I was looking forward to an afternoon with my 4 year old grandson. Trying to think of ways to entertain him, I borrowed a third wheel attachment for my bike so we could go for a ride together. Although he's a master on a trike, he's a bit cautious and had never been on a bicycle, so I wasn't sure if he'd even give it try.
I picked him up and asked if he was interested in going on a bike ride with me. With his typical 4-year-old enthusiasm for everything he eagerly assured me that he was four and so was ready to ride a two-wheeler. On the way back to the house we stopped to buy a bike helmet. He put the helmet on as he climbed into his car seat and wore it all the way back to my house--his head in a box.
I thought he'd be afraid. Yet as I adjusted the seat and double-checked the clamps, he danced around, singing, and then he proudly scrambled onto the seat by himself. I expected him to have second thoughts when the attachment lurched a bit to the left as I carefully walked him around to get the feel of it. Yet he held on tight to the handlebars and urged me to start riding. So I got on and started to pedal, slowly at first, picking up speed as I realized it was easier to control the bike at a higher speed.
He suggested we take a ride "all around the city," but I opted for a shorter ride through the park on nearby bike path. He wasn't afraid, he wasn't bored, or indifferent--all of the things I had feared he might express once we got going. He was exhilarated! Chattering away behind me, he pointed out all of the things he observed, commented on the other riders and walkers, congratulated himself on his maturity for "riding a two-wheeler" (and pointed out that his younger sister wouldn't have been so brave). He asked so many questions--as only four-year-olds can do-- wondering "Why?" until there was nothing more to say but, "Because that's the way it is."
I'd call out "On your left," as we passed by the walkers, and soon he was yelling "On your left" to everyone we passed, coming and going, even a guy walking his dog on the opposite side of the street.
It was a wonderful ride, answering his questions, listening to his thoughts and ideas and songs, explaining the ways of the rode and world.
As the sun began to set I suggested we head back. Disappointed that our adventure was coming to an end, he insisted we take the long way home. We rode 8 miles. When we arrived, he thanked me for being such a "capable" bike rider. I told him we'd do it again soon.