riding with the middle-schoolers

Several weeks back, Kayla invited me to join she and her classmates on a bike trip over on Lopez Island next week.  I figure I’m dangerously close to being the world’s most embarrassing man.  Being that Kayla’s nearly twelve, this is expected.  So, how could I say no ?

The trip itself sounds like a lot of fun.  We’ll take the ferry over from Anacortes on Wednesday, camping on Lopez for two nights, and doing a good 25-40 mile bike ride on Thursday.  The girls get to choose which of two rides (short or long) they do.  I figure I’ll ride whichever they prefer to put me on.

Last year, they apparently had horizontal rain for the bike ride.  Here’s hoping the weather from this week holds.  It would be wonderful to have sunshine, or at least no rain when we’re camping.

One of the prereqs for taking the trip was to join them on a ride from the school out to Genesee Park yesterday.  Taking 37 12 year olds on a bike ride through Seattle city streets is not dull.  Fortunately, the teachers organized things and kept the girls safe.  All I had to do was to ride along and cheer them on.

We didn’t set any speed records, but I was pretty amazed at how they did.  Each girl was supposed to convey directions down the line of bike by shouting them out – “turning left!, slowing down!  car back!  stopping!".  This they did with zeal, which was pretty funny.  Imagine a whole line of girls barking out these directions in a steady ripple, down the line. 

The trip back was punctuated by several hills carrying us up from Lake Washington Blvd, through south Leschi.  These hills were not easy ones, and the girls handled them very nicely.  Some of them took a bit longer, but everyone seemed to push themselves a bit, and the folks gathered at the top of the hill cheered the rest of the bikers on.

This was pretty spontaneous – no one told the kids they had to cheer.  They just did.  The positivity was infectious!

It made me wish we spent more time teaching adults to focus on the positive things, including encouraging each other to push ourselves up out of our comfort zones a bit more.

Anyway – it was a fun afternoon.  Hot too – the thermometer inside my car said it had gotten to about 85 – which is nearly as warm as it ever gets here.  Wow.

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