Day -70: our first-ish practice ride - Blessed Chaos - CycleBlaze

March 1, 2020

Day -70: our first-ish practice ride

The weather was nice. So we rode 19 miles.

So we adjusted our count-down date by two days. That puts us at day -70 instead of -72. Just in case you saw the 9-day jump in one week, and thought, "I thought a week was seven days long."

Because you're right. They are. Even in February.

I think a real engineer beat me to the tandem crankarms-for-kids problem. Mel at Tandems East invented "Crank Shortners", so L won't have to reach her feet so far. And circles her feet make while she pedals won't be so large that her knees bump my seat. If she still has to scoot too far forward on her seat, I'm going to turn a pair of chewed Chacos into the worlds first performance-platform-sandals. But maybe the Crank Shortners will be enough.

More money went buh-bye to solve the brakes issues, but everybody I talk to says Tandems East is good, and Mel has been pretty good to work with. That guy's been around on tandems, worked on tandems, etc. Talking about wheel building, he said, "Did you every watch your grandma crochet? She doesn't even have to look at it, does she? That's what I do. I put on a movie, something on Netflix, and I can pump out three wheels in one night. I've been building wheels for years, and I know what I'm doing."

As you may have guessed, we'll be getting a new wheel for the tandem, complete with an Arai drag brake. We'll also be upgrading the brakes on the Yuba, to keep us from dying when we go down big hills. Because big hills are more fun when you survive. (Granted, the most fun hills may be the ones you don't survive, but that's not for me.)

I took a leaf-blower to work to teach about tornadoes.

Do you think, if I hooked the leaf blower up to a power bank and turned it on, it'd make me faster? Probably not for any real distance; guess that's an argument for gas blowers.
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Today's the first day of (meteorological) spring, and spring showed up for the occasion. We had some church appointments on the other side of town, so we made a practice session out of it.

Not much of a shot, but it's the best I took today. Got (most of) the bags on the bikes! Gray skies and warm air from the south made for a warm day without fear of sunburn.
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On the way home, we took a long-cut along some trails in town (pictured). In the end, we got 19 miles out of it. We had some mechanicals, which were totally my fault. (Thanks to Sally Baird for lending me an adjustable wrench!) I did a bunch of bike work yesterday, and it looks like I got sloppy by the end of it. We had a couple of arguments –a little hunger and a little tiredness can do that – and a lot of fun. The meetings across town were easier and more enjoyable, and the kids got along great.

E likes to dance while on trail-a-bike behind the tandem, which is hard work for me. I allowed her to dance while we had the bike path to ourselves. After doing so, she composed a poem:

A river streaming
in a dancing grace.
There's lots of room
in this amazing place.

L responded with:

The tall trees seem to be calling to me
to shout yippee
I'm biking with my daddy.

E and L "jammed" like that for a while. Then we played the animal guessing game. Later, E, throwing her weight around, sent the tandem tumbling towards the grass while doing a victory celebration during a steep climb. Tired, sore, and fed up with trying to pull the bike out from her impromptu and illicit dance moves, I didn't keep the tandem up. When it started doing over onto the grass, I slowly let it. E was pretty upset.

E: "Daddy did a bad stop!"

Clerie: "Well, honey, you tipped Daddy's bike over."

E: "Well I didn't think he'd stop!"

Just before we got home, I had her walk. So Clerie put her on the back of the Yuba with O, and we were all much happier for the last short leg.

O, on the back of the Yuba, said on the way home, "I love biking! ...But, I'm kind of tired...and my legs hurt."

J, who is a little older, and actually has to pedal for a living, replied with a little snarkiness for Clerie to enjoy, "Yeah, I feel ya. My legs hurt when I have to sit, too."

In the dark, A got spooked by something with yellow eyes. So someone else took point. "Is the yellow monster still there? Whew! We got past it."

Had some hot cocoa at home before everyone crashed in bed. (How's that for good sleep hygiene?) What did we learn?

E: "I have to hold really still."

And what did I learn? I can ride with E. But she needs breaks every once in a while. And so do I.

And holy smokes; we just did 19 miles out of nowhere. And I told L we were going back to the west side of town again next Sunday.

L: "Oh, good. Wait, are we biking again?"

Me: "Yes"

L: "Yesssss!"

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John PescatoreWhen my daughter was young, I pulled her in a Winchester trailer and then we moved up to the Trail-a-bike when she got older. I used to occasionally bike her to school that way, those were fun rides.

We did a number of long rides but never a tour - looks like you have a great start on a great ride! On those long rides, my daughter would always get mad if passing cyclists outed her for not pedaling. I could always tell when she stopped anyway - most of the time she started singing when she stopped pedaling and that was awesome background music that I will always remember.
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1 year ago
Paul StatenYes, the singing! It's fantastic, isn't it?
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1 year ago