Finally, we took a family bike ride!

All summer I’ve been trying to convince my girls to jump on their bikes and ride down to the main tourist area here in Boulder, Colorado, about a 5mi ride from our house. It’s pretty much level the whole way, so it’s easy and just far enough that it’s a decent jaunt with some good exercise potential too.

As an added bonus, while parts of the ride are on city streets, most of it is either on the Cottonwood Trail, a beautiful running and bike path alongside a river, or on one of the many paved bike paths that wind around Boulder itself.

cottonwood trail, longmont to boulder, colorado

Yesterday, to my delight, they both assented and humored me by getting on their bikes. And it took a bit of prep work for them to be ready to go too: My oldest hadn’t been on her fancy cruiser bike in so long that the tires were completely flat and the bike was covered in dust. I cleaned it without telling her, just so she wouldn’t realize how long it’d been! My younger girl is in need of a new bike, she’s borrowing bikes that aren’t really her size from our family bike collection and yesterday she put up with a one-speed, of all things.

Both of their bikes needed a tiny bit of TLC, so we stopped by the ever-popular Community Cycles on our way to have K-‘s seat raised about 5″ and to have A-‘s mudguard properly tightened down so it didn’t clank as we went over bumps. I resisted looking for a new bike for the younger one, though, because I don’t want to invest in that until biking is something that happens more than once every blue moon!

Rather than go directly down to Pearl Street Mall, however, we detoured to Pekoe for a tea break, feeling sweaty and rather sporty at the same time. From there it was back roads to one of the few bike racks near Pearl Street Mall that wasn’t absolutely jam packed with bicycles, and Illegal Pete’s for lunch. I had a “big fish” burrito, always a favorite, then we walked around, ducking into Rocket Fizz for a treat and Peppercorn for some kitchenware I needed to pick up.

Even just being down on Pearl Street Mall watching all the tourists and street performers was great fun, though we are rather the jaded locals to some extent, winding our way through the bumpkins marveling at a juggler, acrobat or violin/sax duet. Still fun.

From there we headed home, arriving a lot more sweaty but satisfied with our afternoon adventure. My Apple Watch informed me that I’d burned just under 800 calories bicycling for about 75 minutes. Perfect setup for then heading to the neighborhood block party, where I enjoyed a few hours of catching up with neighbors and hearing the latest gossip about this person or that.

All in all, a great way to spend the last Saturday before my youngest, K-, starts school again. A middle schooler. Hard to believe, I look at her and see a little girl still. Except when I see her as a willowy young lady ready to take on the world.

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