A-bike and Aut

Charlie in a golden spray of sunlight

Charlie and Jim did 15 miles in 90 minutes on the D & R Canal in central Jersey, ending up at Lake Carnegie.

I should note that—while these rides are a lot of fun, have played a huge role in allaying some of Charlie’s big-time behavior troubles, and, as far as we can tell, seem to give him a tremendous feeling of accomplishment—the rides (as Jim notes to me) are not 100% peaceful-easy-feelingness and glorious glory in the pure joy of motion. Charlie has vocalized his discomfort and even distress (usually by repeatedly saying things like ‘Barney video’—he often calls for things that once comforted him and that he no longer has when he’s feeling anxious) quite loudly. There are other riders, walkers, etc. on the trails and they’re not (by their facial expressions and bodily movements) exactly peaceful-easy-feeling on encountering my boys. Jim has also noted that things like ‘bike jettisoned into canal’ or ‘boy making a beeline off the path and into traffic’ are never out of the possibility.

Maintaining the peaceful-easy-feelingness while a-bikes requires as much spiritual discipline as in any moment anywhere with Charlie. There is the advantage that Charlie is already in the midst of getting aerobic exercise, which has (we have proof!) become a known factor in helping him to stay calm and carry on.

Of course, there are inevitable disadvantages when one is a-bike in unfamiliar territory, amid strangers, and by a body of water, and a mossy and buggy one at that. Hot weather and strong sunshine can of course contribute to discomfort for anyone.

Anyways, all’s well that ends well. No bikes got tossed anywhere they shouldn’t have been. When one goes ‘aut,’ one has to deal with what one encounters. Monday I had the chance for a little nostalgia trip as, en route to our pre-arranged meeting point at the river and Alexander Road, I passed through my alma mater, where I could see preparations underway to welcome the class of 2014.

And most of all, a very fine ride was completed by Jim and Charlie, a-bike and out, aut, in the world.


Charlie's off on the D & R Canal bike trail
Rounding a bend
There they are!
There they are again!
Good old Aaron Burr Hall on Nassau Street
Here's Witherspoon Street
Yes, I was at a red light taking this view of Rockefeller College.
First year student? + parents
The triumphant rider returns.

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Comments
7 Responses to “A-bike and Aut”
  1. KWombles says:

    It looks like a lovely trip out and aut, Kristina. I’m so very impressed at the distance of the rides. ๐Ÿ™‚ Bike riding isn’t really Bobby’s cup of tea, and he’s not an in-motion kind of guy; the girlies are still on training wheels and getting the hang of it.

  2. Jen says:

    As a Canadian who has really only seen New Jersey on TV, it always surprises me how beautiful it is. For some reason I just grew up thinking that it was all concrete ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m very glad that the rides are going well- my heart’s still in my mouth when we’re near traffic.

  3. Jill says:

    I’ll have to tell my husband about Charlie throwing his bike in the canal. I know he’ll get a kick out of that, since he probably understands Charlie’s feeling of discomfort and discouragement, having biked all over (including in a race up Mount Washington) in all kinds of weather.
    If bugs are getting the better of Charlie, I can heartily recommend a product called Bye Bye Blackfly. We became acquainted with it while hiking near our cabin in Lake Placid and it’s great for keeping all kinds of flying insects away. The kids and I used it this past weekend while we were sitting outside at Tanglewood and it was superb — every bit as good as the music!

  4. Cathy says:

    Speaking of safety. The option of staying at home is far more dangerous than being outsid in fresh though hot air, Sometimes taking chances is by far a healthier choice, Just my opinion.

  5. autismvox says:

    @Jill, thanks for the bug spray recommendation—yours truly gets tons of bug bites (just when I step outside to get the bikes out of the shed)….
    Fear not, Charlie’s never thrown his bike into water (yet!). Jim just figures anything could happen; better to be prepared.
    @Cathy,
    I quite agree. I really prefer to be out in the open and outside with Charlie when he’s upset—home has a lot of hard edges, so to speak.
    @Jen,
    I kind of feel like I’ve been doing ‘Jersey tourism promos’! I certainly couldn’t taken Charlie out in traffic, certainly not on his bike.
    @Kim,
    It’s all Jim’s doings—He is going to work the next few days and Charlie will miss the rides. Walking doesn’t do the trick for him anymore.

  6. Jill says:

    Oh! I misunderstood about the bike being tossed into the canal.
    The insect repellant is a paste, not a spray. It even smells good, sort of like lemon verbena. My daughter was reapplying a layer on her arms in a restroom at Tanglewood this past weekend and a woman asked her where she got her “great-smelling, solid perfume.”

  7. autismvox says:

    Sorry, I should have worded that more quickly. I’ll have to look into that repellent at least for me—-just got (it seems) 10 bites standing in our front yard with Charlie tonight.

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