July 19 and 23 Rides: Clearing the Backlog

Yes, with Ireland just four days away (gulp! What am I forgetting? My toothbrush? Where’s my toothbrush? Did I order cat food? Where’s my underwear? My god!), I still have a few rideblogs to get off my chest, so to speak.

First, I decided to take The Boy out to Soos Creek. He loves to ride with me now that he has a bike with gears. This doesn’t mean he quite gets how best to use them yet, but he does like them. Just yesterday, we made it less than three miles because he decided that seventh gear is the coolest, because, you know, he’s… seven. I tried to explain that riding the entire trail in seventh gear would wear him out, but he wasn’t interested. Then he switched down to first gear and pedaled wildly for a while, just for fun. I had to remind myself that he was learning… LEARNING. It was hard for me.

In these situations, I often end up recalling my own childhood, where I was given $5 for the day and sent off to ride my bike in the wilderness of the back roads of Enumclaw. I don’t technically know how far I rode, but let’s just put it this way: I once rode out to my best friend’s house, which I know was over ten miles outside town, before lunch. Then I rode around out there in the countryside by their house, then I rode home. I was about twelve years-old.

While I realize that riding independently and getting to use the wrong gear when you want to is part of learning to ride, it does make it hard to ride with someone else. So does needing to stop every few feet to check something out, like the playground.

Mama found other things to do while The Boy played, like photographing The Raleigh in black and white.

The bike looks very stately, I think.

Fortunately, there were also other cool things to take a look at, like bat-houses and daisies. Daisies, by the way, if you pull most of the petals off, leaving just two on one side and two on the other, look exactly like The Golden Snitch, as The Boy taught me with glee. DIY Harry Potter!

The bikes just waited patiently for us, as bikes do. They are never frustrated by anyone’s need to explore.

The Raleigh even carried a much larger than usual load in its basket, including a stuffed pink bunny who had insisted on coming along for the ride, a pink Frisbee colored with Sharpie to look like a Tron disc (too many trademarked names in that sentence), and two bottles of Snapple. The Boy prefers Kiwi-Strawberry juice. There’s no accounting for taste.

The Boy enjoyed the ride, making it to the big open valley at the three-mile mark before trying to imitate the idiot teenagers ahead of us and turning way too fast. He picked himself up from his fall, sighed, and we turned around to head home. The Little Trooper even made it up The Hill at the End of the World.

We celebrated with a few salmon berries.

All in all, a good short cruise with my Favorite Kid. He informed me last night that he wants slicks on his bike, so he can start training for the Tour. Enough hills like that one, kid, and we’ll be able to begin the blood-doping!

A few days later, I rode 20 miles with my Ireland kids. Okay, I rode 10 miles with some of them. Okay, with one of them. I allowed parents to accompany us on this ride, so the others took off and I ended up riding with the last girl and her mom. The young lady kept having saddle-height issues. Eventually, she solved them and did just fine, speed-wise. By the time we reached the half-way point, her brother and his friend and the friend’s dad were all gone too far, and so much waiting needed to be done. I was released from all duties at this point, and rode the return trip back alone. I suspect that the actual Ireland trip will not be like this.

I was wearing my first pair of real cycling pants: She-Beast capris with padding. Mostly, I just felt… padded. The Brooks doesn’t really need any extra padding, but I didn’t buy these to wear here. I figure by day three on the crappy saddle on the rental bike, I’ll be happy for some chamois.

At least it was a gorgeous day. The Raleigh and stopped several times to get some shade.

I even tried to photograph my new pants, but that was… unsuccessful. There are some self-portraits one just can’t do on crowded trails. This one worked, though. Look how sweaty and miserable I look (and I’m wearing my Ireland-trip-approved Giro helmet, rather than the Nutcase, which can’t go because it isn’t as adjustable for warming beanies).

Those sunglasses MUST GO. As in not-to-Ireland. I look like a bug.

Almost ready for Ireland… Yikes, where’s my toothbrush???

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8 Responses to July 19 and 23 Rides: Clearing the Backlog

  1. Erin B says:

    I don’t think you look like a bug… but I don’t like how I look in that style of sunglasses either.

  2. rideblog says:

    They’re too big, I think. I feel like an Olsen twin, or Paris Hilton, but with significantly less cash.

  3. monk says:

    I survived my one day of RAGBRAI. 51 miles in 4:18:48, max speed of 31.6 mph, and an avg speed of 11.8 mph (which gets skewed a bit by having to walk through the small towns at 2 mph). I’m not near the photographer you are, especially when hampered by the cheap Vivitar I packed (I only took 4 pictures, none of which are worth posting). I did discover a fairly new 25 mile trail called the “High Trestle Trail” that paralleled the RAGBRAI route for a ways. I intend to ride that soon and will take my good camera as I’m sure there will be lots of photo-worthy scenery. I’ll let you know when I’ve posted that trip to my blog. Now, go recheck your packing and have a super time in Ireland!

  4. rideblog says:

    Excellent, Monk! That’s amazingly fast to me. I’m doing 25 miles tomorrow and informed my colleague that it would take me at least two hours. This made me feel very slow. I rarely state the speed of The Raleigh outloud, you know? I can’t wait to see some pics!

  5. monk says:

    Okay, so I changed my mind. My amateurish photos are included in my latest post. Talk about boobs! :D

  6. rideblog says:

    Looks like great fun, Monk! That hill looks looooong, but sometime I want to come out there and do that ride. Such a different topography from my area! As for… uh… self-portraits, I post only 1 for every 35 or so I take. I just hate photos of myself. It’s like hearing your own voice: in my head, I don’t look like I do in pictures. Only when I get a picture that looks like I feel, do I like it. And so photos others take of me? Almost never.

    Or as my friend tells me: this is why God invented Photoshop! :)

  7. Auchen says:

    I hope I don’t sound like a grouchy old fuddy-duddy by complaining about this, but why do kids today drink juice with kiwis in it? Why, when we were kids, we didn’t even call ‘em kiwis – we called ‘em GOOSEBERRIES! (Aptly named, I think, with the down on the outside and green slime inside.) -And no way could you make us drink that stuff. Nope. We just drank good ol’ American juice, like orange and apple and lemon…
    What is this country coming to, with kids today drinking kiwi juice like that!?

  8. rideblog says:

    Auchen, it’s those dang New Zealanders, trying to foist their life-style of health and happiness upon us! And gooseberries are gross. My mom used to grow them and make jam out of them, and I always felt that something that tart and inedible didn’t deserve the name of berry… Actually, there’s very little usable juice in a kiwi, if I remember correctly, as it breaks down if you heat it, or something. It’s the strawberry he likes. It’s that, or he grabs a Gatorade (which stains everything it touches and contains some sort of toxic red monster dye) or “pink” lemonade that contains zero percent lemons or “pink.” But those kiwis? They aren’t real.

    Oddly, we only offer the kids two choices of drinks at dinner: water, or homemade iced tea. He goes for the tea. I think the Snapple is just a treat because it indicates a nice long ride with his mama. And he’s so far from obese, that I don’t have that worry. But sometimes I’ll admit that I feel like a terrible mom for not making him hydrate with tap water, like my mom would have done. Had she exercised, ever. She was a chain-smoking bookworm who never left her chair and died at 58 of smoking-related breast cancer. Guess I’m not doing so badly, after all…

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