We've been continuing our regular bike rides this summer.
Unfortunately, the path by our house that goes around the lake and is one of my FAVORITE things about where we live has a new sign posted that says no bikes!!
We were so shocked and dismayed to see that.
I was so dismayed, in fact, that I decided to reach out to our city's Parks and Recreation department and ask about the change, explaining that it was such a joy for our family to have a safe place to ride with our 5 young children and that we always tried to teach our kids to be courteous to pedestrians.
The director kindly responded to my inquiry and explained that in order for a path to be multi-use, it is technically supposed to be 10 feet wide and this path is only 8 feet wide. He told me that they had gotten a number of complaints of people getting injured or almost getting injured from bikers riding way too fast.
He then said, "It is not wonderful people like you who ruin things for everyone else and we hate it too. I can't give you permission to ride your bikes on the walking paths but if you are courteous to the walkers, I doubt anyone would say anything."
In spite of that little aside at the end of the e-mail, we decided we had better keep the rule and not ride around the lake anymore.
Good thing Memphis has a number of other nice bike paths to keep us going!
While Breanne was here, we visited a few different paths.
We especially loved finally exploring the paths at Overton Park.
The bike gate (pictured below) is an iconic part of Memphis and we drive past it all the time, but I had been hesitant to try that ride because I worried that the paths would be really congested. It's difficult to navigate around a ton of people with all the kids.
But it turned out to not be busy at all!
The bike gate was constructed from hundreds of bikes and other wheeled devices, including wheelchairs, tricycles, and even a penny farthing or two!
I love biking with the kids because, in addition to being lots of fun, it teaches them SO much!
They have to learn to constantly be aware of their surroundings and to be courteous to others.
They learn perseverance (giving up isn't an option when you are miles from the car!).
It teaches them habits of health and fitness.
They learn to grit their teeth and push forward in spite of pain (lots of skinned knees and elbows!).
They learn appreciation for nature and the beautiful place we live.
They learn to set and accomplish goals.
They learn to quickly observe and respond to issues around them.
They learn not to whine when it's hard (I don't force them to have fun, but they aren't allowed to whine).
And we bond so much on our family bike rides.
Here's to many, many more!