Sep 3, 2014

On A Wing And A Prayer

We tried desperately to squeeze every last drop out of summer break this past weekend.   In order to do so that means you must oftentimes come up with plans on the fly.  Especially if you live in Minnesota during this, The Summer That Wasn't.  I think we've had maybe 2 days that hit 80 degrees. So when the sun comes out, rain stays at bay and there is a tinge of heat in the air, you drop all plans and invent one that involves outdoor activity.  This is just how we roll up here.  We make the most of our outdoor time.  That is how this came to be our Fun Family Activity for Sunday.   We decided to load all our bikes up and drive into the City to ride around the Chain of Lakes and over to our favorite pizza joint, Punch.  Life just doesn't get much better than this for us.  

This is the back of Chuck's car.  I gave him that bike rack for Father's Day a year ago.  At around the same time, his trunk broke and has never opened since.  He felt he would not be able to use the bike rack with a broken trunk.  However, I was (rather surprisingly) able to attach the bike rack on all by myself (okay...with help from Gavin) without ever attempting to open the 'broken trunk'.  Being that I so economically purchased this little amazing piece of equipment off of Craigslist, it did not come equipped with installation instructions.  But it seemed rather straight forward to me.  I can't imagine how else it could have hooked on to the back of his car - with or without a functional trunk. Nonetheless, I was holding my breath the entire drive as I followed Chuck watching to make sure the 4 (way too) small hooks stayed attached.  The last thing we want is for me to run over the boys' bikes after they catapult off the rear end of Chuck's car sitting on a structure that I so securely attached to it. I had a lot riding on my pride.  I felt like the bikes were tied on with paperclips, some shoe string, gum and a few straws.  That's how much confidence I had in this contraption.

But miracles never cease.  We made it all the way into the City with all our bikes in one piece.  I am the slowest bike rider ever.  Part of the reason is safety (I fall off more than I stay on, so if I go slow reason dictates the fall won't be as severe).  The other reason is that you never know when you come upon a beautiful photo op.  Seriously, I stop all the time while I'm driving (bikes or cars) to take pictures.

We made it around Lake Calhoun and found our way over to Punch Pizza.  We were at the top of our game here.  Laughter, good food and warm weather abounded.  We discussed where we were going to zip off to on our bikes next.  Minneapolis is such a bike friendly city that there are bike trails going absolutely everywhere and bike racks all over the place.  We weren't the only ones who rode our bikes here and stopped in for a bite to eat on this sunny, warm day.  

As I was taking this picture of all of us getting ready to get back on the trail Chuck is saying, "Where is my bike?"  It didn't really dawn on me until I went over to him and he actually said, "Someone stole my bike."  Collective Gasp!  Noooo!  As high as we were earlier, we all came crashing down when the harsh finality set in that Daddy's bike was truly gone.  And there wasn't a thing we could do about it.  I know I instantly felt sick to my stomach.  So much for our Fun Family Activity.  Granted, none of us have bike locks.  We never felt the need to lock them up.  We've left them on public bike racks before with no problem.  But not today.  It was devastating.  That was a very special bike all of us (including all the extended family) went in on together to buy for Chuck for his birthday a few years back.  

Sigh.  Huge highs.  Deep lows.   As the four of us rode our bikes back to where we parked (probably a mile or two away), Chuck jogged along side us.  Always fun after ingesting a whole pizza.   

Summer sure went out with a bang for us. 



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