Monday, November 17, 2008

Bike Camp Part V

Tuesday. Same thing, next day. Pack up everything, get into car. Drive for 75 minutes and start the camp. Each day the back "wheel" is changed so less and less of the flat base is touching the ground. It is gradual and the guy who invented this is a genius! Daniel gets on and GOES. He doesn't seem to be having any troubles. It is actually all going OK! I start dreaming of bike riding. The places we could go. The freedom this would give him. During our talks about this he says he would like to ride his bike to the library. That would be a great ride for the kids and I to do on a summer day. We talk of riding to the Aquatics Center. Our local pool that we frequent during the summer. So many things to do. Another was for Daniel to get exercise without knowing it! Oh the possibilities.

We finish day two without incident and head BACK to the zoo. This turns out to be the best zoo trip we've ever had. That is saying A LOT because we have been to A LOT of zoos. This one many many times. The Detroit Zoo is a fantastic zoo. I can't believe the number of people who live around here and have never been. If you haven't, please GO. These are my boys on the train. As you saw a few posts ago. Daniel loves trains. That is the first thing we do is get a ticket for the train. It takes you to the back of the park. Then we work our way to the front. It's the routine!

The polar bears are wonderful. On this day we lucked out. They were very active. You can go in a tunnel under the water and if you are lucky they'll be swimming above you. As they were here.

This guys stepped on the top of the tunnel. Look at the size of that foot! It was awesome! Then he decides to sit down and take a rest.

That playing was wearing him out! Here are my boys enjoying the bears!

This was a wonderfully successful day. It was exhausting and I could see it wearing on Daniel. He had ridden the bike two days for 75 minutes each day, plus walked around the huge Detroit Zoo for hours. He deserves it. I can tell he really wants to learn to ride. That is the most important thing. If they don't want it, it is not going to happen! No matter what.

Wednesday at the camp is the day that the parents meet with some of the camp officials. They have had two days to watch and evaluate your child. They sit you down and tell you what they are going to need to ride and what you are going to have to do to continue after camp is done. It is a big commitment and unless you are there in terms of committing yourself, after the camp is done it isn't going to work. They told me what size bike Daniel would need and gave me a list of recommendations. I can list off many things that the bikes should not be, but it needs to sit back some, not up like a mountain bike. More like a cruiser. Your weight is more evenly distributed. It's easier to ride. Now, if you have a bike you can bring it in on Thursday and they will make sure it is set up for him or her. I did not have a bike for him. They strongly recommend you invest in a GOOD bike. Not a Walmart special. They don't last and their cheapness will not make for it being easy to ride. (I secretly love this because I am very very anti Walmart, why? read up on it!)

We get home from the bike camp, fairly early. We didn't have any big outing planned and frankly at this point we were all to exhausted to do it anyway. But I was armed with my list of bikes and I hit the computer for local research. After a few hours rest I drug the boys out to a local bike shop. Now as soon as you say "bike shop" you can hear the cha ching of the cash register right? Right. The first stop was very unsuccessful. They didn't have what I was looking for in his size bike. I know the people who own this shop and wanted to support them. But I also wanted a bike to bring to the camp the next day so they could look at it and tell their thoughts.

We went home and I looked up another shop in Lansing. Riverfront Cycle. I highly recommend this store. We had a GREAT experience. I lucked out in that my cute young salesman had been through a similar camp helping teach kids with special needs to ride. He knew where I was coming from! When things like this happen I feel destiny and everything lining up. It sounds crazy, but it felt right and it was. We got Daniel the MOST amazing bike. It is a Giant which apparently people who ride bikes know of. I do not. The 10 speed bike I had in high school I bought with my own money at Meijer, so I am not an aficionado regarding bikes and quality. Which is why I wanted the camp instructors opinions. I bought the bike and new helmets for both boys (cha ching) and off we went. I immediately had a panic attack that I bought the wrong thing and, well I don't know what I thought would happen, but I thought I would have done the wrong thing (OH NO!?!) and then Daniel wouldn't want to return it. I guess that's my thought. But no. The next day, Zachary went to a friends house and Daniel and I loaded up his bike and took off for Detroit. They were going to put him on a two wheeler today! Thursday. The goal is Friday to have "graduated" to the "outside". We were on track, we had our new Giant in the back and Zachary didn't have to spend another day riding. Things were looking good. . .

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