Getting taken for a ride

Today we picked up new bikes for the girls. We ended up buying two from Wal-Mart, the seventh circle of hell on a rainy Memorial Day, and I really struggled with our choices. The only bikes that the girls really liked (and truly fit on) were a Bratz and a Hannah Montana bike.

Insert heavy sigh here.

My kids don't have Bratz dolls. We don't buy into the Hannah Montana craze. I refuse to spend my money on dolls that look like prostitutes and I won't play into the machine that is Hannah Montana/High School Musical or whatever else is popular this week. I'm a mean mom and a marketing executive's worst nightmare.

So what's a mean mom and a marketing executive's worst nightmare to do when she finally caves and makes the dreaded purchase? She removes all the stickers off of the bikes of course! Take that you evil doers, you corrupter of children and depleters of college funds!

I still feel dirty, though.


And Abby came tumbling after

Today the family took a bike ride south along the river, pedaling our bikes on top of the levy that serves as one of the many bike trails that are in Madison county. Most of these trails parallel state highways.

Abby and I rode together ahead of Jim and Emily (those slowpokes!). I rode closest to the road, and Abby was riding in the middle of the divided trail. We went from having a fantastic time as a family, out on a lovely Sunday afternoon, to a state of perpetual terror as my youngest daughter suddenly found herself off the trail, careening down a steep hill towards a gravel path and a chain link fence. There she was, screaming bloody murder down the hill as I jumped off of my bike, running down after her. "Abby, FALL! ABBY FALL!" Just before she hit the gravel path she fell, a tangle of braids, arms and legs and tires and pedals. She was terrified and in tears. I pulled the bike off of her and was amazed to find that she didn't have a scratch on her. Abby was very lucky that she didn't hurt herself (despite the rendering above Abby was wearing a bike helmet). She was a brave bug and rode her bike back to the car.

When she got home she drew the experience. The cloud says, "I bit the dust". Abby's yelling, "Ahhhhh!" As I am running after her (you can see a leg bent in the drawing) I'm yelling "Bug!" although "Abby FALL!" is what I actually said (the liberties some artists take!). There are other bicyclists in the picture at the top of the trail; a family had come upon us just after I reached Abby and had offered assistance.

Abby's no worse for wear after this afternoon's adventure. But I shudder to think what might have happened if she and I were on opposite sides; her closest to the road and high above the highway and had lost control of her bike then. I only get so far into that dark thought before my mind shuts out the image and retreats back to what actually happened.
We are very lucky, indeed.

*The color on Abby's drawing has been adjusted somewhat to bring out some of the detail in it*