Not Quite Out of the Woods
Five-year-old Eleanor Maynard was diagnosed with leukemia last year. This past summer, her dad Adin took her on her first overnight bikepacking trip. Watch a lovely short film that follows their journey here…
“I hope this film inspires other parents to provide their kids with experiences of adventure through bikepacking, and cycling in general. And for parents of kids undergoing medical treatment, I hope Eleanor’s smile and positive attitude encourages hope and strength, proving that happiness is found in pushing limits and seeking new experiences.” –Adin Maynard, Eleanor’s dad.
When asked how Eleanor and the family were doing, here’s what Adin had to say: “Eleanor is doing well. Most of the time she is an active, well adjusted, happy 6 year old kindergartner. As mentioned in the film, for a week each month, she has an especially intense week of steroids (called Dexamethasone), which rears its ugly head as unpleasant side effects impacting mood, appetite, and energy levels. Otherwise chemotherapy in the Maintenance Phase of treatment has been manageable- including the six cavities she has, attributed in-part, to bone strength loss from the cancer drugs. Every few weeks her blood is checked to confirm that the cancer cells are still at bay. Chemotherapy doses are regularly assessed and adjusted in slight amounts. Our care team at Bay State Medical, in Springfield, MA , has been outstanding.” To keep up with Eleanor’s progress, and get a more detailed look at her diagnosis last October, check out her facebook group: Eleanor’s leukemia journey.
Curious what Adin finds most helpful for getting kids out on bikes? “Just as humans evolved to eat minimal sugar and to fast intermittently during periods of food scarcity, kids are designed to move and play! Getting small children on bicycles is just an expression of that evolutionary trait. Our two youngest kids started riding on balance bikes, not training wheels. At three, I would bike with Eleanor on the local bike path and soon enough, she decided to go faster and committed to learning a 16” single speed pedal bike. From my experience with three kids (the oldest didn’t learn to ride until 7 !) , the ages of 2-4 are much easier to teach biking too, than 5-6. Younger bodies seem to be more comfortable with falling, and can more easily harness patience and focus needed to practice diligently. From a skilled balance biker, it takes maybe one hour of dedicated practice, to land the skills needed to ride a pedal bike assuming bike fit is right.” You can read more from this Q&A over at Kitsbow.com.
Not Quite Out of the Woods is a film by Emmy-award winning film maker Kate Geis. And 36 Hours in Kitsbow is a short film series where regular riders tell their stories of how they rode near their home, for the joy of the ride, without spending a ton of money (or time) doing it. In other words, the bike adventure any of us can enjoy. Check back at Kitsbow.com for the next open application period for 36 Hours in Kitsbow grant funding, and film your adventure!