The Worst/Best Family Bike Ride

We went for our first ever family bike ride on Saturday. More than a year ago we had been gifted one of those bike trailers for toddlers to ride in, and an old but serviceable (and most importantly tall enough) bike for Zach. Ever since last summer when we taught them to ride without training wheels, the girls have been asking us to take them on a ride along the Greenbelt (a path that runs alongside the Boise River). Now that Dinah is big enough to sit in the trailer and wear a toddler sized helmet, it was finally a doable idea as a whole family.

So, Saturday morning we told the kids that after lunch we’d go riding on the Greenbelt. First, Zach had to run to the store for a new tire for his bike, and then put it on the bike. Then we had to determine exactly how you attach the trailer to the bike. That took fifteen or twenty minutes.

Next I asked how exactly we were going to get all our bikes to the Greenbelt (we don’t have a bike rack). We decided to throw the girls’ bikes in the back of the van. I would drive it with all the kids while Zach drove his SUV with the seats laid down and the bikes in the back. But where to fit the trailer?

I suggested we have Alden ride his bike and Dinah ride in the baby seat that was attached to Zach’s bike. Alden, however, really wanted to ride in the double-seat trailer with Dinah. So more time was spent removing the baby seat to make the bikes fit better. The trailer, however, was not going to fit. (Important note here: probably the trailer can collapse for just this reason? We received it well-used with no instructions so we don’t know if it can, much less how). In the end, the trailer ended up squeezed into the front passenger seat of the van. It completely obstructed my view out that side and pushed on all the temperature control buttons, but it fit. This whole process took a full hour (we do also have four children who wanted to “help” and/or ignore all directions during that hour).

We finally got to the Greenbelt, got the girls on their bikes and Alden and Dinah into the trailer and the trailer attached to the bike (ten more minutes). Then we noticed the extremely flat tire on the trailer. Because of course.

Where we were on the Greenbelt, there’s a bike station that has a rack, tools and pump for any bike repairs that Greenbelt riders may need to do. I confirmed it had a working pump and then Zach went back to the store for another tire. The kids and I just waited there.

Fifteen minutes later, he returned and swapped out the tire. That’s when we discovered that the provided pump would not latch on. Because of course.

This time Zach stayed with the kids while I went back to the house and grabbed our tire pump and some snacks because everyone was starting to get hungry. Ten minutes later, I returned and we were able to pump up the tire. Finally, finally, we were ready to go. Three hours after we first started trying to go.

And you know what? It was totally worth all the hassle. The weather was perfect – intermittently sunny and overcast, not too hot, a bit of a breeze. Everything along the Greenbelt was lush and green from recent rains, and the river was running high and fast. We all were enjoying ourselves so much that we ended up riding all the way to the town of Eagle! Our girls rode for eight miles when all was said and done! Eight miles! They’re going to be begging to repeat that all summer.

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