Sunday, April 26, 2015

In Which I Hunt Bluebells and Plant Clematis

The object of this morning's bike quest.

Saturday was rain, and rain meant little biking.

Not none—late in the afternoon I was able to take a small grandchild for a spin around the neighborhood—but only a little biking.

Today was different. It was a sunny, gorgeous day, one of those almost unbearably green days in mid spring when the grass is succulent and the flowers and in bloom, even if the trees are still stretching and yawning.

It was a bit chilly—jacket weather—when I went to the gym. But it was so pretty when I got done watching an episode of “Law and Order” (that’s the main purpose of the gym on a weekend) that I decided to go on a minor quest on my way home—I need to ride the Bowman Woods hill more often anyway to get ready for RAGBRAI, and a little quest for bluebells on the Krumboltz Trail would put me on the other side of the hill.

In my own gardens, a satisfying number of bluebells are popping up, but only one is yet in bloom. I had only two plants last spring, but added some clusters, and they are coming up!

I had two questions in mind as I mounted Francis post-L&O—would the trail be too mushy because it rained yesterday? And would the bells be blooming? The answers were: No—it’s been dry enough that the rain soaked in pretty quickly; and Yes!


Well, that was that. A satisfying ride. But, I had much work to do, so I started by reading a chapter for Monday. Then, my daughter called my wife—did we want to meet the grandchildren at an elementary school park?

They were going to bike there. Not to be outdone, but we decided we would, too. So it was off to Indian Creek, a school about equal distances from our houses.

It took a while for us to get underway—I had to put on the toddler seat, and we just dithered a bit. But we still arrived first—not too surprisingly as we didn’t have four young children to prepare, nor did we have to bike at the speed of said kids.

While we were playing, I offered the youngest grandchild a ride. She’s a bit bike crazy, and immediately agree, so off we pedaled, or I pedaled as she enjoyed the view. We headed past the Linn-Mar high school and up 10th Street—I was aiming for the trail at Lowe Park. We rode a bit of it, but it was closed for maintenance. I got a text while on my way back—we were to meet the others at an ice cream shop.

This is how she looks when I ask if she wants a bike ride.

Well, that went well. And the next oldest grandchild, who had retained her bike helmet the whole time we were at the playground, wanted a ride home. So I consented, and our caravan was off. It was an interesting ride. Small children on bike with training wheels are a bit slower—slow enough that it challenges an adults sense of balance. And I appreciate that the kids were careful at streets, but they have not yet mastered the concept that if you the street is clear now, you cross it quickly. Being nervous makes them slower.

Still, there was no real problem one the way back to their home (other than the youngest grandchild, who had to ride in the trailer behind mom’s bike, berating use because she wasn’t on my bike).

After that, my wife and I pedaled over to the HyVee Drug Store in our neighborhood, to pick up some clematis. I planned to mow for the first time, just in front, and then to plant those climbing vines around an arbor that saw most of its clematis die off in last year’s rough winter.

The front basket of my bike was just right for three of those plans. The mission was accomplished.

Climbing flowers in a bike basket.

I probably will regret the extensive biking done today when I’m super busy this week. But I’m glad I put the Beast’s wheel back on my wife’s bike—and that we’re again doing some joint rides, some at the rather fast pace of my wife, some at the rather slower pace of our grandchildren. Biking with family is just grand.

No comments:

Post a Comment