped keep me honest yesterday. After reading this post, I had to take my 15-year-old to a class in the morning, just a couple miles away. Running late, no time to pedal. It was sunny and cold, and I felt like a bad example. I said, “Sorry we’re taking the car.” He said, “You do have to pick me up later…”

    So when I went to pick him up, I towed his bike with the X and we pedaled home together.

  10. Andy in Germany

    We don’t have a car (although we do car-share) and it’s having an effect on my boys. They play with model cars, but ma oldest has told me that as soon as he’s big enough he wants an Xtracycle.

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