First of all, this was the first ever trip in which Taylor trailed along behind me on the now-legendary trail bike. Secondly, this was the very first ride wherein any grand kid of mine was peddling along under their own power, as Gage made the trip on a 20-inch Mongoose I had recently borrowed from my boss.
Honestly, they both done good. Real good.
We hit Public Square and basked in the activity that was so sorely lacking just a few years ago. We cycled the entire expanse of Wilkes-Barre's dynamic new riverfront park. We then made our way over the "Eagle Bridge" to Kirby Park and had lunch out of Tony Thomas' snack shack. Burgers, fries and cans of Pepsi. That sort of standard fare.
And then, just when the kids thought that they had tapped all available energy reserves, I led them up the big hill past the tennis courts, over the dike and down into the bucolic adventure that is Omstead Trail.
It was a bit mud-soaked, which only added to the impromptu adventure. But after the initial shock of having their sneakers and bicycles covered in mud, they did just fine. Mush on, boy! Oh, and girls.
At one point, while he was stuck in the muck and beginning to whine just a tad, I told Gage flat-out that we're all capable of more than we could ever imagine. A clear reference to one of my all-time favorite quotes: "The only limit to your ability is your imagination."
While I may not be a cultivator of fertile minds, I am definitely part Marine drill instructor. You can wear me down a tad, but you will never wear me out. And that's pretty much what I expect from those who intrepidly dare to follow me to wherever it is that I think I'm going to.
And that's the beauty of bikeabouts, that never knowing where you'll end up if you bother to go there.
Hoddogs. Playgrounds. Bicycle cops. Water fountains. Ponds. Ducks. Billion-dollar amenities. Rivers. Muddy trails. Smallish airports. It's all out there well within your reach. That is to say, it's all well within your reach and easily accessible without the expenditure of even a single ounce of any fossil fuels.
I think we can all wholeheartedly agree that we look back on our childhoods very fondly. And that we'd all desperately like to recapture, er, revisit some of those carefree days. So what better way is there of going back in time than by doing what came so naturally to you when you were a kid, by getting on your bike and going?
If there's a better way of exploring the continuing wonderment that is this world all around us, I have yet to find it.