Yes, Another Biking In New Jersey Post
Another day, another bike ride in another part of New Jersey.
The ride started in Kevin Smith territory after we made, appropriately enough, a stop at a convenience store. We didn't stop at that store but at a very large branch of one of the two chains we often patronize. Charlie spent quite a bit of time exploring every aisle while Jim went in search of sunblock. Even though I pointed out a huge display of some of things Charlie particularly likes to get, he said 'no' to most of those and selected only a box of crackers and a big bottle of ketchup.
Don't worry, he didn't open it.
It had been raining in the morning (when I got back from a morning run, Charlie was standing in the open door and informed me 'it's raining') but it was lessening as we loaded up the bikes. When Charlie and Jim started on the bike trail (which we've been thinking of trying since we got the bike rack), there was a bit of light mist, but that was it—it was very pleasant biking conditions, and they went far, first one way on the trail and then, as they'd come to the trail's end, in the other direction.
Past the seaside town with the worn-out looking amusement park where we'd thought that Jim and Charlie would meet me. Jim texted me that Charlie kept saying he wanted to keep going.
I kept checking GoogleMaps to figure out how to meet up with them. After a few wrong turns and borrowings of people's driveways, I came to the water—the bay where one section of the trail ends—parked the white car, and got out.
We had been to this bayside town some years ago, once when Charlie was around 8 or so, just to look at the water, and another time over a year ago, on a cold Easter Sunday. Really, seeing Charlie riding before Jim down one of the town's streets—well, take a look yourself.
As you may guess, Charlie and Jim riding to this town from several miles away was not something any of us were thinking about in those two previous trips.
Afterwards, Charlie very patiently waited as we drove further south in search of a a burrito from the Mexican fastfood chain that is his current favorite. The first location we went to turned out to be non-existent. Charlie handled that disappointment well (he started munching some of those crackers he'd gotten earlier), and also a ride in some unfamiliar routes. He did have a quite big smile when he saw the sign for the hoped-for eatery.
The one image in my head from yesterday is one I didn't actually witness, Jim and Charlie biking through marshlands with Charlie saying 'ride, ride, yes bike ride.' And not wanting to stop.
Kind of puts a new spin on the notion of 'he sure has come a long way.'
Coda. This grand bike ride was the kind of thing that made me think that, while we never had to figure out when it would be best for Charlie to start kindergarten (Charlie never attended kindergarten, but stayed in the special ed autism class he was already in) and we won't be dropping him off at a dorm to start his freshman year at college, Charlie has indeed learned and grown, and grown up, so much just in these past few months. And I don't think I'm wrong to say, I think he will keep on moving.