Tag Archives: bicycling

Cape – Sunny Day Adventures

This post is to extend my Streak for Mia to raise awareness for pediatric stroke and funds for Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association.

We’re home from Cape Cod, exhausted and overstimulated. I think both girls grew up overnight. When I said that out loud, Mia tried to show me how much taller she had gotten. I feel gratitude for our wonderful friends that make trips like this so fun, and for our au pair for being here at home to greet us and help pack lunches for tomorrow and handle some of the laundry. Reentry is going to be tough. My children did not go to sleep until after 9:30 pm tonight.

Like yesterday, I’m mostly sharing pictures to show what our day was like. We rose early, left the hotel, but not before having someone knock on the door for the second day in a row to complain that we were being too noisy above them from 6 am – 7 am. Yesterday, I opened the door and today I did not. I simply ignored it in favor of comforting one of my girls. They were not being excessively noisy, just early for someone who apparently was hoping to sleep in.

We had two big adventures with different families. First, we met up with Gabrielle and Patrick for a bike ride. We rode 10 miles! Having company definitely makes more miles easier to manage.

Then, we met Patricia, Avery, and Scarlett for some beach time on the bay side. It was cold in the water but delightful to be on the sand. The girls all played beautifully together.

Unfortunately, I got a speeding ticket as we were leaving the Cape. I was definitely speeding, and didn’t quite have my wits about me to justify it to the officer as my fight-or-flight reaction to being in the car as the only adult while driving my girls who were having the predictable but still challenging vacation-withdrawal meltdown. In fact, I think between where the officer claimed to catch me speeding and where he pulled me over, one of my girls fell asleep and missed the whole thing.

Zoe and Mia waiting in hotel while I go for one more load of our stuff:

Mia and Zoe resting and snacking during our bike ride:

Mia, Patrick, and Zoe snacking:

Mia, Zoe, and Patrick climbing rocks:

Mia, Avery, and Zoe at beach entrance:

Mia and Zoe shocked at the chill of the water:

Zoe, Avery and Scarlett:

Mia helping:

Avery and Zoe helping:

Bikes and Kite

Continuing my Streak for Mia to raise awareness about pediatric stroke and funds for Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association.

I’m deviating here from some of my recent posts about the labor of parenting two to celebrate the joys this Memorial Day weekend. We’re on Cape Cod. It’s probably more work to travel than to stay home with little ones but it’s definitely worth it and getting easier as they get a bit older.

This morning, it was very rainy at home and we had some errands to do before hitting the road. We made it to Welfleet by 2 pm, checked into our hotel, and got settled a bit before our big afternoon adventure.


We brought our bikes – Zoe’s 20″ bike, my old bike with a trail-a-bike behind for Mia. The northern end of Cape Cod Rail Trail is only about five minutes drive from where we are staying so we parked there and got the bikes off the rack and connected the trail-a-bike to my bike. At home, they stay connected in our shed for quick trips to the playground which we’ve been doing on nice evenings this spring. But, this was our first longer ride as a biking trio. The last time I biked with them on the Cape was two years ago and they were both in a bike trailer so it was a lot of work for me.


We probably rode five miles total, a stretch along the rail trail, then we turned on the road toward Marconi Beach. Sadly, the beach access was washed out by winter storms so we looked wistfully at the Atlantic Ocean.


We had picked up a new kite this morning and the plan for this afternoon was actually Zoe’s idea. She said she wanted to bike to the beach and fly the kite. We couldn’t fly it on the beach but the parking lot was empty so we had fun with the kite anyway.




On the ride back to the car, it was windy and misty so we stopped to put on rain pants and jackets. We drove back to town. The girls and I had a nice dinner and everyone will sleep well after the biking adventure.




We are meeting up with another family tomorrow, a friend and her two girls (6 and 2 years old). We’ll try the bay side tomorrow and Monday as we think there will be sure beach access for kite flying and shell seeking and knowing my kids some splashing too even if it’s still 60 degrees.


This post on bicycling is part of my streak in the month of May to spread awareness about pediatric stroke. Please consider donating to support Children’s Hemiplegia and Stroke Association, an organization that has helped our family tremendously with support and information.

Both my girls started riding balance bikes (2 wheels, no pedals) when they were two years old.


In late March, Zoe asked me to go to the bike store to look at bikes. She’d been outgrowing her 16″ bike which she rides well. I had raised the seat but then the handlebars were too low. Of course, Mia also chimed in with, “I want a new bike too!” That wasn’t part of my original plan. She was on track to stay on the balance bike a while longer and then get Zoe’s 16″ hand-me-down.

For historical reference, Zoe could ride her Skuut balance bike the mile to their daycare before I got her the 16″ “pedal bike” which was in the spring after she turned 4. We skipped training wheels. The 16″ bike was a little too big. She could pedal right away and balance and steer but it took her a while to be able to start and stop with confidence and she went back and forth between the balance bike and the pedal bike for more than a year before things clicked on the pedal bike.

On that shopping day, I ended up getting Zoe a 20″ bike with hand brakes and gears. It seems like she is a really big kid all of a sudden. She can ride it well and independently. I even let her go up and down the street by herself. She’s good about going to the side of the road when a car is coming.

Mia fell in love with a little red 12″ pedal bike so I indulged her too. Mia could pedal, balance, and steer on day 1. She still needed help to get started over and over again, but she mastered her 12″ 2-wheeler faster than Zoe did the 16″ just because it’s more her size. Bicycling is an excellent skill and activity for Mia with her right-side challenges as it requires that she use her whole self in a balanced way. The grip on the handlebars and the pressure up through the arms is good for her. On her first day, she seemed to need to look at her feet to make sure they are on the pedals and some of that could be that she’s learning but some could be that she uses her eyes on the right foot particularly since her sensation is less developed there. I kept reminding her to look up at Zoe who was off in front most of the time.

Here’s Mia after just three weeks on her new pedal bike. She can pedal, steer, turn around to come back, and stop in a controlled way. You may notice that she does let go first with her right hand when stopping at the end of this video. Since that video, she has taught herself how to start on her own, all before turning 4 in June!

My lessons from this experiment in supporting two children in learning to ride bicycles:

  • Balance bikes are awesome! Kids learn to balance and steer and go fast without also dealing with pedals.
  • It’s possible and faster to skip training wheels.
  • The right size bike makes learning much easier. I don’t mind that Mia will outgrow her 12″ bike after a season if she has used that season to master the skills.