Saturday, November 2, 2013

In Which The Duck Park Calls For A Bike Ride

The kind of day it was. Ducks, above, are not at the duck park, but on the stream that feeds into Cedar Lake. A maple, below, is decked out in bright colors at Noelridge Park.

I got the call Friday that my bike was fixed, and went to spring Francis from the shop this morning. I got home, with Francis in the back of a van because I still had not fixed the back tire which was flat. I was saving a few pennies because replacing both sets of derailleur controls, along with brake pads and pedals, was costly enough.

One of my daughters had arrived at my house in the meantime, with her two sons. The older son, a 2-year-old bundle of energy who lately has fallen in love with biking, announced both that he wanted to go to the “duck park” and that he wanted me to take him there on my bike.

Well, the bike was not ready, but he was willing to tag along with me and sit and watch me on the front porch while I swapped out the worn tire and tube. In 15 minutes, Francis was again assembled, and my grandson was ready for his duck park ride.

We didn't really know what the “duck park” was. We assumed it was Noelridge Park, because it has a pond and he has seen ducks there. So off we went, he sitting in front of me in the nice toddler seat I have on my bike. It was cool, but he had mittens, a sweater and a warm jacket on, and I was wearing several layers, so I think we were both OK.

He obviously enjoyed the ride, and chatted with me as we headed over to Noeldridge. When we got there, my wife and daughter and other grandson has just arrived via van. The older grandson who was on my bike informed me that this was not the duck park, but he also didn't seem to mind, and happily played for a while.

The ladies, who had not just ridden a bike to the park, found the breeze a bit too stiff. They suggested that they would like to go shopping. The older grandson faced a decision—go shopping with mom or ride back home with grandpa. Since the ladies were headed to a manly store that hands out free popcorn, shopping won out.

So I was on my own with a little time to kill. Rather than cycle home right away, I decided to head out on the Cedar River Trail. Since I didn't know if road construction in Hiawatha still blocked the trail, I decided to go south. I went as far as Cedar Lake, before deciding that it was time to head home. The shopping trip wouldn't last that long, and I didn't want to lose any play time.

Well, the day was glorious. According to media reports, we've passed the peak of fall colors in our area, but trust me, there are plenty of trees and bushes with bright colors. Today was the perfect day to see them—despite the brisk wind, it was a day bathed in perfect sunshine.

So thank you, grandson, for requesting a bike ride. It turned out to be the perfect day for it. Francis is back, and the new controls and brake pads are officially just fine, thank you. It sounds like tomorrow will be a similar day, so get out your bike and enjoyed a gorgeous fall ride, if you can.

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