The morning began with the promise of rain and a tantrum. Still, we had an agenda – to spend Ariel’s birthday morning riding with the kids to Frisco and back. As I pried Eitan’s hands off the skuut bike he’d commandeered at the shop and forced my kicking, screaming two year old into the weehoo seat, I promised him he’d have way more fun riding fast behind my bike than riding alone. He wasn’t convinced until we found distraction in the garbage trucks collecting trash from a nearby parking lot. The skuut was soon forgotten and we raced down the bike path, Aviv and Ariel close behind.
The ride from Breckenridge to Frisco was gorgeous and relatively easy until the final couple hilly miles, when I really felt that I was riding a cruiser, pulling an extra 50 pounds. Eitan sang to me from the backseat – one song looped because he couldn’t find the ending, but sweet nevertheless. At one point Ariel and Aviv blew by us, Aviv’s inside-out raincoat flapping in the wind, his little legs pedaling furiously backward. Later, Ariel reported that he’d been a huge help – on the downhills.
We made it 10 miles to Frisco feeling victorious and full of energy for the ride back. There was a coffee shop waiting for me and Ariel, and grandparents waiting to take the boys to the nearby museum for a model train viewing. I’m certain this was the highlight of their morning adventure. The sky grew darker as we drank our lattes and lounged. I told Ariel it was exactly how I’d wanted to spend his birthday. He agreed and suggested we move so that we didn’t get stuck in a downpour.
After organizing snacks and kids, we began our return trip. A mile in we passed the hospital with a parked helicopter. I stupidly pointed it out and somehow Eitan missed it, so for the rest of the ride home (not exaggerating) he yelled/chanted/sang IWANNASEEA HE KA TO! (I wanna see a helicopter). There was a brief respite when I realized he was not only yelling but trying to shimmy his way out of the seat and I remember the trail mix hidden in the pannier bag. I handed him the entire bag and he dug out chocolate chips for the next mile, forgetting about the helicopter he hadn’t seen. As the sky opened up about 5 miles from home, he recommenced his chanting/whining. I was struggling to keep my bike moving forward, exhausted from pulling my annoying cargo uphill with minimal oxygen at 9,600 feet. Ariel and Aviv were riding behind us in case any more escape attempts were made. I wished I’d ingested a few more espresso shots. Ruling the world was not within my realm of possibility.
Those final few miles were hard. Really hard. I repeatedly asked Eitan to sing instead of yell and offered my own rendition of Wheels on the Bike at the top of my lungs, improvising a verse about “the baby in the backseat goes whine, whine, whine”. Ariel suggesting a few times we “move a little faster” because it was raining harder. Yeah, right. Luckily the boys didn’t seem bothered by the fact they were getting wet. Aviv was still “helping” Ariel pedal and Eitan was still yelling IWANNASEEA HE KA PO!
We finally made it back to the bike shop, exhausted and wet but (mostly) in good spirits and ready for a tasty lunch. I’d riden 20 miles in the mountains, pulling a bike trailer! And I’d do it again in a second.