Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bikes on the Beach

Our family astrologer, Katy Kaye, said that since I’m a fire sign, and Jen and Mimi are water, that our shared family time should include visits to environments where hot things meet wet things, like volcanoes a the ocean. As if we needed incentive to plan a trip to Hawaii, now we have it.

In the meantime, though, there’s at least one thing we do together that seems to meet out shared need for overall familial pleasure, even without the astrological underpinnings: riding bikes on the beach.

We first experienced this last year at Cape Disappointment State Park and have been enjoying it immensely these last few days at Grayland Beach.

The vast, largely deserted oceanfront here provides the ideal spot for careening, ambling, and poking around on two wheels, and each of us takes a real measure of delight in the experience, each in our own way, even—or perhaps especially—the dog, who gets to romp about at high speed while we attempt to shepherd her somewhere between the surf and other people’s canine pets on leashes.

I like that I’m on a bike with family, free of worries about traffic or destination; Jen and Mimi appreciate their ability to cover lots more ground in the never-ending search for beach treasures, and Becca is just happy to run.

I’m surprised by how few other cyclists we see—none, actually, in the entire three days we spent riding about; I find it hard to believe that we’re the only parents and kids for whom this pastime is cheaper than therapy.

Perhaps it’s the fear of sand and salt in the machinery; our chains weren’t particularly crazy about the powdery grains of Washington’s windswept coast; but a few quick spritzes with the garden hose, and a few squirts of lube with the excess wiped off put them all back in order.

Or maybe some families are just happy in cars; we did see a lot of those.


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