This was the summer of bikes. We all finally had one and the kids could ride without training wheels. We have been taking bike rides around the neighborhood and on some rails to trails. A few weeks ago we drove ourselves to the middle of nowhere and found a place to get on the Allegheny River Trail. We had heard that it had tunnels and thought it would be neat.
If you look closely you can see the trail along the river. It was absolutely beautiful!
There is a section of the trail that is not finished and we had to do about a mile or so on a rocky, dirt road. It was definitely difficult for the kids but they managed and we met up with the trail again.
And then came the tunnel.
We turned on our lights and in we went... and then we realized we really didn't like it! At all!
tunnel is about .7 of a mile long and it curves at one end. We were
riding toward the curved end meaning we had no light at the end of the
tunnel. We rode into complete darkness and our lights weren't really
bright enough. The kids freaked a little and said they wanted to turn
around. Honestly, I wasn't loving it either! But there was no way I was
going to let the kids know that! And there was no way I was going to let
them turn around.
We ended up walking our bikes
through the tunnel because it was really hard to see. I think we all
felt a little more comfortable with our feet on the ground.
There were moments where I felt like a mean mom for making my kids continue with something that they were obviously afraid of, but I knew we had to go through the tunnel. I knew we couldn't give into our fear. I knew that if we turned around the kids would never try a tunnel again. I had to push them through so they would know that they COULD do it. And then if they decided to never do it again that would be ok.
We couldn't let fear win.
There were some tears but we made it through and continued on with our ride along the river! Then came the time to turn around and go back through the tunnel. There was definitely still some resistance. Liza and Jason did not want to go back in the tunnel again. But we had to go through the tunnel if we wanted to get home.
The way back was definitely easier. We rounded the bend right away and we could see the light at the end of the tunnel. It was still really dark... but that light at the end was a great guide and I think it made all of us feel a little safer. We were able to ride instead of walking. And there may have been some "woo hoo-ing" at the end!
This was one of my favorite rides yet! The scenery was gorgeous and I enjoyed the challenges that we conquered as a family.
Overall we went ten miles. The kids pushed themselves to their limits and conquered fears. And then they slept really well that night!
And to end... Liza's thoughts as we walked through the tunnel into complete darkness...
There are four reasons I'm not really liking this!
1. There is something really REALLY heavy on top of us!
2. It's really REALLY dark.
3. There could be bats!
4. It's really REALLY DARK!