Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The first ride

David wrapped up his spring break trip to IL today. Poor kid - can't go anywhere nice, so he came to see us. We had a great time of inside jokes, bike building, and a cut-throat game of settlers where we boxed out mom in the last play. Boys rule!

Well, David and I took a 17.5 mile jaunt yesterday through hail, snow, and steady winds for his first ride on his cyclocross bike (fitted with road tires for the day). When we started I could barely get the kid to pedal as he was (understandably) skittish around the cars in town and the (relative) speeds of road tires/wheels. However, this hesitance was unacceptable as my body temperature (secured as it is by vast amounts of lipids,) was dropping. The answer: ride faster. By the end of the ride I would look over my shoulder and I would see him turning circles chasing me down or sprinting up rises. It was quite a transformation. My only regret is not getting out again with him before he heads back west.

As we were riding I realized that he was learning how to conduct himself on the road by following me. How do I treat stop signs, cars (parked? Moving?) stop lights, pedestrians, road hazards? How do I position myself in the lane? Those things are better “caught” than “taught.” I hope he had his mitt out each time I told him to make eye contact with motorists…

I plan to post a follow-up with pictures of the bike build. We didn't get any photos of our adventure yesterday, but we'll have the sting of the hail and the urgency of traffic to remember it.

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