Monday, September 20, 2010

Biking to School

This is one determined 10-year-old

By Ed Bruske

aka The Slow Cook

This bicycle may be the best purchase we've ever made for our daughter. After bringing it home from Target on Saturday, she couldn't wait to get on it, so we took it out for a road test, riding 3.25 miles to her new elementary school.

Daughter's new school just happens to be located near one of the highest points in the city. Fortunately, we already live in an elevated portion of the District known as Columbia Heights. Still, as we mapped the route to school it was clear we would face a challenge: the long uphill grade of Massachusetts Avenue affectionately known in these parts as "embassy row."

In fact, it's one of the most beautiful parts of the city, with wide lawns fronting the embassies and tall oaks giving shade. We pass the grounds of the British embassy, as well as the vice president's residence at Observatory Circle before crossing over Wisconsin Avenue into the Glover Park neighborhood.

Daughter was whooping and cheering as we pulled into the elementary school lot. I took her to a nearby burger joint for lunch, then she rode her bike all the way home again. For the rest of the weekend she complained her "butt cheeks hurt." But we were astonished to hear her propose that we repeat the trip at least twice a week, starting today.

This morning she was out of bed at 6:30 am, bathed, dressed and ready to go at 7:15. We took a few extra rest breaks on the Massachusetts Avenue climb this time, but still managed to beat our previous time by 10 minutes. We showed up at the schoolhouse door at 7:55, ready for breakfast.

Breakfast after biking 3.25 miles

And here's what they were serving: "toasty turkey ham and cheddar on a whole wheat English muffin," according to Chartwells.

"Can we have something special for dinner?" daughter wanted to know.

I think that can be arranged.

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