Unseen parts

I took the kids on a bike ride yesterday. People might say “oh that’s nice.” Seems pretty straightforward. Well, it is and it isn’t.

Lots of work and preparing and big feelings were involved. Things that don’t easily or commonly come across in casual conversation, or in a short blurb on the internet. I don’t want these parts of life that are invisible to many to be forgotten.

There is an ice cream shop along the trail. That is pretty memorable. I took a photo of the kids eating ice cream, but I did not photograph us locating water bottles at home, filling them up, going back to the house for forgotten ones. I didn’t photograph the conversation I had cautioning the kids from holding the water bottles while they bike instead of using a proper backpack. There is no visual record of a water bottle falling off of a bike and getting run over.

I took a photo of a kid on their bike. I didn’t take a photo of kids complaining about various bike issues of the past weeks.

One bike was recently repainted by a kid whose taste in colors did not match the bike we had put aside for them to grow into. I wish I’d taken photos of the repainting process. I might have a picture somewhere of the paint that we gave them in their Easter basket, so that’s something.

Yesterday I posted a photo of an outgrown bike to give away. I documented that the seat tends to tilt and it needs repairs right away. I didn’t share how we found out about the wayward seat; on a previous ride that ended due to a sad wipeout.

I DID get a a photo of the replacement bike whose pedal weirdly flew off after a 1 mile ride down the trail. On its very first ride outdoors. I’m proud of documenting that odd event. However, there’s no photo of that same partially disassembled bike sitting in our basement for several weeks needing a tire and inner tube put on. I didn’t photograph me slowly fumbling through replacing inner tubes in the weeks leading up to this outing.

See the detached pedal on the wooden railing above the bike? Yeah.

No photos exist of people trying to put air in our tires to get the bikes ready, or the dusty corner of the basement where I carefully keep the bike things for when we might need them.

There’s no photo of our 15 minute wait in the car to start our ride because of rain that arrived despite a cloudy, dry forecast.

I don’t have a photo of this person, but I think I will always remember the worker from Tandem Connection who put the pedal back on. kindly and without judgement and refused to take payment.

There’s no image of my backpack in which I carry the first aid kid kit and and tire pump and emergency snacks. I didn’t take a picture of me telling the kids that I am not bringing snacks because they are old enough to bring their own.

I hope I remember all of these parts. For our next family bike ride. For the future when I take care of only my own bike. Perhaps for far in the future when I take my grandchildren out for a bike ride. I want to remember what really happened. And how we felt.