"Sound of Music", “Do-Re-Mi” song, “Fa- a long-long way to run.”, Baby Jogger, Burley Bee bike trailer, Cully Todd, Des Moines Iowa, Hans and Franz- "I want to pump you up!", Horace Greeley- "Go West young man.", Jack, Libby, Lola, Magsasaka, Nieto, Northtowne Cycling and Fitness, Otta, Paki, Racing Strollers
Half of the dynamic duo had been old when I’d gifted it to Otta. The once mediocre mountain bike was a relic from the end of the last decade of the previous century and I’d acquired it somewhat surreptitiously when Cully Todd abandoned her at Northtowne Cycling and Fitness following his departure from the bike shop where he’d labored for over a decade. It had been the mid two-thousand-n-teens when Cully’d left his beater behind as he’d followed the advice of Horace Greeley and gone west. After gathering dust for the better part of a year, I’d taken the abandoned Schwinn, refurbished, re-tired and relocated it to Urbandale so son Otta could ride it around Greater Des Moines.
I must have felt some pangs of guilt over taking Cully’s abandoned bike because I’d channeled Mick and company and turned the old Schwinn from red to black with a can of Rust-Oleum before gifting it. The bike, following some initial use, had mostly gathered dust and on Christmas Day I found it, forlorn and neglected, on the floor of Otta’s garage, connected to and supported by the other half of the duo, a bright red Burley Bee bike trailer I’d given Jack, Libby and Otta two Christmases back.
Seeing the bike and trailer sitting in the garage reminded me that I didn’t need to go for a jog as I had the option of taking Jack for a bike ride, but as we’d already agreed to go for a Christmas Day run together I pumped up the baby jogger’s tires, installed the rain canopy/mini greenhouse, helped Jack climb aboard and took my best buddy for a 45-minute jog, both of us dressed appropriately for the work we would be doing him, bundled in a coat, hat and gloves and me in shorts, ultra-thin gloves and a long sleeve tee-shirt. As we jogged along, singing, laughing and acting respectfully silly, I kept coming back to songs from the Sound of Music, especially the “Do-Re-Mi” song and specifically the line that goes, “Fa, a long, long way to run.”
Despite the implied effort my slow speed indicated, I decided that forty-five minutes of running was more work than I wanted to repeat so on the Second Day of Christmas Jack pushed the remote-control button for the garage door and we entered the garage in anticipation of hitting the paved trails that radiate up, down, east and west of the Des Moines River via bike, not feet to Jack’s mantra of, “Paki ride bike? Jack ride bike?”
The old Schwinn was a bit of a mess, though her tires had miraculously managed to hold onto a few psi despite a long stretch of dormancy. I put the pump I’d gifted Otta long ago to use, inflating the tires on the bike to 60 psi and the two on the trailer to just under three atmospheres. Finished with my Hans and Franz routine, I knelt on the ground, listening carefully, and was pleased by the absence of sibilance which I feared the tires might hiss in protest.