Once I’ve shoehorned one dog, two children, three bikes and my long suffering wife into the truck, any actual riding feels like a bonus. But even before the geometrically puzzling angst of loading the trailer has begun, first we must repair what is broken.
Abi hasn’t ridden much this year. And when she has managed to get on her bike, it’s not long before she’s off it again, furrowing a trowel line with her head – stopping only on contact with a painful stump. This may account for her noticeable lack of enthusiasm when offered an opportunity to hurt herself again.
Still game enough this morning, leaving me with to fettle hastily on her dusty steed* so bringing hammer no.2 to bear on a bent mech with the kind of satisfying twang promising component purchases soon.
The woods could best be described as ‘encouragingly moist“. I know this to be true because they were the exact words I chose in my motivational opening to the children. I didn’t feel this was the right time to ponder the adhesive qualities of slick-wet roots cambered at bike-punting angles. They’d find out soon enough.
They both showed some proper bravery clearly not inherited from my DNA. Jess christened her new bike by throwing it roughly to the ground at least twice, but was usurped for “best crash award” by her Sis who attacked one particularly nasty set of wheel sucking roots with innocent vigour. The tyres held on for – oh – nanoseconds before letting go and starting a sequence of events that could only end in one eleven year old lying on the track.
Again I kept my council other than to offer parental sympathy while checking surreptitiously for unattached body parts. Probably for the best as it is unlikely that a blow by fall account of our two days Welsh “Slush Puppy” tour focussing on exactly how hardcore, skillfull and downright manly their old Pa is would have had the desired effect. Unless that effect was to receive a couple of yawned “Yeah Dad, whatever”
As it was – and even tho we’d had to finish with a rather testing ten minute climb – both kids are now mad keen to get out ‘every weekend when it’s sunny‘. I know this to be a fallacy, which in no way shall stop me reminding them of it every Saturday come the Spring.
Riding with your kids is ace. Much as the Wales trip was fab fun, and much as I am properly excited by oodles of mountain biking here and there come 2011, I’d happily give up my weekends to ride with these two.
If only to get the crashes on video next time
* In my younger years, I would assume that sort of thing would annoy the farmer if he caught you at it.