The weather was forecasted sunshine and showers; that’s sunshine on the Saturday and showers on the Sunday. In a moment of unfamiliar seflessness, I chose the Saturday to improbably stuff 4 bikes and 4 people into and around the car and go riding on the local sustrans. It didn’t start well with Verbal ignoring eight feet of pristine concrete, instead veering off alarmingly into a steel fence. The impact threw the bars sideways and the child forwards where the waiting concrete bloodied her knee. After a mild whinge and the application of the magic finger, we were on our way again.
Random, on the other hand had gone mad, powering her pink singlespeed over the first crest, spinning away with a cadence last seen on an Olympic hammer thrower. While pedalling is her forte, braking and steering aren’t and only desperate shouts from terrified parents prevented a freeride plunge over the railway embankment.
Here’s a couple of pictures from calmer times.
We managed eight-ish miles which may not sound epic until you realise that for three members of the family, this is their personal best. Tired legs morphed with increased confidence by rides end and I couldn’t help but feeling rather proud of them all. Parentlng you see, not difficult at all if you remember to turn up.
The forecast was horribly accurate with thunder outside the bedroom window and frightened kids inside. Although Random and Verbal are now at an age where we’re largely ignored at the weekend unless one of them has accidentally set fire to the other one while making breakfast, this morning we had a four in a bed scenario which gave me ample opportunity to unleash my personal duvet lifting thunder. I’m pretty sure everyone was impressed with “ThunderPants Dad” – I know I was.
The rain stopped leaving me almost no excuse but to go riding. The trails were understandably moist and slippy which provided more than enough excuses for my continuing confidence issues to loom large and irritating. There is an MTB myth, periannially spouted by those shielded by Internet forums that crap and muddy conditions make one a superb bike handler. I’m not prepared to except that unless you’re already a superb bike handler rendering the whole exercise totally bloody pointless. And not a little scary. Speed isn’t an issue, turning is; until I can shift the mindfuck that insists five degrees off vertical will conclusively lead to an explosion of extra vehicular activity ending in slashed limbs and open wounds. It’s bloody annoying and nothing short of riding, riding, riding is going to fix it. Or strong drugs – maybe that’s a short cut worth considering.
Here’s what the bike looked like. At least it’s warm enough to clean it wihout the risk of frostbite.
Once the cold muscles in for a three month stay, I’m going to with the site namesake and considering hibernation.