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For the first Saturday in months we actually had nothing to do. Nothing but hang out together as a family. The kids had a long weekend with no school on Monday. The possibilities were endless. How in the world would we appreciate this wonderful gift of time?

Every Saturday morning I ask the same question. What are we going to do today? Heath said he wanted to buy Gavin a bike. We went to a bike shop we hadn’t browsed at yet. I had forgotten about it even though it was the birthplace of my bike.

Prices were high but not as high as some of the other places we had been. Gavin is a big kid now. We can’t just find him some adequate cheap piece of steel at Toys R Us anymore. We were going to have to drop more than the $100 Santa left for a bike.

I like the salesmen at this bike shop. They are knowledgeable without being too hung up on selling bikes. We told the guy what we were looking for based on the type of riding Gavin would be doing. He would mostly be riding around the neighborhood but mountain bike capabilities would be nice. The guy pointed us toward the Trek mountain bikes. He even helped us find the best priced bike for what we needed. The total cost with tax was just under $400. I was impressed since I was expecting a bike to cost at least $400 without tax.

The salesman had Gavin test drive it outside. He stayed on the sidewalk in front of the different shops. It was a gray and wet day so the covered sidewalk was probably the safest place to do the test drive. Heath stayed by Gavin’s side talking to him. When Gavin got to the end of the parking lot he got off. Heath adjusted the seat as high as it would go and hopped on to ride the bike back to where we stood in front of the bike shop.

His reasoning was that Gavin is 11 years old and about 5 feet tall. He has lots more growing to do. If we never get him another bike could he still ride this one when he is 6’2” like his dad? The answer is yes. The bike was small for Heath but certainly doable. It should last for about 10 years being handed down to Parker when Gavin goes on his mission. We were happy with the solid purchase we were making.

Sprinkles were intermittently falling as Heath and the boys put the bike rack on the back of the van. As soon as they were done and the doors were closed, the deluge began. We drove home in the drenching rain.


What a day to buy a new bike!

The rain slowed and then stopped by the time we got home. So Heath decided Gavin should at least have an opportunity to ride his new bike. The other two were excited to get in on the action.

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The rain was anywhere from heavy to non-existent and everything in between. Smiles never wavered. It was the best day of their lives! They had never ridden bikes in the rain before. Temperatures were in the low 60’s so it was a warm rain. It was a Pineapple Express Storm with the weather coming from Hawaii. If you’re going to play in the rain this was certainly the day to do it.


We let the boys ride to the park as long as they came home if the rain got too heavy.


Heavy rain is subjective. I felt more at ease knowing the boys were riding around the closed park than when they were driving around the circle. I hate that I can’t see our kids when they play outside. Heath and I were sitting in camp chairs in the garage right where the driveway starts.

It was quite peaceful watching the rain. But when all three kids were riding around I was pretty anxious. I can’t see too far on one side of the street before it curves around and is blocked by houses. We don’t get a lot of traffic on our street but enough that I worry about where the kids might be when a car suddenly appears.

Gwen rode around singing at the top of her lungs. The boys were safe in the park. Heath and I were enjoying the rain from the shelter of our garage. It was such a great afternoon. Eventually the boys came back home and we decided it was time to come in. We helped all the kids wipe down their bikes before hanging them up on the bike rack.

bike-rackI don’t think I have used this photo yet. My mom got us this bike rack for Christmas. It’s the best. This picture was taken the day we set it up. The little green bike on the bottom right has been donated. That used to be Gavin’s bike! He has not been interested in bike riding until now.

We need to get rid of Parker’s old bike. It’s the one on the top left. The bike rack only holds four bikes but even that makes a huge difference in our garage. Gwen’s bike tucks away nicely in front of the bike rack.

We live in California where garages are used as basements since basements are rare here. I just think it’s cool that we can fit two large vehicles, five bikes (six right now), and lots of other storage in our garage.

It was a very wet weekend. The weather people couldn’t really agree on the rain forecast. Saturday was actually supposed to be fairly dry all day with the bulk of the rain coming Friday and Sunday. Surprise! I wasn’t sure what to expect on Monday. Of course we need the rain and I hoped we would receive more rain on Monday. But I felt bad that Gavin finally discovered the joy of bike riding and couldn’t ride his new bike.

A thunderstorm rolled through on Sunday night. The rain was very heavy. Monday dawned gray. I was ready to pop popcorn and watch movies or play games with the kids on their day off. The sun came out and it was a beautiful day.

We spent the morning cleaning the house. We spent the afternoon riding bikes. We rode around the parking lot of the park for a while. Gwen said she wanted to play at the playground. So we rode up to the playground at the top of the park. The kids ran around playing and climbing and giggling for over an hour. I loved watching them play when they were little. This was fun because they are bigger and capable of so much more physicality on the playground. They had so much fun making up games and challenges for themselves.

They got tired and hungry so we decided to go back home. We took our time riding back through the parking lots. There was no rain but the kids went home just as soaked as they were on Saturday. They found every single puddle and rode through. They all had dirty rainwater splatters up their backs. Parker’s pants had a couple dry spots on them. They were pretty well drenched with leftover puddles from the rain.

One puddle was deep and long. Gwen called it the ocean. Which was a pretty accurate description since that thing really did look like a lake! It was super deep and spanned at least five parking spaces. I didn’t really see Gavin go through that puddle. Gwen and Parker did though. They rode straight down the middle where it was deepest. They steered for all the other puddles too. If they missed one they would circle back around.

When we got home they had to wipe down their bikes again! I thought it was nice of us to let them ride in the rain on Saturday. I swore we would never do it again though since it was such a pain trying to wipe down the bikes. Then I got to do it again on a dry day since the kids went out of their way to find every single puddle. You’re only young once!

As we were detouring our way through the park on our way home, Parker enthusiastically yelled out, “This is the best bike ride ever!” It really was.