A blurry photo taken from a car of Penny pedaling on a tandem bike behind Peter. William is on another bike behind them.

Reimagining the Dream of a Family Bike Ride

(Scroll down for a great video!) Does it matter whether your child ever learns to ride a bike? Does it matter if your child never joins a family bike ride?

I used to think it mattered a lot. And then our daughter was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome and I realized that a lot of the things that seemed to matter weren’t as important as I once thought. She used training wheels when she was little, but Penny told us in no uncertain terms that she was not interested in riding a bike on her own.

No big deal.

But in recent years, it has felt like a loss to not be able to take a family bike ride. And so we started to wonder if the solution didn’t have to be Penny riding a bike on her own. We’ve learned that sometimes we need to let go of our hopes and dreams. And other times, we can imagine them taking shape in a new way.

Last summer, we rented a tandem bike, and it went well, so this summer we finally bought one. We rode for miles together, and it was fun.

It wasn’t an accomplishment. It was a dream come true. It was a connection. It was a joyful activity. It was a way to be sure everyone in our family knows they belong.


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