Sunday, November 16

"Community" Ditch Trail

I guess I should have worn one of my jerseys and my bike shorts today. Things might have gone better.

The temps were nice today so we decided to get out of the city and do something. I suggested we go ride the Community Ditch Trail in Boulder Open Space. From the road it looked like a nice level ride where we could take the bike trailer.

So I loaded everything up and we made the 45 minute drive over there. I opted to park along 93 as opposed to driving on down to the TH near Eldorado Springs. As soon as we got out of the car we were stunned by both the view and the wind. It was howling.

But soon we were on the trail and the wind was not quite as strong. Unfortunately the trail (ditch access road) was chocked full of big ole rocks. Boone was bouncing off his bike and Lily was crying from the trailer. They were miserable.

We went a little way and I looked back to see Mandy and Lily far behind. We went back and she said Lily was just miserable. So we decided to go back, but Boone wanted to go on. So mom said she and Lily would head back and take their time if we wanted to go on, so we did.

Mistake number one...we left all the repair gear in the trailer.

Mistake number two...I left my cell at home.

Anyway, Boone and I rode all the way to the Doudy Draw trail and then down the paved section to the TH along the road to Eldorado Canyon. From where we started it was about 2.25 miles. We had a pretty good ride to that point and we then turned around and headed back toward the car. Within 100 yards I noticed a weird sound and looked back to see that Boone's rear tire was flat (I was pulling him with the tow bar).

He had three goatheads that he must have picked up somewhere else because he also had some in his front tire which was held up off the ground by the bar and none of the other tires on either of the other bikes or the trailer had any goatheads.

At the time I didn't know how far we had to walk back, but I knew it was going to be a long walk. At that moment I realized my two mistakes (see above) and began kicking myself for them. Boone complained that he didn't want to walk, but after a little bit he didn't say anything else and he was actually quite a trooper. He told me a little while ago after we got home that he had a great day today.

We also tried out riding with him on my handlebars for a bit. That made up a good bit of time, but roughed up his rear end too much to go too far.

What really annoyed me about the whole thing was this: I have always heard how great the cycling community is. I've heard that most cyclists will stop and help you out if you have a flat and that they always look out for each other.

What I discovered instead was that most cyclists will barrel by a five year old pedestrian with no warning and without slowing down and will NOT stop and help someone with a flat. Dozens of Jersey Guys and Gals flew by without so much as an "On your LEFT!" Some did at least yell out before screaming by.

About two thirds of the way back a guy slowed down and offered a tube, but we could see Mandy and Lily and the car by then and then three guys asked if we needed anything as we reached the parking area, but of all the people that cruised by us, they were the only ones that gave any pause.

I suggested to Mandy as we were loading the car up that it might have been different if I had been wearing my jersey and bike shorts and riding something besides my fixed frame 14 year old Cannondale.

Oh would have been a nice hike if not for having to drag the bike with a flat along or if someone had offered the use of their tire tools, a patch and a pump.

I made sure to talk to Boone about how it is good to stop and at least ask if someone needed help. Mandy said while she and Lily sat alongside the trail playing only one person asked if they needed any help.

[Boone-ism follows]

I explained that none of the people that had passed us had been considerate enough to stop and ask if we were ok and how it is nice to offer to help people and how now we know how it feels when no one does offer to help. I stopped my "lesson" as another bike spun past.

Boone said quite loudly: "He didn't stop to help us either."

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