Wednesday, March 27, 2013

In Which A New Biker Takes Her First Spin

Amelia's mom Katy borrowed my camera to snap these two images of Amelia just before her first ride on my bike's toddler seat. Did she like it? In her words: "Yeaaaaaah!"

Wednesday late afternoon, around 6:30 p.m. I find a helmet that might fit, and try it on Amelia’s head. The trick is to get her to look up. I say “look up” and she looks down. She’s like that. Eventually, about six requests later, she decides it’s time, and she looks up. There is no rushing Amelia.

The helmet fits.

With Amelia’s mom’s help, I get her strapped into the bike seat for the first time. I had tightened the straps a bit, and, like the helmet, they actually worked well. Amelia is small for her age, her mom calls her “Peanut,” but the 22-month-old sits comfortably in the seat.

I tell her she can put her hands on the little dashboard that rests on the front of the toddler bike seat. She keeps her hands at her sides, as if to have them ready for action. She does what she wants. She’s Amelia.

A quick photo session, then a watch for a break in traffic on Brentwood Drive, and we head east. The hill looms ahead, and I decide to turn around and turn north on Devonshire.

Amelia is being quiet. I hope she’s doing OK. But then, a few minutes after we turned north, a dog on a porch barks. Amelia is not only not afraid of dogs, she loves just about any animal—once, when visiting a farm where horses were, she became distraught because she could not go pet and play with those animals. I firmly believe that if she lived in the African savannah, some old matriarch elephant cow would be her friend. Anyway, Peanut pointed at the puppy and said, “puppy” in a rather happy, dreamy voice.

A few seconds later, we heard ducks honking and I noted that sound. “Ducks,” she said, again in her bike dream voice. I asked her if she had noticed a small bird that flew overhead singing, and she said “yeaaaaaaah!” Then, “yeaaaaaaah!” became her answer to every question: Do you want to turn here? Did you see the woman walking the dog? Did you notice those two kids riding their bikes?

I think it’s fair to say that Miss Amelia quickly made her peace with biking. She was being quiet, but she was taking it all in, and from the tone of her “yeaaaaaaah!” she was having a grand time.

I reached the end of my intended route, and asked her if it was time to go home. “Nooooo!” she said.

I went home anyway. She can be bossy, and it’s not her bike. Anyway, the first ride went very well. I’m sure Miss Amelia will be ready to ride again when the opportunity arises. And I bet the day when the peanut pedals herself is not that far off.

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