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???