Monday, February 21

Gears

While I go on about the Year of the Longtails my kids have their own cycling dreams.

Last week I took the pedals and training wheels off of Bean's pink princess bike and put the Balance Buddy on it. She hasn't taken off like I expected her to, and I realized she can actually brake with the pedals, so I put them back on today. A couple of paces up and down the street with her has me convinced she'll be riding on her own by spring. She wanted to keep riding all afternoon. I finally convinced her to take a break for awhile.



On the other hand, Boone is ready for gears. After our Tour de Arvada on Saturday we've all realized he would be much happier if he could just gear down for the hills. And I'm certain that he can figure out shifting and using hand brakes pretty quickly. It's been hard for him to keep up with me and Mandy on our recent rides because he has a single speed 20" BMX bike.

What's funny is after we went to Assisted Cycling Tours' (ACT) open house and saw the Matters' tandem, Boone has been talking about us getting one. I had mentioned it to him once that a tandem would be fun for us because he could ride with me and we could go a lot of places. He seems to be all for it.

I've never really liked the idea of a tandem before, but as I've looked into the Xtracycle and other longtails and read up on the Vogel family's adventures I can see how a tandem would be a great addition to our fleet. I'm not saying we're in the market for a tandem, but I'm not saying I wouldn't happily take one if someone were to give it to us.

Going beyond the standard single rider bicycle and stepping into the world of utility and family bikes is exciting. We've always been open to the idea of using our bikes for more than just riding up and down the street and around the park. It's incredible how having access to the 800+ miles of paved trails, the hundreds of miles of bike lanes and good roads and the untold miles of off-road trails and paths within a day's ride will inspire you to jump on your pedals so much more often.

I look forward to a summer of two wheels for all four of us. The kids are little cycling fiends, and usually up for any adventure. We're going to test that theory this summer.

We'll conquer distance. We'll overcome weight and mass. We'll build endurance, confidence and strength. We'll do all this while propelling the most efficient means of transportation ever devised by man.

The plan is that the kids will go visit family in the East in a few months, yet we fear with building turmoil in the Middle East, with interruptions in oil production and political unrest that gas prices may jump pretty high and we won't be able to afford the trip. That's becoming a distinct possibility. If we can't afford to travel this summer then we'll be riding out from home a lot more often and we'll be exploring our limits and stretching out along the roads and byways.

There are as lot of destinations within striking distance of Arvada. I'm really good at pulling the logistics together for a fun adventure. Hope you'll come along.

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