I’m feeling nostalgic today. My kids are growing up. Gone are the two-kid-hauling days when they read books and ate snacks and wondered and giggled with pure innocent joy while riding on my Xtracycle.
And took rides then ran a little bit and hopped back on:
(Gone also are the two-kid Snapdeck arguments and helmet bonking – let’s be honest, it’s not all fun).
My kids hardly ever take rides on my Xtracycle anymore. And when they do, it’s usually for just a few short blocks. But I’ll take those blocks when I can get them because I know that soon those will be gone too.
Yesterday, the 10-year-old had a sleepover at a friend’s house who lives close by. Tim and I made plans with the 8-year-old’s friend and his family to meet at Fremont Brewing for some dinner and beers (for the adults of course). I hauled our daughter on my Xtracycle those few blocks because I didn’t want her to have to deal with storing her bike for the night. Our son rode his bike because he wanted to be a big kid and ride his own bike at night.
But I hauled him and his bike part of the way too because we were late and he was slow and I could. And I enjoyed having him back there riding side-saddle on the Xtracycle with his bike trailing behind us.
Even if that too was short-lived.
He reminded me several times while he was sitting back there that he wanted to be a big kid on his own bike and ride at night. Oh yeah, I remember,” just a few more blocks and I’ll let you off”.
And he did get off, pedaled his bike in the dark with all of his lights on and he was proud to arrive in Fremont using his own power.
Days like yesterday make me think about why we do this whole bike thing (and drag our kids along with us). Of course we do it to better our community, connect with people and reduce traffic and pollution along the way (oh, and let’s not forget about the fun).
We also ride out of nostalgia: Tim and I both grew up riding bikes to get where we needed to go (school, the store and everywhere else). Even though our parents also drove us around, we’re most nostalgic about bikes and the freedom, joy, power and sense of accomplishment riding them instilled in us.
And we want our kids to experience all of these things too.
We may miss hauling them from time to time, but we’re also proud that they are learning to ride on their own.
For those of you with littles, enjoy the time you have with them as cargo even if hauling them around sometimes feels like a chore.
Soon they’ll be big and you’ll miss them.
Mine are 9 and 11 and every once in a while I can get them on the X, but overall they are done with it and are riding on their own everywhere.
Aw, thanks for the reminder. Mine are 5, 3, and 1; getting out of the house is nearly impossible. It also feels like it’s never going to end. Good to hear this!
Yes it will and and yes you will miss them!
3 under 6 is a lot of work! So awesome that you bike with them.
Time to bring back the grocery load hauling competition!! It might not be the kids but it will add just as much weight!
Right. And groceries don’t ever get off and run up hills. 🙂
yeah. Even though I just upgraded on how to ride them, I know it will change quickly. Luckily my 8 year old Loves to sit and read. I will feel so proud yet sad when they are on their own.
We are in the middle of a transition here. The older guys are starting to ride for transportation on the street on the weekends (still not able to during the week with the traffic) and riding them home after chess club yesterday made me realize– we get an e-assist soon or my hauling of the big guys is over!
Awesome video!! That Xtracycle bike is super cool.
Our 5-year old does the exact same thing, except we have a bike trailer that he hops in and out of. I love how you didn’t even stop to let him back on! Haha!
So, I guess these days will be coming to an end soon, eh? I’m inspired to take my own video now. Thanks for sharing.
I currently am in the lucky camp….My 6 year old thinks he is the coolest kid in his class because his Dad drops him off at school on his bike. He loves our ride in everyday…..I hope he always does….
Enjoy 6 (and most of 7).
After that, our kids started wanting to be big and didn’t want to be hauled around any more.
Yep, my daughter is 7 and wanting to ride more and more. Thankfully it’s not entirely due to embarrassment, yet. She does just love to ride.
I think the next generation of longtail design needs to offer a 2nd peddler/stoker position behind the seat (kind of an actual stoke monkey), and then the rest of the rack for little brother(s).
It’s funny how many people don’t understand the situation/problem, and think a 6 or 7 y.o. should just be on their own bike. They are equating it to an entirely recreational ride, rather than an alternative to a mini-van trip. The fact is with some of the traffic, some of the hills, my daughter is just not “there” yet. And sadly, occasionally it is a time thing, and one must go faster than 8mph. Funny, but people never seem to question why a child is being toted around in a giant gas-powered metal box. Grrr.
Anne, please do make sure to tell your daughter that she has been an awesome role model. My daughter saw the pictures of “the older girl” riding and reading, and it made it “cool”. “My compliments to the bike!” is still uttered around here for laughs. Thanks.
Very nice reminder. We will certainly soak it up… with three under three we’ve got a few more years of it. And I think we’ll be ready =)
thanks for the wonderful article. I have a daughter who is just turned 4 and getting a Surly dummy to ride with her and mummy. Like u said, treasure those moments cuz we cant turn back the clock! Thanks for the reminder!
Taiwoon from Singapore!