Yep, we did it again, we survived another bike ride. I was sure that by now we had everything together since we are practically pros. I mean I packed all the necessities, specifically water. Plus, we did not leave home without the magical bike seat cover, air in tires and helmets. Now we are all set since we even had a brief discussion and agreed to ride for six miles again. As we take off I feel like we are really getting the hang of this biking thing. We are moving right along on the trail, around the curve, a slight descent down a hill and all without any problems. Just as I am thinking no problems, I notice my son is abruptly stopping his bike on the trail. This time, it at least took about 5 minutes to register the first complaint. Winning! Those pesky bike gears again, he just can’t seem to get them to cooperate. He is really concerned about which gear I have my bike set to and I quickly remind him that he has to pick a gear that works for him. OK, after another quick lesson in bicycle gears (that I am not at all versed enough to have) and we are on our way again. Things are going well I must say…That is until we stop yet again for another gear issue. I immediately break out into an almost yelling rant, “just stop switching gears and let them stay in one place, there is nothing I can do about it out here!” Now that I got that out of my system, we are off again. Things are going well and we even make it to the halfway mark and my friend suggests that we continue on a bit further and we all agree…Well one person begrudgingly agrees.
Going the extra distance we were able to make a few observations and change the conversation. We noted the change of terrain from pavement to compacted gravel and the type of tires best suited for riding. I must say, this was a much-needed distraction and worked well. As much as I was tired of stops to adjust gears and general complaints, I couldn’t help but think how I had a few complaints of my own. I wouldn’t dare let him hear me say how much I wanted to karate chop those bugs that just seem to get satisfaction out of coming out of nowhere and flying near your eyes just as you are riding in a groove. Just as the ride was winding down and we were approaching the place where we started, I was really feeling good about our accomplishment. It was at that moment I was forced to return back to reality. I looked ahead and realized the walk sign was flashing go and we could make it across the street and would be officially done with another ride. Something told me to turn around and sure enough, my son was bringing up the rear not even riding the bike. He is instead taking a leisurely stroll up a slight incline. As I implored, no who am I kidding, I yelled, “hurry up we can make the light,” and his response was “my legs are tired.” He says this in such a way as to imply that he couldn’t believe the primary body part used for cycling wouldn’t get tired during a bike rid). I said nothing else, I had nothing left and for all purposes, the ride was basically over, if I could just get him safely across this street. We caught the next light and all ended well. Believe it or not folks, we made two extra miles this ride for a total of 8.1 miles.
Lessons I am still learning. 1. Don’t just pack all the right supplies, use them! When biking on trails bug repellent is a must. 2. Nature provides many opportunities for learning. There are many types of terrain used for travel which may or may not impact your ride. Animals of all sorts including horses will sometimes share the trail with you. 3. It’s a good idea to consider getting your bike tuned up especially if you haven’t ridden in a few months. Most sporting goods stores and bicycle shops will offer tune up services at reasonable rates. 4. Patience is a mental exercise if you don’t use it you are sure to lose it!