Friday, July 19, 2013

On a ride with 8 girls

Six girls out in front. Another two are with me bringing up the tail.
In our household, I'm vastly outnumbered by females. It has taken some time for me to orient myself in this situation. I grew up with only brothers, and during a long stretch of awkward and ungainly years, girls were a distant phenomenon. To me, they were as unknowable as Martians, or Venusians as the case may be.

In years since, I've had opportunities to make progress in understanding. As it happens, in addition to the female members of my own household, my sister-in-law and her two daughters visit annually, an event of which we are currently in the midst. Added to that, today we also had a school pal over for a visit. As might be imagined, these factors led to a planetary alignment mandating raucous, girly activities.

The afternoon was filled with squealing at various decibel levels, trending toward the upper end of the spectrum. I must admit, I took refuge in the bike barn. The cacophony subsided somewhat as a couple of pizzas met their end. Then, the horde issued a call for a bike ride to the dirt hills. At last! They were speaking my language. It just so happens that I have sufficient bikes to equip them all, so with a little tweaking and adjustment, we were off for a summer evening ride.
My co-pilot kept me apprised of the status of the convoy.
Already accomplished at mugging for the camera.
Our fleet of bikes stretched out for about half a block as we made our way through the neighborhood to the park and the dirt trails. As is the case with this bunch, there was no shortage of competitiveness, so a little racing and jockeying for position ensued. By the time we got to the park, some were ready for the dirt and others were ready for a rest.
The Dummy with my home-built removable second seat back installed. Details to follow when I am able. 
For the astute reader, Scout is the eighth girl on the ride.
Meredith was a first-time dirt bike rider. From the sound of her yelling, dirt riding was a hit.
After many circuits, interspersed with frisbee throwing and running in the grass, it was time to head for home. I'm not certain that I can say I understand the intricacies of the feminine psyche much more now than I ever have, but I do know that they like riding bikes as much as I did and still do. I'm also more than a little proud that my group of girls whooped it up on the dirt hills on their bikes, relishing the bumps and skidding up clouds of dust.

The lone boy of similar age who passed by looked at them in wonder and perhaps a touch of fear from aboard his bike; a pavement-bound BMX with training wheels serving as outriggers. The irony doesn't escape me that I take much satisfaction in knowing that my girls will likely befuddle boys of their generation.


  1. I was the only "boy" in my family... dad was a workaholic, so I was pretty much raised in a house with 6 women. I am once again outnumbered in my adult life. Bike barn = fortress of solitude, Andy. I still don't get them after circling the sun nearly 44 times. Let me know if you crack the code.

    p.s. glad you're back to it, enjoy your blog very much.

    1. I've made about one orbit fewer than you have, but I doubt if I'll ever crack the code. If anything, they only get more confusing.

      Fortress of solitude indeed, at least after about 10 pm.