Family Bike Ride on Riverside
Fall has got to be my favorite season. The grass is still green, flowers are still in bloom, yet the weather is cooler and there is a freshness in the air. To top it all off, trees are losing their leaves in such a colorful and breathtaking way. As the weekends go by, all I keep thinking about is ways to get us out and about to enjoy the amazing sights and temperatures!
Something we've (mostly myself I'm sure) wanted to do as a family for a while now is rent bikes and ride down Riverside. It's something I remember doing a handful of times as a kid and something I've wanted my own kids to experience. We just haven't been able to find the right day to squeeze it in, until last weekend! We had intended to make the excursion happen on Saturday, but after a full morning and then a BFF airport pickup fiasco, we just couldn't make it happen. We did stop by Tom's Bicycles to see if they even had what we'd need, scope out costs, and see if they were open on Sundays.
Woohoo, they're open on Sundays! Got that question answered. Then we started visiting with one of the staff about our bike options. Carter, our almost 11 year old, has yet to learn how to ride a bike, and they didn't have a bike small enough for Corrinne (she's outgrown the one we have at the house, so you can guess what's on her Christmas list). It quickly became evident that our only option was to rent two tandem bikes. One was rented out at the time, but they did let us try out the one still at the store to see if it would work.
Carter was very anxious at first and had a hard time trusting his dad enough to keep both of his feet up, but pretty quickly started to feel comfortable.
We made a plan to come back as soon as the shop opened the following day and headed home for the evening. We were glad to find when we arrived on Sunday that they make sure to send out out with helmets along with the bikes! Doesn't everyone look cute in their new attire?
Carter is growing out his hair. Can you tell?
We did not have any bike shorts, though I'd pay money to have a shot of Marc in some!
Fast forward through the somewhat scary parking lot test drive where Missy learned her legs were significantly too short for the tandem bike and had to relearn how to mount and dismount the bike and...we're off!
Though Corrinne was frightened at first due to the afore mentioned technical difficulty, she and I quickly formed a pretty killer team. We had signals for each other: I would make sure and let her know if and when I needed to stop and prepare her for my clumsy dismount, and she would let me know if I was going too fast for her and I needed to slow down. Very cool!
And there are the boys! I was SO proud of Carter. He's never done anything like this in his life, and he definitely overcame a fear that day with his dad. They had so much fun together!
We started at the Bike shop, at 68th and Peoria, crossed over Riverside, and rode north up the Riverparks Trail a little past I-44 before we turned around. Corrinne and I stopped to get a shot of the AMAZING view of West Tulsa's fall foliage and the (not so wet) river. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, with a perfect view of the colors!
And talk about overcoming fears - let me tell you about Little Miss who was afraid of going too fast at the beginning of the ride! After taking a Gatorade break at our turnaround spot with the boys, she decided she wanted to be in front of them on the way back, since they'd led the way from the bike shop. I'll let you know that the wind on our way back was insane. There was no coasting, and there were definitely more uphill spots headed south on Riverside (or maybe I was just tired). Once we got going, she got it in her head that she wanted to go as fast as we could so we could beat them back to Tom's. I was up for the challenge, so I put her on boy watch and started peddling. I was pretty sure if I tried to turn around to spot them I'd swerve us right off the trail, so she got that duty!
I peddled my little heart out, and when I thought I'd had enough of the peddling and the wind I'd stop peddling to coast. Just at those moments, Corrinne would shout, "Oh no! They're coming! They're catching up to us! They're right there!" and I'd start peddling again to make sure we didn't slow down. Then, as we neared the part of the trail that curves around to the light where we crossed over from the shop, I turned to look behind us and the boys were NOWHERE in sight! That ornery little girl had been tricking me to get me to keep peddling!! She has assured me repeatedly that it was ONLY to make sure we beat the boys....suuuuuure Corrinne, sure! She just better sleep with one eye opened!
This is by far one of the most fun things we've ever done as a family and I would highly recommend it for anyone who can ride a bike (or ride on the back of one ridden by someone who does)! We are certain we'll do it again before this beautiful weather is gone for the winter!
Check out Tom's Rental page for prices and options. They do have a trailer you can rent to haul littles too, all at very reasonable prices!
I really, really can't wait to do this again soon!
See you around town!