Tuesday, 17 January 2012

A Daddy And His Daughter

Yesterday was a day of cycling contrasts. Two bikes rides on two very different machines. Both very enjoyable.

I planned to take the Golden Child to her Rainbows club in the evening. As recently posted about, I am going to cycle with her on the tagalong to various activities when the weather allows. Now the weather, while decidedly cold, was dry and she was really looking forward to going out for a bike ride...in the dark! One slight problem with this however. The pin to connect the tagalong to the towing bike was in the car and the car was parked up at my wife's place of work. So I needed a ride out to pick it up first. Cue a 12 mile return blast on the road bike. 

I made the return journey in 48 mins. I averaged 15 mph overall with an average moving speed of 16.5 mph. Both of these reduced a little due to some slow traffic and the fact every light was on red! You can see the stops and starts on the Garmin Data.

Now, normally this kind of trip I would do on the heavier and slower touring bike carrying a pannier and heavy lock, etc. The road bike is reserved for 30+ mile, 2-4 hr rides into the country and up on the hills. But the weather was dry and it was a quick return trip with no need to carry anything heavy so I thought why not?

Because of the shorter ride I pushed myself harder than I would do normally and used it like a workout. Boy we were flying. Great fun! I think I will have to do some shorter, faster, harder rides on this machine again.

Anyway, the pin was collected and I fitted the tagalong to the tourer successfully. After tea the two of set off for the 1.5 mile trip to Rainbows. I had a quiet route planned away from the busy A56 and we were lit up like a Christmas tree between us.

Rear lights were: a Smart Lunar R2 on the tagalong firing on mad flash mode, a Knog Frog rear light on each helmet firing on slow flash mode and a B&M Toplight Plus on my carrier; while on the front were: a Schmidt Edelux, a Cateye HL-EL600 LED Single Shot on flash mode and on my helmet a Knog Frog front light on slow flash. On top of that both the bike and I are covered with reflective patches. 

No one was going to miss us visually at least and, more to the point, no one should hit us because we couldn't be seen. Even so I was a little apprehensive of how she would fare on the roads and in the dark for the very first time. I needn't have worried. She was thrilled to have her very own flashing helmet light, was not put off by the dark or the minimal traffic at all and was more than warm enough. She's keen to do it again and so am I. 

Average moving speed for this journey? 7.3 mph. The Garmin data is just the return leg. We did come back up the A56 for part of the trip as St Mary's Park was closed. I'm not afraid to say I cycled up the rather empty pavement and stopped to let the few pedestrians pass. No one was inconvenienced although I fully admit I broke the law (come and get me!). I am not ready to take my child on a busy, fast  A road yet, no matter how conspicuous we are. 

So, crap infrastructure will not stop the MiddleAgeCyclist and his Golden Child. I am already planning a two day, one night, cycle-camping trip with her for the Summer. Now that is going to be great Daddy-Daughter time!

1 comment:

  1. Nice to see you getting out with the little one. At least here in Western Australia, riding with your child makes it legal to ride footpaths; well until they are 12 years old at least. Some way to towards being a sensible road rule for a change :)

    Have fun