Monday, 2 November 2009

Sunday Cycle Fun

On Sunday I went for another ride, except this time with my youngest son Ben. I was kindly given a second hand mountain bike for him from a friend at work and although it is slightly too large for him (18" wheels) he has over the past few weekends learned to ride it in a fashion not unsimilar to an 80 year old man with one leg missing i.e. he wobbles a fair bit, but over the past week he had improved immensley so as to give me confidence that he could at least ride on the wider cycle paths. Truth be told he had been practicing on the local park and the grass was a bit long which made it harder for him so tarmac was a definite bonus to his speed which helped him to keep the bike straighter.

We chose the route I had been doing for the past few weekends which was around the rear of Reading football stadium and he was brilliant! Yeah I know its a proud dad speaking, but really his skills were so much better than on grass that it was a real pleasure for me to ride with him, chatting along the way. He needs to learn to use the gears though but he told me that when he goes to use the handlebar twist gears he loses control, so I set it to a nice gear for him to pedal without straining and all was fine....except for the two occasions when he rode into things.

The first was a bollard in the middle of the path near the start. Now it wasnt huge, and in fact you could probably have fit two cyclists side by side either side of it, but like a horse to water he went smack bang into it and came off. Fortunately he didnt hurt himself. The second hiccup came when we rounded a corner and he decided he liked the look of an electrical switch box by the side of the path. SMACK!!! This time he hit it straight on and the bike stopped dead. Unfortunately for him he shot forward off the saddle with his testicles each side of the cross bar, sliding up to stop at the handle bars...ouch!! He had a rather pained expression on his face for a while after that, and it was all I could do to not laugh. Well I did laugh, but not as much as I would have liked.

Despite the two slight mishaps it was a fun ride and we are both keen to do it again next weekend if we can. Hopefully I will be able to get hold of a cheap cycle carrier for the car so we can jaunt off to places and do some different rides.


  1. Haha, awesome and good work Ben! Check out for an easy way to keep track of where you went, how far you go, and how steep your hills are!

  2. hey mate thats a cool site. I plotted the route and it came up with 3.96 miles which is slightly off as we made a few little detours I didnt bother plotting. Is there any way to save the map as a jpg or something? I wanted to show the route on the blog but cant find a decent map I can draw the route on.

  3. For my site I just used print screen and pasted into Paint. If you register you can save the maps so you can view them later without replotting. And the number might be off a bit as well if there is any elevation change. Depending on the amount of elevation data gathered via gps, you could be off by quite a bit!