Sunday, July 3, 2016


New summer. New bikes. Both Sam and Caroline have outgrown the bikes we used last summer, and we purchased a new bike for each of them this year.

Caroline with her bike, June 2016
Caroline surprised me with the color of bike she chose. I was expecting that she would opt for something purple rather than the foamy green she choose. It's a good bike and her long legs seem to work it better than her old pink one, which now resides with her cousin in Richmond.

Caroline's bike came in handy back in May during the IronKnights Triathlon. At about the worst time possible we realized Sam's front tire was shot and his bike unusable. Caroline offered Sam the use of her bike so he could complete the event. Not only was it generous of Caroline to do that, but it was also rather big of Sam to accept the challenge of riding a girls bike in the event, which isn't a small deal to the typical 4th grader. I guess it's a good thing she opted for the teal.

Sam's bike . . . I don't have a picture of it. Hmmm. Will have to get one in later. His is actually a full-size bike with gears. I'm a bit surprised he's ready for it, but he is. On one ride recently he much more easily scaled some hills than on his old bike, and he hasn't gotten the swing of the gears yet. Simply having the bigger wheels is making the difference for him right now.

Sam's old bike is now with his cousin Callum in the Reading area.

His bike already came in handy: I took my friend Dane on a trip to Gettysburg where I insisted we use bikes to see the southern half of the battlefield. Dane took my bike. I took Sam's. Sam's bike is lighter than mine and stops faster, too. I'm a bit envious of it.

Dane and I pose near the high-water mark at Gettysburg near the end of our ride. 
The acquisition of Sam's bike was something of a fun story. I've typically bought bikes at a shop in Souderton I like, Scooter's. But Sam wasn't at all interested in shopping up there, insisting on the local shop here in Lansdale. I promised him that we'd look there, but the whole time I planned to nominally scan for a bike than conclude we had to go to Scooter's. Sam, however, stood his ground. And despite my pessimism, he spoke with a salesman to figure out if a bike he liked but which was too big might be in stock in a smaller size. It was. Two hours later his bike was assembled and we had a new bike for him.

I'd like to say Sam's persistence is a victory for the Shop Local movement, but that's misleading. Really, he just doesn't want to travel far and linger long in a store. He's a 21st-century child who has come to know that virtually anything can be found at Amazon. Why shop when it can be delivered? However, on that June day, Pedaller Bike Shop was the beneficiary. Besides, they have a good reputation in town for repairs and service.

One of my favorite photos from last summer comes from one of my favorite adventures, when the kids and I conquered part of the Perkiomen Trail. Now I'm in better position for us to do so.

They'll be riding a little more upright the next time I take a photo like this.

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