“Let’s go on a bike ride, dad. Maybe you should take our picture while we’re riding.”
Done, lad. Done. ‘Twas a good trip.
At this stage we usually go 3-5 miles. I can see the day in the future where he can easily do a 15-20 mile ride with me.
He’s starting to ask about riding as far as we can (!) which is super exciting 50% of the time and then somewhat arduous the other 50%. Portage, MI has a bunch of linear trails which means a circuitous trip is doable but not as safe for the younger riders. We’re getting good at me pulling him, though it requires a bit of stunt work. I don’t know if it’s genetics or metaphysical or what, but a dad’s arm holding on to anything, even objects in motion, makes everything safe for the kids. As a father, I live by and rely on this universal principle.
What’s nice is this: some of our bike trips take us past drinking fountains. It can get thirsty out there. He once asked if we could drink the water from the Kalamazoo river. I told him no, like the draconian overlord I am. This is as unwelcome as our ridiculous parental guideline about helmets. He said “for my next trick, I will do this next stretch without my helmet.” That’s not a trick. That’s how we did it in the ’80s. We saw seat belts as optional second-hand smoke as unavoidable. We rode in the back of pickup trucks and held on tight, sometimes with the tailgate shut. Anyway, keep your helmet on. I have to wonder what his generation is doing today that we’ll shudder at in 20 years. Football and cell phones come to mind.
Meh. Why worry? Who, by worrying, can add a single hour to the day? Live in the now. Enjoy the season. Ride on.
I live in portage & would love to know ur favorite trails….not familiar with them & would like to ride/explore more closer to home! Great story-thx for sharing & drinking the water……yucko…use natural sweeteners to spice/change up the flavors…sweet leaf brand has some gr8 ones that could give a youngin’s water pizzzzzazzzz or turn a dessert free adult’s drink into “dessert in a cup” (i.e. grape, chocolate, toffee)!!!!
Eliason Nature Reserve is the least known and best of them all — access points are at the end of Industrial drive and at Osterhout between Westnedge and Oakland. Celery Flats is the most populated — everything from playground junkies to senior photos, and for good reason. Head north to Kilgore and you’ve got yourself a good run/bike/walk. Bonus points for when a train goes by — the trail runs parallel to the Grand Elk Railroad.