Most of you know I returned to cycling just three months ago, with an entry level Trek 3900 xc mtb. I've been having a blast and even getting in shape.
The background on what I'm about to relate: I've been single (divorced) for six or seven years, and I've two teenage daughters and share custody (you know, every other weekend and every Wednesday). One of them is 13. Until three weeks ago, she'd never riden a bike. Her mom had bought one for her a couple of years ago, but no one at that house ever took the time to teach her to ride. And I wasn't cycling until three months ago.
Three weeks ago, I brought the bike to my place, filled the tires with air, and gave her a lesson. She learned to balance and steer and brake, but we didn't have time to get into shifting. The bike is a cheap Target kids bike, btw.
Fast forward to this weekend (just three weeks later). We bring the bike over once again, and she tells me she's been practicing and could we go for a ride. Making a long story short, we cycled twenty eight miles together over two days. I was in shock! I thought she'd be good for five or six at a clip, but no. If her butt hadn't gotten sore, we would probably have gone further.
Here's my point. Cycling with my daughter on a couple of beautiful September mornings was a such a complete joy I can't even find the proper words. No, we didn't win any speed contests. But I helped her learn some of the finer points of riding on streets, and on bike paths, and watched her confidence (and interest in cycling) soar. I was finally cycling with a "buddy," and she was my own daughter!
She even took a spill at the last mile (running into me, of all things, but at 1-2 mph.) She went down, my heart took a leap, but she got right up, said, "I'm alright!" and started cycling again.
I'm telling you, it was pure joy. I'm sure many (most?) of you might think this is a pretty minor deal to make such a fuss over, but to me, it was a highlight of the year. So thanks for listening!
And -- a quick question. When she fell, her bike was damaged. The left-side shifter cracked, the cable pulled out somewhat and she can't shift it now, the front deraileur got out of adjustment and now rubs the chain. I'm someone with the mechanical aptitude of a banana slug. Think this is something i can figure out and teach myself to fix, or does it sound like a trip to the LBS is in order? And, if so, two followup questions: are they going to split a gut laughing at the Target bike, and how much should something like this cost to repair? (Remember, $$$ are tight for me!)
Okay, that's it. Sorry about the long post!