I posted a few photos of the four man tandem yesterday that Matt Assenmacher had at the Tour de Crim, a fun ride with obstacle course stops along the route of the Crim 10 Mile running race in Flint, Michigan. We volunteered last year and again this year. This year we brought the bikes along though, to ride the course after sending the other riders off.
This year, my oldest daughter has a new road bike that she is very much fond of. She even named her Specialized Dolce “The Silver Mamba” (dude, I know, badass name for a bike!). Anyway, I knew good and well I’d have no problem with Bella and ten miles, that kid could do twenty at 15 mph on that bike. The wildcard was her younger sister. She had Bella’s Trek mountain bike handed down and she’s never liked cycling… Until this last two weeks.
She’d been riding an older, heavier seven speed small kids bike and she went from that to a full-sized (26″ wheels, I think) kid’s mountain bike with 21 speeds that’s twice as big but lighter than her old bike. First, she wants a road bike like her sister but I told her she was going to have to get a lot bigger and show more interest in cycling before I drop that kind of coin on a bike for her. Who could blame her though, mom and dad are all “road bike this” and “road bike that”, now her big sister is asking to go on bike rides because she loves her road bike so much… She wants to be a part of that too.
So today was a big test for the little eight year-old. Ten miles on semi-open roads, leaving ten minutes after all of the other riders faded into the distance… And she straight up rocked it. She climbed all of the hills but one (the first of a nasty rolling triple followed by a gnarly little 1/2 mile mile rise – but she did ride the next two and the gnarly 1/2 mile incline) and soldiered on without complaint.
Four miles in and we’d caught the back of the pack. My eight year-old daughter made up a ten minute gap, in four miles. We stopped for water at the first obstacle course, the girls did the course and we were off again. We had a police escort for the next mile but we passed so many people we ended up leaving the escort behind. With three or four miles to go, I left the younger to spend some time in the drops with her sister. She’s turning into quite the budding cyclist, a no-kidding chip off the old block.
Finally the finish… My wife and I decided to let Josie, for her awesome effort, finish first. It was very cool, the little one had quite the smile and for good reason…
And now for the laugh line. We were instructed, along with everyone else, to dismount our bikes as soon as we crossed the finish line. I did not, of course, because I can track stand and wait my turn to get my medal before pedaling through the bottleneck till everything opened up again. My wife was not amused and kindly, lovingly, ordered me off of my bike. Immediately.
So the guy handing out medals turns to me and says, “Great job finishing, man. That’s a tough ride”. Now, folks, you know me. I try to be humble but it’s hard to be humble when you’re great. Fortunately, I’m only pretty good, so humble isn’t out of the realm of possibility. I simply smiled, accepted my finisher medal, and followed my family to the car so we could pack up our bikes. Originally, I was going to pass on the medal, forever stuck on short-term thinking. Thankfully my wife pointed out that 40 years down the road, it would be cool to have one finisher medal from our first big ride as a family. She’s right.
It’s all good.