We set out for a bike ride together, the Moosling and I. I was thinking we’d head out along the Legacy Trail for a few kilometres and then turn back again. The longest ride he’d done on his own bike was just 6km or so.
But once we started riding towards Banff, he was pretty adamant that he was going to ride the whole way there. We’d done it with him on the trail-a-bike plenty of times. And at least one of those times he’d been pedalling pretty much the whole way. I was a little short on snacks, but I figured we may as well ride half way and then see how we were going.
The other concern was weather – it’s been typical June in the mountains weather recently. Unsettled, with random bouts of rain or thunderstorms. We had shell jackets, but not full rain gear, not enough to make it pleasant riding for the length of time it would take us to get to any place dry if there was torrential rain while one of us was riding a tiny bike with 14″ wheels.
But we got to the Valley View picnic area, the trusty half-way point with the red chairs, and he barely wanted to stop. There was a brief snack break, then he was back on the trail and yelling out at me to come on. The boy is fond of Banff.
He spent a lot of time trying to run over the plants on the side of the trail on the second half of the journey, and frequently coming to a stop after miss-steering at super low speeds. He was also getting quite sick of my reminders to keep right, and started yelling at me whenever I mentioned it. While still tending to waver over into the left half of the trail.
We got through it all with increased levels of singing, and he sped up as we rounded the corner and started to draw closer to Banff. And started to yell out “I’m really excited Mama!” and bouncing up and down on his bike.
We pulled in at the Wildflour Bakery just under four hours and twenty five kilometres after setting out from home.
He was filled with joy at the prospect of banana-chocolate muffin, toasted cheese sandwiches and frozen yoghurt (that I told him was icecream, shhh). And was perfectly happy to keep riding around Banff – I think he may have also been ok with riding back home again, but we got a lift back home again instead of pushing our luck.
In the words of the hero of the story, while headbanging in the waffle shop to the tunes of Tina Turner’s ‘We Don’t Need Another Hero’: “Mama, this song is making me eat!” … and he hasn’t stopped eating since we got back home.