Last night the two oldest kids were part of a trip that took in a Phillies game, so the Veloterrorist and I took a short ride. When we started out, we got into a neat conversation about how he liked different pavement features, like chip-sealed v. smooth, and running on cracks and bumps. I could tell that he’d given this some serious thought for a 10 year old.
Thus far his “legal limit” is the loop around our neighborhood, which he has explored completely; but last night I offered up the next street over…and that involves going out on the “fast road.”
I let him take the lead and we went single file with me watching for traffic in the mirror. For this short hop, there was nothing in sight. He made the left turn without looking over his shoulder – I’ll need to get him in that habit.
Cruising down the other street involves a big hill, which he got a thrill working up the speed by the time we got to the bottom. At that point, realizing that we would have to go back up that hill, I explained to him in simple terms the concept of using the different gears. Up till now, he didn’t seem interested in listening to me regarding this subject, but given the size of this hill and the prospect of walking the bikes up, he was suddenly all ears.
I explained the granny gear and the twist grips on his bike, and he started spinning well before we hit the incline. Once there though, he grinned at how much easier it was and shot right up with a brief stop at the top for a sip of water. Back on the level pavement, he shifted up but probably not as much as I would have. Still, I figure it’s best to let him figure it out and find the gears that he is comfortable with.
I also noticed that I either need to raise the seat AGAIN on his bike, or let him start using the 29er. The saddle can probably come up another 3 inches, which might run out of post. Plus I really need to give it a good cleaning and lube.
Distance: 2.5 miles 2008: 1069.2