Bye bye, biking buddy

Today I might be the saddest man on two wheels.

Thursday was the last day of school, the last day my younger child would attend elementary school. He’s off to big, bad middle school, and at some point as we pedaled to class last week it dawned on me our bike-to-school days were numbered.

But as is my wont, I pushed all related thoughts and feelings aside.

Until now, of course, when school won’t roll around and we won’t roll.

I have to admit, it’s been a blast.

Though he balked a time or two — he was too tired, it was too windy/cold/hot, it looked rainy, etc. — he rode without complaint. And except for one memorable ride home into a gusty headwind, when his “stupid bike” just wouldn’t work right, no matter how reluctant he was to start his rides to or from school, he always arrived in a better mood than when he departed.

Along the way, he hollered at squirrels and pointed out treasures in the road and caught bugs in his teeth and generally, somehow, found a way to make my morning and my afternoon better than they started.

Now, though, after what’s sure to be a too-short summer, he’ll be off to middle school. Classes start earlier. The route is farther and more heavily trafficked. Most importantly, as I explained to him, he might not admit it now, but — and I hate to make this a self-fulfilling prophesy, but I’m nothing if not a realist — I have this funny feeling he’s not going to want to be seen riding to school with his dorky dad once he enters the cutthroat world of middle school.

Because of recognition ceremonies and such, we didn’t get to ride much last week. We debated riding on his last day, despite his recognition ceremony, but he uncharacteristically begged off.

“I’m kinda tired,” he said. “And … ”

And what?

“Well, you remember the last time we rode?”


“Well, it was nice. We had a tailwind. I didn’t have to stop at the stoplight or anywhere. I tried to do that all year. And I finally did. It was like the perfect ride.”

Perfect, huh? Not a bad way to wrap it up.