Sundays are often very tiring days for Jim. Understandably so because, well, he's a pastor. And everyone knows that pastors only work one day a week. So of course he works really hard that one day. *snort*
Anyway. Even though he was tired (as evidenced by his two-hour nap), he suggested we take a family bike ride. Minus our oldest, who was at a friend's house. Plus another kidlet, a friend of our older girls. So we still had seven (eight with the dog). Close enough.
For those of you who are curious, Jim bears the brunt of these family bike rides. He is the one who pulls the little girls in their bike trailer and he is the one who has the dog attached to the side of his bike. Me? I get to ride along, by myself, and enjoy the scenery. There is definitely a part of me that wishes I was strong enough to pull the babes. But I'm not. Or at least not for long. The dog would probably be okay, but that's a contraption that is attached to Jim's bike and not easy to switch (I think).
And for those of you who are even more curious (about what? you think), bike rides from our house are great when starting out. It's all downhill for the first bit. We then hit a part of the ride that is mostly flat and then it's more downhill and more flat, like this:
If we ride out about five miles from our house, then we do have a little bit of an up hill ride to a nice little pull-out with picnic tables and porta-potties. We often stop there and have a little snack break, like we did on Sunday.
We stopped for a while and let the babes run around. We all ate some granola bars, the little girls picked daisies and clovers and I believe rose hip 'buds', and the big girls ran around and then biked around. The sun was out, the wind was down and it was absolutely wonderful conditions.
As we were heading back toward home, Susannah requested a stop at The Ice Cream Shop for a goodie. That idea was quite inviting, but meant that we'd get home really late for dinner. So we changed our plans and ended up eating dinner out instead. (note to self: Remember Coast's meatball sandwiches are messy...really messy.)
We touched base with Samuel (read: we had a relative oops moment...what would he do for dinner?) and ended up being invited to our neighbor's house for dessert. That was where Samuel had been honing some culinary skills while hanging out with his friend.
By the time we started heading home, we knew two things would make the ride home a little more challenging. Well, really three, but we already knew that our ride home is mostly up hill, as did you (if you were paying attention). 1. The sun had gone behind the mountains and it had gotten a little chilly. 2. The little girls were tired and would likely get cranky in the trailer.
The first thing was true but didn't get too bad. When you're riding a bike up hill (even a gentle incline), you're putting out some decent effort and staying warm.
The second thing was the biggie. Abigail was taking joy in hassling her sister. A little too much joy. For those of you who are wondering, yes, we are basically stuck when this happens. We can't really separate them. And we definitely can't kick one out of the trailer to walk home (no matter how tempting).
So the last part of our ride consisted of stops and starts as Jim and I tried to mediate between the babes. Poor Jim had to keep re-starting on a hill. At least we had the thoughts of an awaiting dessert to help spur us all on.
Yes, eventually, we made it back to our street. Up the hill. And the other hill. And the very last steep hill. And on to the neighbor's house where the 'purple pie' (maple blueberry) was waiting. The boys had also made a cookie/fruit pizza dessert and we all had our fill of sugar to recharge our batteries.
Some day bike rides won't take as much planning and energy. Right?