Real Family of Indianapolis Takes a Bike Ride: Family Focus

Family Focus: A Typical Outdoor Experience

So, we've been planning to go on a family bike ride for a year now. One thing or another caused delay. The last time our real family of Indianapolis went on a ride, the little ones rode in a carrier trailer behind Mommy's bike. This is the real story behind a typical family fun outing. Enjoy!

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Real Family of Indianapolis Takes a Bike Ride: Family Focus
This is not a bicycle. Do not take one on a bike ride!

Living with a Diabetic with High Blood Sugar

Fall 2011

Jake really needs to learn to ride his bike; he turned seven in July. Jake is excited about going on a bike ride. Jake refuses to ride his bike. Jake will ride a Kettle Car. Mommy calls Daddy; he does not answer. 

(Update: Jake learned to ride a bike in 2012, age eight.)

Mommy says, "Jake, I think you should ride a real bike."

Sam says, "Jake, I used to ride that thing and your legs will get tired fast!"

Jake says, "I'm riding my car or I'm not going."

Amanda says, "Mommy, I will ride my bike." (Aww...)

Daddy isn't home yet.

Sam and Mommy get all the bikes. Bikes tires need air. Last year, Mommy blew up (EXPLODED) two tires on the driveway frightening thousands of ants out of a crack. Amanda had to wait for Daddy to get a new tube for her SpongeBob bike; it took awhile.

Jake tries to load his Kettle car into the van by himself. Mommy and Sam make him wait. Jake stomps around the driveway in a huff. Mommy struggles to fit the bikes into the van. Mommy loads the Kettle car, SpongeBob bike, and Sam's pink and purple bike. Mommy's purple, Jeep bike with a kiddie seat attached to the back will not fit. Mommy needs to rest. Sam loads Mommy's bike on top of the van. Mommy calls Daddy, still no answer.

Mommy and Sam strap the bike down. Jake looks for a soft, portable cooler. Jake settles for a PlayStation carrying case. Jake loads the case with water, apples, and juice packs.  

Mommy calls Daddy, still no answer. Mommy and Sam do not load Daddy's bike. Mommy is too tired to make a healthy lunch. Everyone is hungry.

Mommy, Sam, Jake, and Amanda head to the local McDonald's. Mommy calls Daddy before she orders, no answer. The cashier asks, "Is the happy meal for a boy or girl?" Mommy answers, "For a girl."  

Amanda screams from the back of the van, "I want a Power Ranger!" Mommy growls (she never realized Mickey D's was so sexist). Mommy tells the cashier, "I want a happy meal for a boy." 

Mommy finds this Ridiculous.

Family drives to bike trail minus Daddy. Family pulls through parking lot of adjacent business. Family decided the van might get towed. Family drives and pulls along trail on busy street. Family eats food there- in the van.

Daddy calls, "I'm here but no one else is." 

Mommy thinks he is at work, "Oh, so are you coming home?"  

Daddy says, "I'm here but no one else is."  

Mommy is confused. "We are going on a bike ride."  

Daddy says, “Why did I leave work early then?"  

Mommy is confused. "You are at home?"  

"Duh," Daddy says.  

"Just a minute, we'll be there," says Mommy.

Family drives home.

Daddy is resting on couch. Family finishes food.  

Jake says, "Daddy can we go on a bike ride?"  

Daddy says, "Sure."  

Mommy says, "Are you going with us?"  

Daddy says, "In a little while."  

Family waits while Daddy relaxes.

Sam and Mommy load Daddy's bike onto the roof of the van.  

Daddy gets in van.

"Why are we driving when it is just down the street?"  Daddy snaps.

"I think we should ride." Mommy snips. 

Sam rolls her eyes.  

Mommy says, "Jake cannot ride the Kettle car on the street."  

Daddy says, "Why is Jake riding a Kettle car?"  

Sam rolls her eyes.  

They drive.

Daddy drives to bike trail.  

Daddy: "There's no place to park! We should go home, unload the bikes, and ride down here.The van might get towed or hit."   

(Mommy edited this passage.)

Mommy says, "Just Park here, we were here an hour ago. People do it all of the time and don't get towed."

"How do you know?" Daddy wonders. (Daddy works on tow trucks.) "Did you see them drive away?"

Sam rolls her eyes. Family hears loud pop. Mommy is worried; luckily, it is just an unopened can of beer that the van ran over. 

Grass smells like beer.

Four hours from intended start, family unloads bikes at trail. Daddy complains about bikes on roof of 1998 van. 

"These bikes are scratching the roof; why would you do that?"  

Mommy rolls her eyes. Jake tries to unload his car. Sam stomps off. Family heads off down trail, grumpily. Sam takes off on fancy bike. Daddy takes off on bike. Amanda and Jake race to catch up. Mommy circles many times to stay with them.

Mommy: "Hey, let's leave your bikes/car in van and you ride in bike seats."

Jake growls and takes off down the path.

Amanda refuses.

Mommy doesn't have keys.

Amanda and Mommy hurry to catch up with Jake. 

Amanda says, "Mommy, my legs hurt."  

Mommy says, "It is not a race. Please don't race; your legs will wear out."  

Jake speeds off. Mommy and Amanda catch up to Jake.

Jake: "I'm done."  

"What do you mean you’re done?" Mommy asks.

"Look." Jake points to a sign that says 'end of trail'.

"Jake, the trail ended here last year, but now it is finished. That is why we wanted to ride it."

Mommy points to the others. Amanda races to catch up with the others. Mommy cannot see the others. Jake heads back to van.  

Mommy screams, "Jake get back here."  

Jake keeps going.  

"Jake, stop!"  

Jake keeps going. Mommy is torn, but chooses to follow Jake.

Mommy adjusts his car and tells him he must keep going. Jake refuses. Mommy talks in a sweet voice. Jake does not budge. Mommy sees a family in their back yard. She talks in a slightly more stern voice. 

Jake does not move.  

Mommy says, "I'm riding my bike! You follow or you will be left!"  

Jake says, "I don't care."

Mommy yells for the others.They do not hear her- or at least they pretend not to hear. Amanda has almost caught up to the others with her tiny little legs and tiny little bike.  

Mommy leaves Jake. Mommy rides circles waiting. Mommy heads back to Jake.

Under her breath, Mommy tells Jake to go. Jake refuses. Mommy tells him to get on her bike seat.  

Jake says, "I won't."

Mommy says things in a whisper that some demon must have put in her mouth. Then, Mommy tosses Kettle car to side of path. Mommy picks Jake up, stuffs all 65 lbs. of him into the bike seat, and struggles to get back on her bike.

They ride. Mommy is going to die. Jake is much too big for seat. Mommy feels like she is towing a camper.  

Cannot. Breathe. 

A man, in a Hawaiian shirt, toots his bike horn as he passes. Demon puts thought in Mommy's head again, but she remains quiet.  

Man puffs cigar. Mommy is allergic. Mommy is frustrated. Mommy can't keep quiet. “Really? What a beautiful way to enjoy nature!"  

Man probably hears, but he doesn't turn around.

Mommy sees others. Mommy yells for Sam.Sam ignores her. Mommy yells some more.  

"Give me your bike!" Mommy points at her bike, "Go get Jake and his Kettle car!"  

Sam stomps off. Mommy takes off to end of trail. Sam gets Jake. The two of them start walking toward van and away from Mommy's bike!

"What the...”

Mommy mutters many demonic things. Sam does not come back for Mommy's bike. Daddy rides up to them. They keep walking. Mommy rides slowly with Amanda. Amanda's legs are tired. Amanda cannot ride anymore. Mommy is left behind with a little girl, a SpongeBob bike, Sam's bike, and Mommy's bike.  

Mommy is not happy.

Let's just end the story here, shall we? Family made it back home all in one piece. Van did not get towed. 

I could post pictures of the beautiful scenery and the cute kid's smiling on their vehicles. Somehow that feels dishonest. 

Do you ever have beautiful, family days like this, or is your family perfect like the ones on Facebook?   :-)

Update: While reading this story and making a few edits, (Wow, how I have improved as a writer! I started to tear up. Not because of the struggle from that day. It was a rough one, but from the thought of that family. Sam is all grown up with a child of her own. Jake and Mayhem are tweens. Life flashes before your eyes. I wish we had more of these crazy, rough days as a family.


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Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.