Thursday, September 06, 2007

A Family Ride

by Don Warren, Kryptonite Category Manager

We had planned on doing a ride on the holiday weekend and my wife came up with the idea of going on the Minuteman Bikeway trail that goes from Bedford to Cambridge MA. So we gathered the 4 bikes, made sure we filled the tires with Air, wiped the cobwebs off my wife’s and mine frame. We didn’t have a rack for the 4 bikes, but its amazing what these minivans can hold and so all fit in the back with room to spare. Then we needed to find our helmets – it’s been awhile. Kids were no problem to find as we always have them ride with one no matter, but ours took a little more searching. Now we were ready. We loaded the kids into the mini-van and we were on our way. It was about a 25 minute drive to get there from our house.

We all got out our stuff and made sure we had water bottle filled because it was a warmer day. The kids had fanny packs to put their water in because their bikes are too small for water bottle brackets. My youngest daughter, Erin (5), has a 16” bike she got from Big Sis, but we added training wheels with some “bling”. My oldest, Katie, is 10 and has a 20” bike. Since the last time I watched her ride, I found I needed to raise the seat an inch! The kids do a lot of riding around our neighborhood but were on a busy street so they don’t get to do longer rides. This summer we just didn’t get a chance to do a lot of trekking out together because we are usually so busy as a family, going in different directions, like most families. Where did this summer go??

The trail is an old railway line that has been converted with very smooth pavement. Yellow stripe in the middle separated the path. It was busy that day – we met up with other cyclists and some inline skaters along the way. During the ride, we taught the kids to stay to the right and when you are passing someone you pass to the left and tell people your doing so no one gets jolted. My youngest decided at one point to just stop – but didn’t let anyone know she was going to stop. X&*#$, boy there were some fast stops behind her.

As the trail winds down there would be a few traffic lights or stop signs where the trail crosses roads, we used those as stopping points for water bottle breaks and getting our bearings. Our goal was to search for the ice cream place that used to be along the trail. This is what drove the kids, so we went through Lexington – the historic town green area where the British battle occurred so many years ago – and watched a lot of other bikers taking a break on the green with us. We thought the ice cream place was there….but it wasn’t. After a short rest we continued on towards Cambridge in search for soft serve gold.

We kept at our pace which to my surprise had seen Erin keeping up with riders that were older. Fun to see her spinning the cranks so fast while being kept upright by the outriggers – One incident to report was when Erin ran off the road one time while riding too close to the dirt edge (tricky training wheels) kinda like a Paris-Roubaix hazzard, and scraped her knee a little bit, but she got back on after a little touch-up. As we continued along Katie and I decided we were getting a little sore from our hard saddles – about 5 miles down. Mom had the nice Sport Gel seat and was doing fine. Erin still was keeping up the whole way – no need to pull her along thank goodness and not sure she would care if your saddle was to firm! Alas we got to a point in the ride that we decided that ice cream wasn’t looking like it was very close so we decided to turn around and start our journey backwards since we had to go the same distance back to the car.

Along the way we met other kids, bikes and trailers and a couple of people who had small dogs in their backpacks as they were riding. The kids enjoyed that and it made their ride a little more enjoyable when they got to pet the dogs. Back through Lexington…I realized I needed to stand up off the saddle a little bit more and crank the peddles this way so the insuing pain didn’t hurt quite as much. I know I looked forward to the ‘finish line’ aka the car but the kids didn’t seem to mind as much. They had a bit of the energizer bunny in them. We still told them we going for the gold.

Some enterprising kids had a stand along the trail where we stopped paid a buck and had 2 cups of lemonade for the kids. It was interesting to see that the entrepreneurs were even recycling the cups!

Got back to the car and the car seat never felt so comfortable; I didn’t remember the van seat being that comfy before.

On our journey back I took the opportunity from there to take the kids on a magical mystery tour and show them areas of Concord and Lincoln that were also a big part of the American revolution. We even went by Walden Pond, too.

As our prize, we found a place called Dairy Joy in Weston that gave us what we were really looking forward to – ice cream! When we got home we realized it was a lot of fun and we should do it a more often, but with saddles that are more comfortable. We’ll be doing that soon so we can get out on the trail again very soon!

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