Over Christmas I visited the Tampa Bay area to do some research and air out the children who had become moldy from sitting in front of the Xbox for too long.
By the third day my idyllic vision of happy holidays had crashed into reality. My teenage contrarian, 007, kept up a steady editorial analysis about why Tampa was worse than Disney World or Miami Beach or pretty much anywhere else on the face of the earth. And Rambo, my younger son, was in the throes of severe video game withdrawal. His poor little thumbs twitched with longing.
On the fourth day of Christmas I hauled 007 out of bed at the ungodly hour of 10:45 am, shoved him in the plastic scented rental car and headed to Clearwater Beach. I found Wheel Fun Rentals underneath the Hyatt and they were open, hallelujah. http://www.wheelfuntampabay.com/inde...ons/menu-hyatt
I thought it would be lovely to spend some quality time on a city bike with my son, show him the finer points of riding safely in traffic, enjoy the view. Once we pulled out of the rental space it devolved into a ride best described as Death by Bicycle.
I had no intention of riding hard. I was wearing yoga pants and carrying an oversized bag stuffed with a ton of junk including a camera. But once we cleared the town, that little weasel took off at a sprint headed south along a bike lane. He didnít look back. I wasnít going to be left behind. And so it went, over a bridge, down the road, past residential neighborhoods and small towns for 18 miles. I havenít worked that hard in a long time.
I only caught him twice and each time he realized I was drafting off of him, he lost me. Usually after making a snide comment about the size of my calves in relationship to my lack of speed. Towards the end I stopped to take photos from the top of a bridge. When I caught up he condescendingly suggested I try taking hills at a faster speed in order to get over them. I bit my tongue. Almost in half. When we returned the bikes 45 minutes late I was covered in sweat and he simply sauntered off without a single hair out of place. I will always believe he looked back at me and yawned simply for effect.
Afterwards, I bought him dinner, congratulated him on an excellent ride, and toasted him with my passion fruit mojito as he sullenly sipped his lemonade. I tried not to gloat and that was easy because 18 miles in yoga pants leaves a mark.
Clearwater, Florida. Itís easy to rent bikes, easy to ride, just not with a college age kid.
Dinner was at Clear Sky Cafť http://www.clearskybeachsidecafe.com/