Mother and baby girl riding on a bicycle.

A Bicycle Built For Two

It isn't quite the bike you'd envision when picturing a standard bicycle built for two.

After my husband, Bill, and I bought our snazzy green Schwinns a few years ago we spotted a bicycle built for two in the corner of the bike shop.

We both agreed that when it came time for us to need new ones we would pick the tandem type. Little did we know that I would have one of my own, just a slightly different model.

Lately the weather has not been cooperating with our plans to hit the bike paths and we've only had the chance to ride once.

Aside from the weather I knew this summer would be excitedly different than last.

This time last year we were anxiously awaiting the arrival of our first grandchild. For the soon to be grandpa and I, the countdown began the moment we found out our youngest daughter, Katie, was expecting. Needless to say the pregnancy seemed to drag on forever. Now, looking back, we can't believe how fast the time has flown since her birth.

Our bouncing bundle of joy has blossomed into a beautiful baby girl. Just the sight of her causes old gramps and me to giggle with glee.

It's also the reason that this summer season found us on the hunt for a baby carrier for the back of my bike. I discovered, in my quest for the best, that there are many styles of these bike seats to choose from. There are some with springs for a cushier cruise, some with extra padding for added comfort. We chose the one that seemed to offer the best of everything.

Now, the only challenge left was installing it onto my snazzy two-wheeler.

You wouldn't think it would be that time consuming but when you're considering the welfare of your grandchild you make sure that every one of the hundred and one bolts, screws and washers are accounted for and used.

Finally it was erected, sturdy and solid behind my seat. That's about when I noticed the open gap between the leg rests and the wheel. The possibility of our little grand daughter getting her tiny toesies caught in the spindles was a nightmarish thought.

My mind flashbacked to the days when Katie, her mom, rode on the back of my pink and gray ten-speed. Has it really have been over 2 decades ago? I don't remember being so concerned when she was the one riding in back of me. As a grandma I now find myself worrying over everything, which probably comes with the territory.

Thankfully there was a purpose for the vinyl sheeting I noticed lying next to the empty box. Following the instructions, we placed it between the back tire and frame and clamped it together with a few heavy duty plastic strip ties.

Even though this vinyl covering causes an annoying sound, like a kid's bike with cards stuck in the spokes, nothing compares to the melody of hearing my darling grand baby girl oohing and aahhing while patting my back as we pedal through the park. It's a tune I hope will be heard all summer long.

I look forward to sharing more happy, joyful memories with my precious little passenger, on our own special version of a bicycle built for two.

~ Kathy Whirity ~

Kathy is a newspaper columnist who shares her sentimental musings on family life. Life Is A Kaleidoscope is Kathy's first published book which is a compilation of some of her most popular columns. She is also a contributor to the Chicken Soup for the Soul book series. She and her husband, Bill, live in Chicago. You can visit her website at:

[ By: Kathy Whirity Copyright © 2009 ( kathywhirity at ) -- {used with permission} ]

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