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Science Kids on the Loose

Science Kids on the Loose

Finding My Bicycle Mojo

Happy 2012! I have been reading a lot of blogs this week all about New Years resolutions. As a concept, I have nothing against resolutions. I think it’s a good idea to “clean house” and set some goals for the future. My goals don’t change much year to year. Be healthy, move more, work on being a better mom, and eat a few more green leafy veggies. These are things I always work on and I don’t need the turning of a year to remind me. Usually.
This year, however, I realized that once again, I have an opportunity to model some healthy behaviors for Henry and Leo. I decided to voice a healthy resolution and the get the kids on board with helping the family make it happen. It’s simple, it’s affordable, it’s fun, and it’s something we all like to do: bicycle riding!
When I was a preteen my bike was my constant companion in the summertime. My bike afforded me freedom, exploration, and solitude. Our house was near an enormous reservoir and I loved riding along the shore road. It had huge hills, rambling orchards, horse stables, and few cars. I dreamed a lot on those bike rides…mostly about owning a horse and writing novels someday. It was quiet and flying down the steep hills was thrilling. I was young and strong…exercise was a bonus I never thought about. It was splendid.
Somewhere along the line, I stopped riding my bike. Who knows why, but we all have our stories about leaving childhood behind. When I turned 30 I lived in Boston and my parents bought me a wonderful city bike. I rediscovered the joy of biking, this time along the Charles River. But it wasn’t as easy or as freeing…exercise hurt more and I was somewhat resentful of my bike. I was tired and felt far from free. I lent the bike away and only got it back when we moved to California a few years later.
And here I am, with two active boys who want to be outside all the time. They want to explore and be free. Henry and Leo just want to move. They are naturally healthy and naturally strong. It is time for me to find the bicycle mojo again. There’s no excuse because I actually like being on a bike. That feeling of freedom as you fly down the road does not disappear with age. And I want my kids to know that freedom.
Over the past 10 years many communities around the United States have invested in creating safe family bike trails along old railway lines, beach paths, and scenic town roads. From Cape Cod to Ventura Beach there are thousands of choices. Of course, the boys can’t go off on their own to explore the town, but we can find new places together. But I can let them ride ahead a little bit and experience the feeling of an empty road ahead with the ocean at their side. The wind, the air, and the views are enough to make anyone, child or adult, feel free.
And of course, we will be exercising as a family. As I said above, and have written about many times, modeling is the best kind of education for my preschoolers. Henry and Leo want to be with Gerry and I all the time and they look to us for tool to how to live a healthy life. Someday, they will be preteens and, just like me, they will search for some solitude along with their freedom. Until then, I will hop on my bike and ride the adventures with them. And we call all feel healthy and free together.
What healthy resolutions have you made? What tips can you share about modeling healthy behaviors for your preschoolers?

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