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Learning a new way to ride

A father's scheduled efficiency runs up against his daughter's meandering approach.

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Father, daughter in Orange, Texas.

Mayra Beltran/AP

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"Hey Dad, slow down!"

That's my daughter calling. Though I am moving at what I consider a snail's pace, she has fallen at least 30 feet behind. Checking over one shoulder, I see a pair of young legs moving in a way that cannot be having much effect on her forward motion. Her feet trace lazy circles in the air.

"Dad, you're going too fast!"

She'd recently expressed interest in riding more. We live in a small city with a mild climate, and bicycles are a popular transportation choice here. They are my main means of travel, so I was thrilled at her announcement. She would soon, I was certain, learn how easy it is to get around this way, how fast she can maneuver on two wheels. Bike excursions are often quicker, door to door, than bus or cab or car trips are.

 

Much to my surprise, none of this mattered to her.

On one of our first trips together, I was concentrating on the route ahead – anticipating turns, gauging our estimated arrival time against the numbers on my watch – when her voice suddenly sounded on my right. "Hey Dad, wanna know a riddle?"

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