Monday, April 23, 2012

the bike path

Dear Em,
I didn't grow up in Rhode Island, but my great grandparents lived here. We used to drive up for family reunions, & I remember seeing funny biking signs & paths for bikers during the drive up. We didn't have anything like that where I grew up, & I remember thinking how lucky Rhode Islanders were to have such pretty paths.

Now that I live here, we try to take full advantage of the beautiful bike paths. While in college, your daddy & I would go for long roller blading trips (I'm not the best at stopping, but your daddy helped me out). After having you, I couldn't wait for the weather to be warm enough to take you for walks on the bike path & work off my baby weight. In an attempt to be more active, last summer we bought bikes & a bike trailer for you. Now, biking is one of our favorite outside activities in Rhode Island.

I am my mother's daughter, & I come to every bike ride prepared. For you we pack: a sippy of juice, at least 4 different snacks (last time it was granola, animal crackers, strawberries, & popcorn), a couple books, a baby doll or stuffed animal, sunglasses, & music (aka my IPhone). For Daddy & I, we fill up my Nalgene with water, & we're good to go.

Here you are ready for our bike ride. When you're not reading or singing, you tell me, "go faster! We can do it, Mommy!"

This is us, ready to bike 4 miles.

I'm not going to lie, your daddy is pretty cute on a bike.

We've only biked the South County Bike Path (although we're excited to also try the East Bay Bike Path this year), & it's a beautiful route. It connects South Kingstown to Narragansett. Along the mostly paved 8 miles, we pass tall trees, lots of benches for resting, wildlife observation, sections of swamp, Tri-Pond Park and Saugatucket River, & recreation fields. The trail starts at the historic Kingston Train Station & ends at Narragansett Beach. It's well maintained & frequented by walkers, runners, bikers, & roller-bladers, but I've never seen it over crowded. One of the best parts is that the path is free to use.

We start at the train station, but we've never made it all the way to Narragansett Beach with you.  By the four-mile mark you're typically getting a little cranky & want out of the trailer. That's typically fine for your daddy & I. As you continue to grow, it becomes a little more of a workout for Daddy & I to pull you in the trailer (especially with all the things I pack to take with us). Daddy & I look at the families who are all biking on their own bikes, & silently wonder when you will be old enough to ride your own bike. We also wonder how people pull two kids in a trailer. I guess we shouldn't sign up for the Tour de France anytime soon. Luckily, right around the four-mile mark is where we find Fagan Park.

It's not a big park. It has just a couple swings, a small playscape with one slide, a basketball court, & a couple picnic tables. It's the perfect size for a two-year old who wants out of the bike trailer. It's also never been busy, & it's right off the bike path. The park is the perfect spot for us to stop to rest, let you move around & let your sillies out, & sometimes we have a picnic in the grass.

After we've spent some time playing & laughing at the park, we turn around & bike the four-miles back. "We did it," you exclaim when we're done. I smile, wondering how much effort the eight mile bike ride was for you. We return home with smiles in our hearts after spending the morning being active in the sunshine & fresh air.

I remember thinking as we traveled home from our last ride that I was right growing up. Rhode Islanders are really lucky to have such pretty bike paths. How lucky are we to be Rhode Islanders & be able to enjoy them. I hope we'll have family bike rides on the bike path for as long as we're Rhode Islanders (even if it does get tougher to pull you in the trailer).

I love you so,

* For this post I'm linking up with Design Mom & her series, Love the Place You Live. These were her first & second posts of the series. I linked up with this post about The Wall & this post about our family trip to New Hampshire. *
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  1. what a beautiful blog! and i adore the letter concept too - am trying out something similar for our diplo-tot through another format too. biking with the little trailer is also on my exotic america list!

    1. Thanks! I'd love to see your diploma-tot letters. Biking w the trailer is the best & such a great workout.

  2. Cute way to do a blog--to your daughter! My husband and I love biking too. We have lots of bike paths here in Boise and in the foothills surrounding it. It looks very pretty there.

    1. Thanks, Charissa. So far we've only biked RI, but we're hoping to take our bikes on some of our vacas & try out some other areas.


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