|Me on my ride with friends around Lake Union last week. Fremont Bridge in the background.
Then Mal took forever to fall asleep. He likes to try to delay nap and other things these days. "Ummm, no. I need play 'ith my toys!" I'm not sure he ever did fall asleep, actually, but he had several long quiet moments, so I let him stay in there. This meant that it was 3:30 before we were headed to the park. It was sunny and in the 50s when we left. About halfway there I realized we hadn't brought Gareth's gloves. The ride there is almost all downhill, so his hands were very cold. At about the same point we hit fog and I realized neither of us had lights on our bikes. I tried to go very slowly down the big hill so that Gareth could easily keep right behind me. Once we were down the hill we were on a dedicated trail so I wasn't too worried after that and we made it to the park without mishap.
But it was very foggy and a lot colder near the beach. Malcolm was eager to get out, but didn't really want to play with anything and cried most of the time we were there. That's what he gets for not napping. Gareth put his hands in my gloves for a couple minutes to warm them up and then forgot his hands had been bothering him once he found some kids to play with. We only stayed half an hour because I was getting cold and Malcolm was getting crankier by the second. I managed to catch a picture in one of his few happy moments:
And had to attempt to get one of Gareth as well:
Then we had to head back home. It was 4:30 by this point and I was starting to worry about it getting dark and us having no lights, plus was worried about Gareth's hands. So I pushed us a little harder on the trail so we could get to the hill asap as that is quite a busy road. Thankfully the road has a bike lane all the way up the hill and for a little further along after the hill. And thankfully you have to work harder on the way home, which helped to keep Gareth's hands warm.
Gareth did an amazing job on the hill. His bike doesn't have gears, and it's quite a big hill. I was shocked to look back and see him right behind me. An older gentleman who clearly rides the hill daily passed us, giving Gareth encouragement as he passed. "You're almost there; doing really well!" I waved as he passed and then was surprised to see him stop and wait at the top of the hill. As we reached the top he clapped for Gareth and then slowed down and rode with us for a bit to tell me how he'd started riding with his son at about the same age and how when his son was older they did STP together. It was a very nice gesture.
A few blocks later I had us ride on the sidewalk for a bit to avoid the heavy traffic and no bike lane situation. At one corner we stopped and chatted for a bit about the hill. Gareth wasn't sure he liked it because it made his legs hurt. But when I told him he did a great job and that I was surprised he was able to keep right behind me he broke into a big smile. Then I promised him hot chocolate when we got home and suddenly this day was the funnest day ever.
After a bit we cut to a less trafficked street and before we knew it we were home. I wasn't sure it had been the best of ideas (colder and foggier than expected, Mal crying most of the time), but overall I'm glad we went. Partly to keep me riding, even if just a little bit, and partly because it's been a while since Gareth has done that hill and I think it was good for him to do it again. Plus I want to get him ready to ride to Alki Lighthouse (30 miles round trip, mostly flat), so need him doing some longer rides occasionally. Today's ride was 9 miles round trip, which is at least more than his usual weekly ride of 1.5 miles round trip (with a 6 hour break in the middle).