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Learning How To Ride A Bike

I walked into the house last week to see Keith wearing his best a sheepish grin. I worry when I see that grin, it usually means he’s up to something, or he’s booked in for another tattoo.
“I've got a plan for this weekend, it’s a surprise”
I hate surprises. 

Truly, I loathe them, almost as much as I hate birthday parties. 

I was figuring out how to gently remind my husband of this fact when Alfie exploded into the room and stated speaking in tongues.

Keith face was a picture of dejection; 
“It’s true” he confirmed,
“What’s true? What’s going on?”
“Didn't you hear him?”
“Those were words?!”
“Yes, he just told you the surprise!”
“I have no idea what just happened. We can move on to talking about what’s for dinner and I will know the same amount as I did before he started speaking”
“No, it’s OK. I told Alfie today that if the weather is nice on Saturday, you and he would ride round to Oriental Bay on your bikes for lunch”
I had no reply to that.

That’s a lie; I had several replies about being volunteered to ride a bike and whether Keith had finally lost his damn mind, but I kept my own counsel. 

It wasn't the bike ride that I was dreading; it was the thought of Alfie riding 4 miles along a narrow pavement. I had visions of runners being hamstrung, cars with Alfie shaped dents, and a continuous soundtrack of “I'm tiiiiiired, my kneeeees hurt”.

But I'm a “do something that scares you every day” kinda gal and one thing I have learned about Alfie is to always expect the unexpected. If his enthusiasm for this bike ride counted for anything, we were going to be just fine.

No word of a lie, we got about 100 yards into our ride before I realised this had all the makings of being the most painful road trip ever undertaken.

It wasn't Alfie, it was the bike.

He couldn't reach the brakes, he couldn't reach the floor, and it weighs more than he does so every gust of wind stopped him dead in his tracks.

By the first mile, I had repeated the words “look ahead and don’t stop peddling” so often, I had turned them into a song.

The second mile involved hills, so my song was expanded to include such memorable lines as “PEDAL, PEDAL, PEDAL!!” and “YEAH BABY, DOWNHILL, TURN ALFIE, TURN!!!”

When my phone started ringing somewhere into the third mile I was forced to deal with the small matter of stopping. Eventually we came up with a plan that involved me picking something soft for Alfie to crash into and him not actively peddling into it.

Somehow we made it the rest of the way to our lunch date without anyone losing a limb.

Somehow we even made it home again.

As far as surprises go, it was frickin awesome.

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