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Discussion in 'Mountain Bikes' started by Kathleen, May 24, 2003.

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  1. Kathleen

    Kathleen Guest

    "I want to come with you." Oh, peachy. The last thing I wanted was a kid to drag along. They'd
    already had their ride. This was supposed to be my time, the last half hour before official sunset.
    Fifteen minutes after that, in spite of the glow lingering in the sky, we had to be gone. That's
    when they lock the park's gates. Up until a couple of months ago roughly 95% of my rides were solo,
    unless you wanted to count the dogs. I was alone a lot, and I enjoyed it. But then Dan's work
    schedule changed and gas got expensive and what were once solo rides turned into family outings. The
    usual drill involves loading up the bikes and leaving as soon as the kids get home from school. We
    do the eight mile loop with the kids, then drop them off at the trailhead, where they either sit in
    the van and play video games or, weather permitting, play in the creek. Then their dad goes and
    tackles one of the high trails and I do a fast five mile out-and-back, rebuilding legs and lungs
    that have gone all floppy over the long, cold, wet winter. That leaves us just enough time to get
    packed up and on the road before the ranger locks up. "I'm only going up to the railroad bridge and
    back - five miles - and I'm going to go fast so we can get out of here before the park closes." " I
    know. I still want to come with you. Can I?" "I'm not going to slow down or wait for you. If you
    come along, you have to keep up. And no whining, either." We set off and by the time we reached the
    entrance to the trail, we were cranking along at a pretty good clip. You can't really do an all out
    sprint - too many people around for that to be safe - but 13 or 14 mph is do-able. My daughter hung
    off my rear wheel like grim death until we hit the sand pits, where she dropped back maybe a hundred
    feet. As we came to the final half mile or so before the bridge I had to focus more of my attention
    on the twisty trail ahead of me. When I reached the bridge and turned to look back, she was nowhere
    in sight. The trails has a lot of bends, and with the leaves up on the trees, you can't see more
    than 50 feet down the trail. I barely had time to work up the first tinglings of concern (maybe 30
    seconds?) when she hove into sight around the corner. She pulled up next to me, and we stood there
    watching the sun reflecting off the river. I could feel the heat radiating from her bare arm next to
    mine, could hear her breathing, sucking in deep gulps of air, and I knew what it had cost her to
    maintain that pace. But she wasn't whining. "I'd like to see Ashley do *that*", I said quietly, and
    watched her grin. Ashley is the self-appointed abitreuer of sixth grade feminity, and is profoundly
    and vocally disturbed by my daughter's unconventional demeanor and choice of activities. We shared a
    smirk at the thought of Ashley in bike shorts, covered with dust, splattered with mud, and Elaine
    launched into a dead-on impression of Ashley's high-pitched voice, complaining about the clothes,
    the lack of color-coordinated dirt, and the hard work. Then we headed back, cruising this time,
    instead of cranking. And I was proud. I'm not ready yet, to pass the torch. But I'm happy to give my
    daughter a light off of mine.

    Kathleen
     
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  2. Penny S.

    Penny S. Guest

    Kathleen thoughtfully penned < and I edited >

    > "I'm not going to slow down or wait for you. If you come along, you have to keep up. And no
    > whining, either."

    My daughter hung off my rear wheel like grim
    > death
    .
    > She pulled up next to me, and we stood there watching the sun reflecting off the river. I
    > could feel the heat radiating from her bare arm next to mine, could hear her breathing,
    > sucking in deep gulps of air, and I knew what it had cost her to maintain that pace. But she
    > wasn't whining. "I'd like to see Ashley do *that*", I said quietly, and watched her grin.
    > Ashley is the self-appointed abitreuer of sixth grade feminity, and is profoundly and vocally
    > disturbed by my daughter's unconventional demeanor and choice of activities. We shared a smirk
    > at the thought of Ashley in bike shorts, covered with dust, splattered with mud, and Elaine
    > launched into a dead-on impression of Ashley's high-pitched voice, complaining about the
    > clothes, the lack of color-coordinated dirt, and the hard work. Then we headed back, cruising
    > this time, instead of cranking. And I was proud. I'm not ready yet, to pass the torch. But I'm
    > happy to give my daughter a light off of mine.
    >
    > Kathleen

    awesome, totally awesome. Now wait until she can pass you!

    penny
     
  3. Penny says, in reply to Kathleen:

    >awesome, totally awesome.

    Truth!

    >Now wait until she can pass you!

    My only biking kid has been capable of that for a couple of years now. Very capable! It is a feeling
    of mixed pride (coz I don't feel that slow) and envy (coz he never seems to get tired) Give him his
    due, he _does_ slow down occasionally to wait for the Old Man to catch up, I just wish he wouldn't
    start right out again the minute I get there. ;-)

    Steve
     
  4. Gyp

    Gyp Guest

    Very good worthy of some magazine space..methinks..

    Cheers

    Gyp
     
  5. RE/
    >Does anybody use one of these (I have a hardtail) and if so, do they come recommended??

    I'm using a ThudBuster.

    Haven't used it long or hard enough to comment on durability, but the comfort is
    #1.

    Somebody posted somewhere to the effect that sus posts were an example of over-engineering and a
    sprung saddle would do the job just as well at far lower cost.

    After reading that, I tried the same ride using my ThudBuster and a Brooks B-17 one day and just a
    Brooks B-66 (sprung saddle) the next day.

    No comparison. The sprung saddle doesn't have the travel and your lower back gets hammered a lot
    harder - especially on the occasional bump that you don't see and react to by shifting weight to the
    pedals. It also seems to transmit stutter bumps when your butt is just sort of floating on the
    saddle whereas the ThudBuster combo seems to insulate your tender parts from same.

    One vote for ThudBuster.
    -----------------------
    PeteCresswell
     
  6. Jon Bond

    Jon Bond Guest

    "Gyp" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:[email protected]...
    > Very good worthy of some magazine space..methinks..
    >
    > Cheers
    >
    > Gyp

    Very much so. I'm sure Dirtrag would print it, if not one of the corporite pawn ones.

    Jon Bond
     
  7. Jimbo

    Jimbo Guest

    Kathleen wrote:

    > "I want to come with you." Oh, peachy. The last thing I wanted was a kid to drag
    > along.<snip> Then we headed back, cruising this time, instead of cranking. And I was proud.
    > I'm not ready yet, to pass the torch. But I'm happy to give my daughter a light off of mine.
    >
    > Kathleen

    Inspiring... I hope you and your daughter share many rides together.

    Jimbo(san)
     
  8. Kathleen

    Kathleen Guest

    Stephen Baker wrote:
    > Penny says, in reply to Kathleen:
    >
    >
    >>awesome, totally awesome.
    >
    >
    > Truth!
    >
    >
    >>Now wait until she can pass you!
    >
    >
    > My only biking kid has been capable of that for a couple of years now. Very capable! It is a
    > feeling of mixed pride (coz I don't feel that slow) and envy (coz he never seems to get tired)
    > Give him his due, he _does_ slow down occasionally to wait for the Old Man to catch up, I just
    > wish he wouldn't start right out again the minute I get there. ;-)

    When she pulled up next to me, the pride I felt in her was not mixed, but fierce and
    primitive... "My cub is strong!" And she is, too. Not only did she do the ride, she had to
    stand up to me to even earn the chance to try.

    Kathleen
     
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