Jun 11, 2014

BMXing it at Oak Mountain

Do you have a BMX track within 20 minutes of your house where your kids can ride their bikes without professional supervision for as long as they want to with basically no regard for their personal safety?

No? Well, you really ought to get yourselves one.

We have one, out at Oak Mountain State Park. And if they're not hosting a scheduled race, you can just take your bikes out there and ride.

We really need to go out there more often, but loading up all the bikes is a bit of a pain. So worth it, though, once they're out on the track.

In the Spring, Grayson, Nathaniel and Jake camped out overnight at Oak Mountain, and Nick, Amelia and I went out to meet them at the BMX track the next morning.

When we got there, no one was there, so the boys had the entire track to themselves.


When my sister and I were their ages, we used to ride our bikes around our neighborhood for miles and miles a day, seeking out the best hills.

When we found new construction going on, it was as if we'd found the Holy Grail. We'd pack dirt together to make ramps ... nothing as elaborate as these at Oak Mountain, just little hills, but they were exciting to us.

She and I would have thought a place like this was too good to be true.

I feel slightly ridiculous sharing these pictures with you now, given that our temperatures these days are in the high 80s. But I'm not gonna let that stop me.

Nathaniel and I were in short sleeves, Nick was in long sleeves, and Jake was in ... well, you'll just have to wait until you get to that picture.

We're a family of varying body temperatures, for sure.

The boys kept warm by riding, for sure, though. I don't remember how long we were there, but it was at least two hours, if not longer.

I can tell you, no matter how long we'd stayed, it wouldn't have been long enough for them. Quite frankly I was wishing I'D had a bike to ride.

I may or may not have tried to ride Nathaniel's. That may or may not have been a disaster.

I haven't had a bike of my own in about 15 years, but being out there makes me want to buy one.

I mean, if I can skateboard down my driveway, I can bike this course, right?

I'm ridiculously confident for someone with the body type of an Ewok, I know. But please don't shatter my illusions.


You might think Amelia would have been bored all day since she doesn't know how to ride a bike yet. Nope.

She kept a sharp eye on her brothers the entire time. She climbed up to the highest vantage point, but she also got down and dirty.

You'd be amazed at how fast those little legs can move when it comes to trying to keep up with her big brothers.

As soon as she'd see them coming around the bend, she'd start trying to get to them, squealing all the way.

Yet another reason it was nice that no one else was out there for the first couple of hours we were there.

Of course the boys were competitive with each other ...

... racing up and down the hills ...

... but they also made sure to let Amelia catch up every once in a while.

Bike or no bike, Amelia OWNED that BMX track.

She wasn't intimidated for a second, didn't let anything slow her down.

Once she got under way, she didn't even care if she got left behind. Her eyes were on the prize: The Finish Line.

And the closer she got, the more excited she became.

Oh, I mentioned Jake before? He spent almost the entire time sitting in the van. He'd been playing with a new friend he'd made near the campsite that morning, and the playmate had pushed him into a puddle or something ... so he'd nearly frozen. He couldn't get warm again after that, so he opted to sit in the van (it wasn't on and the keys weren't in it) instead of being out in the open.

When he finally got out and "braved the elements," I laughed at what he was wearing:a T-shirt, a hoodie, a fleece jacket with a hood, and a raincoat with a hood.

BUNDLED UP, he was.

He and Amelia spent the last half hour or so hanging out with me in the Crow's Nest while I took pictures.

They both LOVE to use my camera, and they both asked, soooo ...

Oh, and Jake eventually said, "Hey, it's not so cold anymoah." And he discarded three of his four layers.

This is another one of those places that I'd love to get together with bloggers, blog readers and their families and just hang out for the day. So much fun!

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