8 Miles

“Watch out for the turtles and rabbits”, I tell my son who is pedaling his bike a few yard behind me.

The sun has set but that’s no consolation.

I still think I’m in Seattle where mid-afternoon temperatures in the 80’s can easily dip into the 50’s by nightfall. But that’s not how it works in the desert where an afternoon hovering over 100 barely retreats to the mid 90’s by the time we fill our water bottles and take to the road.

Lincoln is in on the joke and gives a quick laugh to prove he’s listening. Of course we’ve failed to spot a single turtle or rabbit on our regular rides up against the Red Mountain.

We continue to pedal and, if I’m patient, I can get Lincoln talking between breaths, and by talking I mean asking a lot of detailed questions.

“When can we add more memory to my computer?”

“How many miles have we traveled?”

“When can I tour my new school?”

Unlike a couple of my children, Lincoln does not handle vague answers well. When I reply, “Maybe next week” to his last question he comes back with, “OK, but what day?”

And if I toss out a day, he’ll want the time and you can see how his plays out.

It can be draining at times, but I can also appreciate his direct manner.  It just takes me a few minutes to shift into that gear.

We finished our 8-mile ride up past the Tuachan Amphitheather where Starlight Express was being performed. As we put our bikes away Lincoln said, “I always feel good after we ride even if I didn’t really want to start.”

“That’s how it is with a lot of things in life.” I replied.

I closed the door to the garage, locked it and handed the key to Lincoln to hang up just inside the sliding door that leads to chilled air.

“Sort of like church and scouts, huh, dad?”


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