Weather in Wisconsin is fickle. During the colder months we don’t expect to get outside very often, especially with an immunocompromised kiddo like Namine. (This is a word which here means “gets sick easily.”) When we got Namine’s new bike, it was already on the tail end of Autumn. We kept it in the apartment so that Namine could ride even when the weather wouldn’t permit.
Well, we were very happy to find that this weekend, the weather did permit. It was a shockingly warm 60 degrees, so I brought Namine’s bike outside (no small feat, since it’s so large) and we went for a ride and run. Namine rode, I ran.
We actually did this twice in a row — we did a little under two miles on Saturday, then a little over 5K (that’s 3.1 miles) on Sunday. Namine’s biggest challenge is turns, which is no surprise since she’s got plenty of practice with pedaling, but it’s almost all been pedaling in place. Sometimes hills can be quite challenging too, but I let Namine set the pace. Sometimes she asked for a little help getting up hills; sometimes she insisted that I let her try. Either way, I remember just how difficult even small hills were when I put myself in her wheels for even a mere couple hours.
Going down hills was another matter entirely.
We already know that Namine likes to go fast. There’s a sloped hallway at Children’s Hospital that she will go down at full tilt if we let her. There’s a similar hallway at the school where she attends Sunday School, but at the end of that hallway is a double doorway that’s split in the middle.
Namine will go down that hallway, dodging classmates and teachers, zipping through one of those doorways at full speed. Her larger wheelchair just fits; when Namine does this, I call it “threading the needle.”
But I digress. In her bike, Namine is able to go even faster down hills than in her wheelchair. It is, after all, built for speed. And it was on those hills that the joy was plain on her face — or it would be, if I could keep up with her enough to see her face. As a parent, I am proud that she is still a responsible driver and pays attention to her surroundings.