It is school holiday and as a half day working mom, I finally get to rest! Not from work, but from constant trips to drop kids off at 2 different schools and then the long trek to fetch them again in the afternoon, often clocking more than 130km per day. After-school sports events and practices aren’t even included.
So, armed with a list of at-home activities so that I don’t have to even think of going anywhere, we start the holiday. The Nintendo Wii is unpacked, the school-term-banned PSP is hauled out of its hiding place and plenty of arts and crafts goodies are given to the kids to keep them busy whilst I work. Of course their lists of holiday chores such as feeding the dogs, washing the cars and doing dishes are included!
However, it is not long before the kids begin to get mild cabin fever because of too much surfing of the stationary kind, technology and screen time. I decide it is time I overcome my aversion of being any place near traffic or the shops and decide to take them on a cycling day trip to Groenkloof Nature Reserve.
Thanks to our spacious new Tiggo I have room for all my kids and the expected friends who will join us for the outing the next day. My hands-on hubby has ensured that I have a wonderfully organised trailer with space for 5 bikes and various accessories such as chairs, picnic blankets and a cooler box filled with edible goodies for ever-hungry junior brigade.
It does not take much persuasion as the kids all have brand-new Axis bikes to ride. In fact, they are really excited at the prospect of spending a big part of the day on their bikes and possibly getting the chance to show off their new wheels! (Oh, may there be plenty of other children there to gawk at their shiny new machines!)
That afternoon we pre-load the bikes in readiness for the next day’s trip so no time is wasted in the morning. As it turns out, we have to take much more than anticipated, as soccer balls, cricket bats and extra food (just in case) are “needed” but fortunately there is still plenty of space in the large boot of the Tiggo.
So off we go without Dad who is at the office, earning the bacon. Once at Groenkloof Nature Reserve, we are lucky to find a good spot to park where I do not have to do too much reversing to get out of when we leave. The kids help me unload and because it is fairly easy to assemble all the front wheels to the bikes, they are off in no time, scouting the grounds for any friends.
The day is spent mostly alternating between being on our bikes and having food and snacks. But soon my children decide that the roads are not exciting enough and challenge each other and their friends to a race through single track. After all, what is the suspension on their bikes for? To be tested of course! Being the responsible parent (not only for my kids, but their friends) I follow after them, including my four year old on his much loved, red Axis bike with “shocks”. Fortunately all went well and we arrived back at out picnic spot, dusty, hot and tired. Who said a 4 year old couldn’t cycle 12km, determined to keep up with his cool older siblings and their friends?
At the end of a long but very enjoyable day the kids once again help me to dissemble the bikes, load them onto the trailer, tie them down (as my husband so diligently taught me) and get everything into the car for the trip home.
Thank goodness for Groenkloof, our wonderful new Tiggo and the Axis bikes for helping me help the kids expend some healthy energy!
Chery – More Car More Life