Monday, September 15, 2008

Out riding again

Yesterday we went on the inaugural Gawler Bicycle User Group (GBUG) social ride. The GBUG was founded a few months ago by the energetic Sophia who is keen to encourage cycling as a method of transportation within Gawler as well as liaise with the local council regarding the newly released Cycling and Walking plan (which I was on the reference group for).
The first ride was planned a couple of months ago but the weather was awful so it was put off until this weekend, with the plan being that there will be a meeting every other month and a ride the other month. The weather was a bit touch-and-go for this weekend as well, after a lovely week there was some rain about in the morning and plenty of wind, but it fined up somewhat in the afternoon. There was a decent turnout of people too, some familiar faces (it is Gawler after all) and other people I hadn’t met before. We had a good assortment of bikes there – I didn’t think to bring my camera but someone else did so I might get some photos one day. Not only were there a bunch of kids (including someone from Bethany’s class), and me with the child seat on the back of my bike, but Sophie had her bike with child seat (and much feared son Derek, who Sophie is terrified of at childcare) plus cargo racks adding about an extra metre to the back of her bike, someone had a bike with two children in a trailer, someone else had a bike with tag-a-long child’s bike joined to the back, and there was also a tandem bike. An interesting and very visible group of riders we were! (which is the point, of course). We did a long ride although I’m not sure how long exactly, we covered all of Gawler from Willaston down to Evanston and back again. Sophia said it was going to take about an hour, but it took us two hours, with Hannah being the limiting factor. She was the youngest solo cyclist and did a great job. She persisted and worked hard the whole way around, never coming close to giving up (or falling off!) even though she had to hop off her bike to walk up hills a few times. Everyone was very impressed with her efforts. I could not believe how hard she worked for such a long time. It was nice travelling in a group, as I could hang back with Hannah while the other kids were being watched out for by other adults. Everyone was extremely nice and it will be nice to have it as a regular event. The kids all enjoyed themselves and said they would love to do it again.
Sophie made some new friends, Max and Eliza, who she was scared of first, I think worrying they were like Derek, but then they became her best ever friends. They were being towed in the trailer by their dad and she was forever nagging me to ride next to her new friends. Hopefully seeing Derek outside of the childcare situation was helpful for her as well, although I suspect he’s not actually that much of a problem, he seems very much self-involved and probably doesn’t even pay attention to her at childcare, other than that one fateful time he ‘roared’ at her when face-painted as a tiger. She has a loooong memory for such things.

After an incident free long ride, we stopped at the BMX track on the way home which is right next to the park where we started. Hannah was upset she couldn’t make up any of the hills at the track and in fact had a bad stack, she didn’t quite understand the concept that her legs were exhausted after such a long ride plus we had also gone out the day before for a practice ride, since I hadn’t ridden much with Sophie in the child seat, and wasn’t sure how it would work looking after Hannah and having Sophie, so we’d had a very energetic weekend. Ryan also took a big fall at the BMX track. I just couldn’t believe they were all game to give it a go after already riding so long! After that last burst of energy though, Hannah could not face the 500m ride from the BMX track to the car, so we ended up leaving the bikes (and the two oldest kids still riding) at the track and walked over to get the car. Funny how the last bit of effort is just tooo much.

1 comment:

Michael Field said...

Wow, nicely done Feuerherdt's. That certainly is a big ride. Extra kudos to Hannah for her super effort on the bike.