Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Sharing the Joy of Cycling... Sore Butt and All!

Not only were we able to ride early on Thanksgiving morning, but since David had the following day off from work, we joined a group ride on Friday too! For the last two years, Dave and I took part in Ron Manizza's day-after-Thanksgiving spin class at the gym to work off the excess calories, but this year it was another unseasonably warm day, with temperatures eventually approaching 60 degrees! Who could pass up that opportunity? There were ten of us who met up at a shopping area parking lot in Manchester, Connecticut.

The ride was great, speedy, and a good workout for us. Again, we did about 40 miles. Our average speed was just under 17 mph.

With a weekend forecast just as wonderful, we decided to share the joy of cycling with my daughter, Katie, on Saturday. She has just recently learned how to ride on her own bicycle without training wheels! On Saturday, we loaded three single bikes into our minivan, and we headed east to Rhode Island where they have a nice kid-friendly bicycle path along flat ground.

Upon arrival to the path in the Warwick area, the three of us put on our helmets and started out. While there were piles of crunchy fallen leaves along the way, Katie was pretty confident. She was hesitant at times, but through the piles of leaves and into tunnels and over bridges, with people walking dogs and moms with strollers unaware that we told Katie to stay to the right at all times... she did very well!

 Katie was doing great for the first few miles of our ride!

The part of the path we covered was approximately 8 miles one way and 8 miles back. As we approached each intersection, I asked Katie how she was feeling ~ Did she want to head out further or turn around for our return trip?

Somehow it didn't click with her that the distance she had already covered was going to be done again in reverse... She claimed she was fine at each intersection, she was happy, and we went on further. Finally, we reached the end point in my mind, and we changed direction. About 1/3 of the way back, Katie stopped unexpectedly. She got off her bike and started to walk.

I asked her what was wrong, why did she stop? She told me that her butt hurt.

Well, at 3:30 in the afternoon in late November, we had only about an hour of daylight left. We tried to explain to Katie that walking those miles would not get us back to the car in time. I encouraged her to get back on her bicycle.

She pedaled ahead maybe another half mile. Then she stopped again. Then she got on again, and pedaled ahead further for a while.

This happened a few more times, and it was trying our patience to get her to continue to pedal to make it back to the van before dark. But, all-in-all, she did it. I've told her that she should be very, very proud of herself!! I don't think many 7-year-olds can say that they have ridden a bicycle for 16 miles in an afternoon!

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