What do you do when it’s the weekend, work is slow enough that your dear husband doesn’t have to spend a full day at the office, and the forecast is beautiful blue skies, nary a cloud to be seen? Well, for Saturday, you pack up everyone and go over to your parents’ house to watch the Huskies game and eat all afternoon. But that’s not what this blog is about—on Sunday, we packed up a lunch and all the bikes, cranked up Viva La Vida by Coldplay on the iPod, and headed off to Stanley Park, in downtown Vancouver.
Stanley Park is a large park (10% larger than Central Park in New York) that jets off the downtown core of Vancouver, BC. There’s an aquarium (with several beluga whales, an Amazon rainforest display, dolphins, etc.), a miniature train, a petting zoo, a putting green, a lawn bowling center, tennis courts, several restaurants, a rowing club, and more and more and more. But what we were going for was the ~5 mile jogging/walking/biking/rollerblading path all the way around it.
We’ve done it before—last summer, in July 2010, the boys and I went with our friends the Lyons. Owen had a tiny little bike, and any time the group would wait for him to catch up, they’d take off again as soon as he caught up. And, he didn’t have any water the whole trip (my bad. my very bad…little dehydration problem after five miles in ~70 degree weather). And, he skinned up his fingers when he rode too close to a barricade—he still has the scars to prove it. His first experience on his own bike around Stanley Park, to say the least, was not a pleasurable memory.
Check out the tiny little 16 inch wheel bike that Owen had. No gears like the big kids—just pure kid power kept that thing going.
So THIS time, Dad could come with us…
…and we had a new bike for Owen, complete with shifting gears that he knew how to use, and two water bottles secured to Mom and Dad’s bikes. How could we go wrong.
Only thing we didn’t have—warmth. We had decided to go early in the morning, so we were riding bikes at around 10:30 or so. Most of the trail was in the shade, and it was SO COLD. So, so, so bitterly cold. Okay, it was probably in the forties, so we weren’t in danger of freezing to death, but it was our first experience this fall of REALLY wanting gloves. I was the only one who brought any (after I realized they weren’t working that great anyway, I let Guyan use them—I’m so giving that way).
Owen spent the first third (at least) trying to get us to turn around.
Guyan knew that wouldn’t work…
…and just looked for sun to stop and bask in (that kid is so TALL—all legs).
Owen wouldn’t even do jumping jacks with me to keep warm.
And even with all my jumping jacks, using gloves for most of the ride, and a positive attitude, my hands still did that little Raynaud’s disease-esque yellow waxy thing they do when they get cold. …must get that checked by the doctor… This picture doesn’t do it justice; they get quite freaky looking, and I can’t feel them at all (which is why I figured I could give up the gloves to Guyan—I couldn’t feel my hands anyway). Yay. Good times.
So—Stanley Park solo bike trip #2 for Owen was…better. But not great. We’ll have to try again. Next summer, say, on a 72 degree day with Dad, water, and shifting gears. That would be perfect.