Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Bike Riding

Now that all our company is gone and things are getting back to normal we're trying to get back into our biking groove. We just passed the 900 mile mark on our exercise bike—we're nearing the half-way point of our goal!—but we still have some serious biking to do before the end of the year (our goal is 2436 miles).

On Monday the kids really wanted to go for a bike ride so after dinner and a quick FHE I took them around the neighbourhood while Andrew took Rachel to soccer practice. I downloaded a GPS app thing that will track my mileage and speed and so forth (though ads pop up every time I swipe the screen because I only downloaded the free version—and I'm still not convinced I like it enough to actually buy it...anyone know of a good app like this?).

My speed graph and elevation graph were mirror images of each other. Whenever the line of my elevation graph went up, the line on my speed graph plummeted. We have a few good hills in our little neighbourhood and hauling ~70% of my body weight behind me didn't help matters either.

Cute Cargo

A family in our neighbourhood (and in our ward, actually) was out for a walk with their dog and kids, only they were walking the loop in the opposite direction we were riding (I planned to bike up the smaller hill and coast down the bigger hill—smart, right?). It seemed like every time we met up with them it was when I was pedaling up a hill, completely out of breath, and going a little faster than 0 MPH. It was kind of embarrassing. But whatever.

Today the kids rode their own bikes, which was much easier for me.

Miriam finally figured out how to pedal the little tricycle we have. No sooner had she accomplished this—and this is a huge accomplishment, accompanied by a joyful cry, "I'm actually doing it!"—than the big girls (Rachel and her friend Alexa) decided to start riding down the steep driveways across the street. Rachel still struggles with breaking and steering so I was a little nervous about the whole hill idea, but she did it over and over again without a problem.

Then Miriam decided to try it.

What happened to my little girl!? Yesterday she was inching her way along on her tricycle, shuffling her feet on the ground instead of using the pedals, and today she's daring enough to try riding down a hill?!

I was even more nervous about this scenario and made her put her helmet on before attempting it (she had refused to wear it before and I figured since she was moving so slowly and was so close to the ground I wouldn't push the issue—riding down a steep driveway is a completely different situation, certainly one that requires a helmet). I could hardly look as she pushed off the flat surface and went zooming down the hill on a wild, wild ride. She was steering like a maniac, swerving right and then left, she went off the driveway, barely missed pegging the mailbox post, flew over the curb, landed her bike hard on the left side before swinging around the right again, bringing all three wheels safely to the ground.

"Whoa!" she said, blinking furiously. "I wanna do that again!"


"Somebody is going to get hurt," I cautioned. "I'm not saying you have to stop. I'm just saying that someone is going to get hurt so if you're fine getting hurt then, by all means, keep riding down the hill."

She rode down the hill again. And again. And again.

Rachel rode down the hill again. And again. And again.

I was about to think my prophetic words would not come to fruition today (and truthfully was hoping that would be the case) but, alas, I'm sometimes too right for my own good (I mean, I'm usually at least a little right but today I was too right).

"Want to come out and see the carnage?" I asked Andrew when I came into the house to fetch some ice.

"Did Miriam fall going down that hill? I knew she would..." he said.

"Nope," I said.

"Rachel?" he asked.

"Yup," I said.

Don't worry. She's fine—a little banged up, but fine. She turned too sharply after coming off the curb and her bike slid right out from under her. She slid across the pavement for quite a while and even left a new skid mark on the road (she was going super fast). I looked her up and down and then tried to pick her up but her foot was stuck awkwardly in her bike. I loosed her foot and then carried her over to the lawn where she howled about her knees.

Fortunately, she was wearing jeans (that now nearly have holes in the knees). She didn't even break her skin, though she did have some bruises and blood blisters of would-be road rash developing. We sat and iced her knees for a while before convincing her to get back up on her bike. Reluctantly, she agreed to ride around the cul-de-sac.

"I don't want to ride down that driveway ever again!" she said.

"Why don't you try Diego's driveway next time?" I asked. "It's not as steep."

"Okay," she said (though I hadn't necessarily meant for her to try right then) and successful went down his driveway over and over and over again.

Meanwhile, Miriam got bored of the tricycle and mastered riding the little bike with training wheels, which meant Benjamin got a turn on the tricycle, which made him happy (even if it is pink and purple and he can't reach the pedals yet). 


  1. G rides back and forth between our driveway and our neighbors. It drives me bonkers because I'm always freaked out she is going to scratch their car....but she is always sneaking because she loves the fastness of it :) It is fun how close in age G and S and A are to R, M, and B. We are doing a lot of the same fun stuff here.

  2. Next time your in town have me show you some of mine old bike routes. Have the girls bring their bikes and we'll coast down them together. Although, we have to get 5 to 6 more people to get the cars to stop so we can run the stop signs. The hill is called Wall Street, it is behind the capital and I would have to guess about a 60 to 70 degree angle for about 1/2 to 3/4 miles long. Of course I was twice Rachel's age at the time I was riding down it also I should mention that at that time helmets were for motorcycle riders not bicycle riders so we wouldn't be caught dead wearing them (sometimes we almost were). There's a few other hills I could show you.