When I was a kid, a favorite family activity was biking on the weekends around Town Lake (now called Lady Bird Lake). Before I could ride my own bike, my parents would carry my sister and me in little seats on the back of their bikes.
My mom first taught me – and later both of my daughters - to ride a bike. She pulled off the training wheels, gave me a good push, and cheered me on as I wobbled and then balanced on the bike, pedaling through soft grass in case I fell. Once I could ride alone, I would follow my parents as we pulled out of our garage, rode through nearby Westenfield Park, and hit the trail that carried us to the lake. Sometimes we would take a break on the way, stopping under a tree where my dad would pull out his newspaper and maybe some Jolly Rancher candies. (I liked cherry; he liked cinnamon.)
Over the years and decades since, my parents have continued to bike regularly, and I go with them, usually around the eastern section of the lake, a few times a year. They also ride often in Washington D.C. I'm inspired by their commitment to this fun and healthy activity.
Today it was a treat to be joined by both my mom and dad on my last training ride on the Southern Walnut Creek Trail. We talked about my kids, the week ahead, my upcoming bike ride; I don't think we even bothered to taint the morning with complaints about Trump. My dad wrote about our ride here: https://www.facebook.com/lloyddoggett/.
The bluebonnets are starting to fade, but other wild flowers are taking their place. We greeted many other cyclists, some training for the MS150 like me, and others just enjoying the cool, sunny morning. What a great celebration of Earth Day!
My family's support sustains me, and it will help me through those last tough miles next weekend to know they are waiting for me at the finish line.