With the weather as beautiful as it was this week Declan and I broke out the bikes for the first time of the season. We added a little air to our tires, ensured the brakes were still functioning and off we went to the art guild to take pictures of their chamber mixer.
Not many assignments include the added benefit of such a variety of delicious free food, if you missed that gathering, I would definitely recommend you keep your ears pinned for the next time they host one.
Declan and I ate our fill while I did my best to pretend my priority was capturing the moment for the Gazette, admittedly though the incredible food made that difficult to do.
We did eventually make it out of there and began our bike ride home. If you have ever seen Declan and me riding around town you probably noticed the "co-pilot" bike system we use. It is a contraption that converts my mountain bike into something akin to a two seat bike. Declan has handle bars but no front tire, instead his bike attaches just under my seat. He can contribute by pedaling, although he never seems to want to do this unless we are traveling downhill and I am attempting to brake.
It has been ideal for me to still get an active ride in and not have to worry about him zipping out into traffic or being able to keep up. I am beginning to realize the days of us utilizing it are numbered, though.
On the way home from the art guild Declan said, "It's so weird, Dad. Everyone who sees my bike points and looks at it. Even the parents."
I could tell he was noticing this for the first time and was uncertain how to feel about it.
"Yeah, it's because it's unique. No one else has a bike like yours, pretty cool huh?" I replied. The silence that followed let me know he wasn't convinced. I could see him teetering on that slippery slope between being insecure about our "unique" little bike, or taking pride in having it.
I am not sure what he will decide, but if I have learned anything over the last six years it's that I have to let him make that decision on his own. I may make subtle efforts to attempt to glamorize our bikes, but anything that is recognized as coaxing by him will most assuredly drive him in the opposite direction.
Regardless, whether it be due to my little guy sprouting into a young man that I physically cannot pull behind me, or simply another casualty of his developing social image, the days of cruising around town with my little co-pilot seem to already be numbered.