A tale of two bike rides

I spent a surprising amount of time this weekend on my bike, but the two bike rides were quite different. On Saturday morning, we loaded the bike rack on my car with my husband’s bike, my bike, and our 10-year-old’s bike. The 7-year-old’s bike can fit in a trunk, as can the Burley (for the 2-year-old), and the tag-along (for the 5-year-old; we take two cars on these outings). We drove to the Trooper Road exit on highway 422, where Valley Forge park meets the Schuylkill River Trail. It was then quite a production to get the Burley on my husband’s bike, the tag-along on mine, and six helmets and waters and snacks packed up. The ride itself was complicated too; the tag-along was making all kinds of noises, and would knock my seat to the side when we went over bumps, so we’d have to straighten it out (still not sure what’s going on there). The 7-year-old walked his bike up the one hill, and then stopped suddenly in front of me once, leading to a small dust-up. But we did it, and rode about 9 miles all together along the trail.

On Sunday, I had booked a sitter to watch the 2-year-old while my husband and I took the three older children to a pool party out in New Jersey that we go to every year. But then we learned that some of the kids’ good buddies would be there earlier in the day than we had arranged for coverage. So my husband went earlier, and I stayed with the 2-year-old and figured hey, I have a sitter, I’ll use the time! I put my own bike in the back of my car, an easy process of just folding down the back seat. I went to the same trail head, and hopped on my bike with just my little backpack.

I had planned to go farther west/north than we’d gone the day before, but the trail in fact ended less than a quarter mile from where we’d stopped (the signs hadn’t indicated this, but all of a sudden the trail intersected with a road and a sign informed riders that we’d be on the road from now on, so pay attention and follow traffic rules — no thanks!) I turned around and came back and then went south/east from where I was parked. I made it down to Norristown, and in fact, the mile markers were starting to get tantalizingly close to where I run on that trail (I bailed between 18 and 17.5; I normally run between 13.5-10.5). You can ride all the way to center city Philly, which I might try some time.

I love the feel of the wind on my face, and being out along the river. It was a nice day, too, with a few clouds marbling the blue sky. Aerobically I’m sure I could go for a long ways, but after a while I don’t find biking terribly comfortable. I wore my padded shorts, but still! I’m not quite sure how people make it through 100 mile rides.

I ended my excursion with a quick trip over the bridge to Valley Forge park. We’ve biked there in the past too, so that could be a nice connection. In theory, I could park in Conshohocken, which is about 3 miles from my house, head up the river to Valley Forge, circle the park, and come home. Something to add to the list! But probably not with the tag-along and Burley.

In other news: Since I ran both days, and went in the pool both days, I had two “tri” days this weekend, too — although calling the kid supervision I was doing in the pool swimming would be stretching the definition.

8 thoughts on “A tale of two bike rides

  1. I find that in order to become comfortable on a bike seat, you have to have a good seat and good shorts, BUT you also have to log some consistent miles on the bike. Somehow, it gets more comfortable over time!

    Random bike rides here and there leave me saddle sore, but I don’t have that problem if I bike consistently.

  2. I had the same triathlon thought last week after a day that included running ~4 miles, biking ~5 miles and time in a pool…even if it was mostly just catching 30lb kids off the water slide!

  3. The er…. “bike seat” problem was the main reason I quit doing triathlons. Even though I was riding a lot and had great shorts and tried a large number of different seat, I still couldn’t find s comfortable combo. Apparently pudendal neuropathy is a real thing. Biking sure is fun though!

  4. I love that you are not at all apologetic/guilty for having a good time by yourself. With 3 kids and a PhD I don’t do anything by myself and feel guilty if I would have done so. I think perhaps men is less likely to feel that way. My husband obviously enjoy his two hours weekly bike ride with his biking group. We then finally bite the bullet and bought a baby bike seat and do a family ride for 3 hours last weekend. Obviously everyone was super tired at the end of the day but we still talked how fun it was until now. 😀

  5. I’m so sorry to hear that you would feel guilty over spending some time by yourself. I don’t have little ones, my stepdaughter is a teenager, but I am getting a PhD and I’m married as well. I learned a long time ago that if I wanted my household to run smoothly, I needed to get regular time away. If your husband can spend two hours away every week doing something he enjoys, maybe he can trade off kid duty with you some other time in the week so you can enjoy some time all to yourself. You deserve it. I know I’m a much better partner when I’m not holding in all the stress from life’s responsibilities. Good luck!!

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