The boys and I went for a bike ride today. We haven't gotten one in since before school was out when we did a little trip from a park to a beach just over a mile and a half away.We really haven't gotten in many short rides this summer yet. We're either going places or it's rainy.
Today was the first opportunity we took to get in a longer ride--almost three and a half miles one way, close to a seven mile ride. We took our bikes on the car and went to a park along the Mississippi River just north of downtown. We got onto the bike path that goes right under Target Stadium. The boys thought it would be exciting to bike under where the Twins play (it's really not--but it was motivating at least). We ended up going to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden.
The Walker Art Museum commissioned artists to design mini-golf course holes. The boys probably spent an hour looking at them, even though we didn't play (it would not have been a cheap outing in any way). We walked around the sculpture garden a little as well, stopping for a small picnic.
As the day was hot and humid, we started back to our car shortly after--getting back with time to play at the playground where we parked before any rain started (somehow we ended just getting a few sprinkles, though the streets were completely wet on our way home).
Biking and swimming are my two main forms of exercise (okay, and hiking--and canoeing and kayaking, but I don't get to do those very often). I love the rhythm, the movement of my body, the physical strain.
I love that when you bike, you're able to take in the scenery and interact with it at will. We passed a mulberry bush along the trail today, so we stopped and picked a few berries.
I love that the travel involves your body. You can't do a passive bike trip (well maybe on a tandem, but that's not going to make your partner happy).
I love that it is accessible. Yes, plenty of people spend plenty of money on their bike, clothing, and gear. But almost anyone can get a used bike for a reasonable price. My 15-year old bike still keeps me going without any special clothes or gear. I'm not winning races, but I'm enjoying the ride.
I love that even in the city, it connects me back to nature. I can get on a bike trail and go through the woods, along the river, or around a lake. As I'm biking I notices smells and sights. I am aware of fluctuations in the weather. I've seen deer, squirrels, wild turkeys, eagles, great blue herons, and plenty of other fauna on my rides. Even when I'm clipping along, I notice wildflowers growing along the path.
I love that we can do it together as a family. My wife is a runner; my oldest son tried it out today for the first time with her (I'm proud of him for doing so). I am not. But we all enjoy biking. And today's trip gives me a little hope that we can do some more rides this summer that go beyond our neighborhood.