Saturday, October 15, 2011

The bike ride

Sunday afternoon:

We went out to a nearby bike track. It took a long time in preparation; Tim had to take the front wheels off my bike and Jasmine's so that we could fit the three bikes in the car and boot (no chance of fitting Tim's as well), and the kids ended up squished in with the frame of my bike. We need a bike rack. Then they all got put back together at the track. Pushing my bike through the car park, it felt wrong -- like the brakes were a bit on. Tim had the first ride and agreed and fiddled with it for a while but couldn't fix it. It was ridable, but hard work.

The bike park has a few different areas including a little kids area and long hilly tracks and BMX stuff; but we stick to the sealed loop. It's kind of like a skinny oval (1.2 km around) with a wider bit at one end so that you're not doing a hairpin turn, and a much wider interestingly wavy loop at the other end. When I went up to the sign to see how long the track was, I could see from the map that from the air the track is actually in the shape of a penis and testicles. Long shaft, bulbous head, two testicles. Who designs these things?

Anyway, while Tim was running along beside each child in turn as they practised with no training wheels, I set off. Riding a bike is still very scary for me. It's hard to remember the confidence I had as a child. I did one lap with a stop in the middle -- going quite slowly and even braking on the gentle down slopes. I had a rest and admired the kids' improvement then timed myself on a full lap. 9 minutes to do 1.2 km; that is only 8 km per hour. Kind of amazing that I wasn't going so slow I tipped over -- that is how Jasmine still rides. Oh well, I can only improve.

Not much riding for all that hassle getting the bikes there, maybe we will stick with the bike tracks near home for a while. But it is a nice spot.

photo by billhd

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