New Year’s Day Bike Ride

New Year’s Day for us was a big family outing day. After a big breakfast of pancakes (yay!) I went mentioned to my wife that I was thinking that maybe we could all go on a big bike ride together. This suggestion was met with a little trepidation since the last time that she was on a bike was when she was pregnant with the Big Boy, so it had been nearly 7 years since she had been on a bike. With a little coaxing she agreed to give it a shot and then I mentioned that she was going to have to tow the Big Girl behind her. More trepidation but still agreement.

I got her bike down and proceeded to wash off the dust that accumulated on it and then mounted the seatpost hitch for the trail-along bike. Time for a shameless plug for the Adams trail-along bike, it’s great and now we have a hitch on both of our bikes.

After the bike was cleaned up I inflated the tires in all of the bikes and got the wife and the Big Girl up on their now-tandem to practice a bit around the neighborhood. A few times up and down the street and things were pronounced workable. I packed all of the bikes, trailers, helmets and assorted other gear up while the wife did potties, shoes, sandwiches and coats, more or less in that order.

We drove down to the Half Moon Bay Coastside Trail and reversed the packing. The Coastside trail is a fairly wide paved trail that follows the blufftops from Miramar and extends down to one of the southern beaches in HMB. According to my car’s odometer this would be around 3.5-4 miles. The Trail gets a lot of walkers, ocean gazers, and casual bike riders. It’s more or less flat for the entire length so it’s a good place for the kids as long as you’re careful at the points where it intersects with the roads to the beach parking lots.

After getting everyone ready with jackets and helmets we set out. We had the Big Boy on his own bike, the wife on her bike with the Big Girl on the trail-along and the two little ones in the Burley trailer behind my bike. We rode a small distance on the streets of Miramar to get onto the Coastside trail and then proceeded at a more or less leisurely pace to ride the trail to its terminus and back again (total ride was probably 7 miles). The wife and Big Girl were bringing up the rear of the ride with the Big Boy in front of them. That let me set the pace and deal with intersections and passing the walkers. The two little ones settled into the trailer and took turns napping and leaning on each other. This was the first time in the trailer for the Little Boy (he’s 14 months now) and he was very proud of himself.

On the way back the Big Boy decided he was ready to lead the way. We explained that he had to say “excuse me” to everyone he passed and he did pretty well at that. We soothed any upset walkers by wishing everyone a Happy New Year and he soon added that to his greeting when he passed someone. He also decided that I’d been a bit too leisurely in setting the pace so the ride back went pretty quickly.

All in all I’m sure we were quite a sight with all of us riding together. The babies got lots of “ooos” from walkers that we passed and the wife said she caught a number of people trying to do a head-count as we went past. At the end of the ride the kids were very proud of themselves, though the Big Girl resented having to help Mama so much and announced that next time she would ride her own bike. I’m not sure she’s quite up to the ride but we’ll work that out in time.

All in all the wife and I are feeling very pleased with ourselves, having started out the year with a big family outing that went off without a hitch.

P.S. Mike over at Beagooddad asked for suggestions for mid-weather outdoor activities but I’m thinking that Northern California mid-winter is different enough from an Iowa mid-winter that this doesn’t count.

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