Joshua here, writing my first post…
What a day, I tell you. My day looked like this: woke up at eight to a lovely rolled omelet made by Meg, my loving and generous wife. Then I started in on the dishes that I had let pile up from being home alone with Judah the entire day before. While I was doing the dishes I convinced Conor that he should go on an 18.6 mile round trip bike ride with me to Easton so that I could go on a 10 mile group ride during which he would ride on my bike, and then get eggs from the Easton Farmers’ Market. Success, he decided to come along. I finished the dishes and started pulling everything together for the ride. Meg and I decided that I would take Judah also. So I pull together extra clothes and stuff for him, unlocked the bikes, aired the tires and we were off.
The first 9.3 miles to Genesis Bicycles a local bike shop (LBS) were great. We kept a nice strong pace. The trip was half on streets and half on the Palmerton-Bethlehem rail trail. We arrived right at 10 am and the ride was scheduled for 10:10. I locked up Conor’s bike on one of the racks outside of the store. Then I took Judah inside to use the bathroom and refilled our water bottles.
We three pile onto the Yuba and off we go with a large group, 20 plus riders for Genesis’ 10/10/10 ride: a 10 mile bike path ride that averages 10 mph and starts at 10:10 am. The ride started rough; I had to walk the bike several times through sidewalk construction. Anyone out there who has a Yuba knows that even though it rides like a normal bike, walking it is a nightmare, especially when its loaded. We got to the Delaware & Lehigh rail trail and things smoothed out… the pace was slow and easy and Conor and I got to talking with a couple people. It’s always nice to make new friends, especially ones that ride bikes. The path we took follows the Lehigh River which has beautiful scenery and that special river smell which Conor and I discovered we both love. Then we got to a bridge that we had to walk our bikes across. Ugh! By the time we got back to the busted up side walk I decided that I would just ride in the street because I was done walking the bike. It was a simple fix and made the end of the ride much more enjoyable then the start.
All in all it was a good ride at a good pace for me on the Yuba with both kids and I had fun.
Not So Fun
Judah had an accident while on the ride so I had to change him – not a huge deal. But at this point my body had noticed that I just rode my 100 pound bike 25 miles in the last 3 hours. Carrying my 175 pound self and a 30 pound toddler the whole time. And then my 75 pound step-son for 15 of those miles. Needless to say I was getting a little bit tired and very hungry. So we rode over to the farmers’ market which is open until one to get some food and the eggs to bring home. We locked up our bikes and I walked up to the table where I could get $1 tokens using my EBT card. Only their was no one there and no machine. Apparently they stop giving out tokens at 12:30. The lady at the adjoining table told me that there was an ATM across the street. I could get out cash but I couldn’t use my EBT card today. So after getting frustrated, I decided that I would just get money out of the ATM, buy the eggs and food, and everything would be fine. I had Conor watch Judah while I went to get cash. I crossed the street find the ATM, pulled out my wallet and discovered that I did not have my debit card. Thwarted again! I got completely pissed-off. I was already on edge and starving. I had no idea what to do.
I finally decided eating would probably fix all of my problems. We pulled ourselves together and walked our bikes across the street to McDonald’s, a place we try to avoid but at this point I was in survival mode and I completely didn’t care. 4 McDoubles, 2 apple pies, 1 parfait, 1 bag of apple dippers, 3 chocolate chip cookies and a large coke later every one was fed and feeling better. I called Meg who listened to my story and told me that everything was fine, that we should just take our time coming home, and she loves us. Yup, she’s amazing. So we packed up and set off on our 9 mile ride home.
This ride starts with a 2 mile long climb from which I never recovered. Despite having eaten, the ride home was grueling. It also had a couple of terrifying moments when Conor randomly swerved 6 feet to the left, in front of passing cars, followed by me yelling and cursing. Note: losing focus while riding a bicycle is a very bad idea.
We all made it home alive with emotions and thoughts shared, and apologies given – a little sunburn on the side. And, in my mind, better for having taken the journey. It was anything but an easy day. But I got time with the kids, and we mostly enjoyed it. Conor rode his bike farther than he ever has before in one day. And he got another lesson in riding in a straight line. Thank God I can take a difficult situation and look at it differently! That made all the difference.
Don’t forget your sunscreen.