Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Sacramento, California, USA
Bikes: Ridley Excalibur, Gazelle Champion Mondial, On-One Pompino, Specialized Rock Hopper
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The Last, Best Mile of the Day
(I originally posted this in the Family and Rec Forum but it doesn't get as much traffic as General Cycling so I thought I'd share it here.)
We were spending the weekend up at my folks' place in Tahoe City. Sunday morning I got up early, mounted the road bike and rode east towards Nevada. Two hours later, I was at the Mt. Rose summit enjoying a breakfast of Gatorade, Clif Bar, and slightly bruised banana. I was thinking This is the BEST ride I've had all year.
How wrong I was....
After a super fast ride down the hill and back around the top of the Lake, I walked back in the condo to find my kids at the breakfast table eating french toast with their Papa and Nana. "Daddy's here! Daddy's here!" Okay, now this the best.
After breakfast, Lucas says "Daddy, ride with me!" And he grabs his helmet and runs outside to grab his little two-wheeler with training wheels. (This was a craigslist special and it's kind of aqua and pink but I made it a little more boyish with some decals I got at the bike shop. He's the only two-year old in town with a "Saturn Racing Team" and "Fueled by Power Bar" decals on his bike.)
We probably rode for 45 minutes, up and down the parking lot of the complex. I tried to show him how to ride around the speed bumps, but Luc wouldn't have any of it. "No! I can do it!" I'd ride ahead and straddle the speed bump and yell "pedal, pedal, pedal! Don't stop pedaling!" and as he'd get to the speed bump I'd reach down and give him a little push over the bump. "Yay! I do it!"
After he thought he'd gotten the hang of it, he tried to wave me off. "No, Daddy. I can do it!" And he'd ride up, lose momentum, and topple over. It caught him by surprise and there were a few tears, but I'd pick him up and ask him to show me if his knee still worked (I'd make him wiggle it) and does his elbow still work (wiggle it), wrist (wiggle), neck (wiggle), head (wiggle), etc. By this time he was laughing and I asked him if he wanted to quit. "No! I want to ride with you!" So, we kept riding, and we'd race to back to the condo. And then back on the loop around the parking lot and over the speed bumps. Finally, he decided he was tired. I put up the bikes and looked at the computer and we'd done at least a mile. I figure a mile on little 12-inch wheels and training wheels was like 10 miles on a 700c wheels.
As I was putting up the bikes, I had a flash on the future. In a year or two, we'll take off those training wheels. Then a bigger bike, then before I know it, he'll be dragging his old man up Mt. Rose and beating me to the county line sign.
Yup, half a dozen times around the parking lot with my two-year old son. The last, best mile of the day.