Sofa King We Todd Did
Salvaged the weekend
The previous weekend, the weatherman lied like a rug as usual, and the supposed rainfall and blustering winds were a no-show. Which also meant that our cancelled ride plans were for naught. I hate these liars.
In any case, this past weekend, they promised thunderstorms through the weekend. Fool me once... So on Friday, I made plans to go on a big tasty ride on Saturday. Tentative plans to go with SuperBri. I'd run all my errands in the morning, leaving the afternoon to play and get hurt in the dirt! Come Friday night, wifey tells me, "Don't forget, we have a kid's birthday party to go tomorrow in the afternoon. Upper East Side, it's at a Gymboree."
So I bail on SuperBri (sorry, mate). Meanwhile, the day couldn't be more gorgeous, despite the forecast of threatening thunderstorms. 70-degrees. En route to this bloody kids' party, everyone and their grandmother was on a bike. Road bikes, hybrids, cruisers, mountain bikes. All up and down NYC. What the hell.
So with Saturday blown out of the water, I can only look to Sunday to save my weekend's ride plans. We wake up to cloudy skies and more promises of thunderstorms. On the way to church in the a.m. the sky starts crying and I do the same. By the time we get home, the sky clears up slightly and bolt through the garage and load up the bike in the back of the car. I pull out of the driveway and rain starts to fall.
Who am I? Job? What the hell is this?!
So I circle the block and pull back into my driveway. The bike's soaked, I pull it off the car and park it back in the garage. No riding on Sunday, either, I guess. So I start tinkering around in the garage with my other bikes. 20 minutes pass, and the sun suddenly breaks through and I can see some hard shadows under the car.
"Honey, I'm gone!"
I break every speed limit on route to the park. I've got some much pent up energy that I park the car like Ace Ventura, rip the bike off the car and dive right into the park. I'm pedalling like a bear whose paws are nailed to the bike and I've got a circus trainer beating me with a sharp stick. I'm so psyched to ride that I'm blasting off as fast as I can. I'm also trying to beat the weather, just in case the storms do show up. I'm also riding solo, so I know I don't have to wait for anyone. But I also forget that I'm a big fat ass who drinks too much and eats much Chinese. Halfway up the big climb, boom. I'm wiped. I blew it all in the first mile of riding. I'm sucking wind like an obscene voicemail in fast forward. My legs feel like jelly. And I've got a ways to go.
Crap on a stick.
In the end, the ride was OK. Not great, not lousy ('cause I got to ride, so I'm not complaining), just OK. Not only did I feel like I was dying out there, the remote lock-out of my rear shock crapped out, so rather than enjoy the ride, I was completely preoccupied with my rear shock. Technology blows, I should've just ridden my rigid singlespeed.
So yeah, a manic weekend salvaged with some mediocre riding. I got work to do. I've got to get in better shape. I gotta work on pacing myself. I gotta simplify my ride. I really gotta go out and ride more.
Been there many times...
I have three kids - 6yrs, 4 yrs and 9 mos old. Here are my strategies for negotiating the work/kids/b-day party/wife jungle:
1.) Plan a specific time for your ride and make it non-optional. If you fail to commit to the ride, it will get pushed off the list. I find that early morning rides are the best. Bonus points if you are out of the house before the rest of the fam damily is out of bed.
2.) The weather people are part of the international-masonic-financier conspiracy to keep you fat and unhappy. I'm not sure what you should do with this information. I'm just saying, is all.
3.) In advance of the weekend, say Thursday night, map out the schedule with the Wife. That helps to avoid any ambush birthday parties, etc. It also puts the Wife on notice that you do not plan on digging ditches in the backyard all weekend.
4.) Sacrifice a goat. Eating the heart raw is optional.
5.) If all works out, give thanks. Give thanks to God, give thanks to Wife.
6.) As a fellow weekend warrior, I similarly found myself having a hard time enjoying my weekend ride because I was too fat and out of shape. I bought a trainer and a used road bike ($150.00 off of craigslist) so that I'm not puking my guts out while I'm trying to have fun. If the trails are muddy, I hit the road bike. If its -10 degrees outside in February, I "go bike riding in the basement" as my kids say. It helps, and any weight loss is major political capital in negotiating future bike rides. Seriously.
Just thought I'd post up some unsolicited advice. That and its always nice to read that someone else struggles with the same issues as me....
Sofa King We Todd Did
Cheers, mate. Ducking out of the house in the wee hours used to be a lot easier when the kid was littler. He's about 11 months now and he's up at 6-ish and that's when we get started on our day - breakfast, play time, etc. When he was littler, he'd wake in the middle of the night but go back and sleep through 8am or so. That was when I'd wake up at 6am, be out of the door by 6:30 and I'd be home about two hours later. That plan's gone to pot now.
An added 'complication' that's actually probably a good thing is that wifey's got a bike now, too. A cruiser that she likes to ride around town with. So every Saturday and Sunday, weather permitting, we toss the kid in a trailer, I haul him around and wifey come with on her cruiser and we take about 45-minutes to an hour to ride leisurely about 4 miles around town. She's happy, the kid cooperates for the most part and I'm thrilled that I've got the whole family on a bike ride. The 'complication' part is that I've got to make time for this in ADDITION to me taking my bike and its big fat tires and trying to throw it off a ledge with me on it while trying to not to kill myself in the process. I mean, family time on the bike is fine, but it's no substitute for proper trail riding, as I'm sure we all know.
I do like the part about creating a plan of attack for the weekend on the Thursday or so. I've got try that, rather than each of us having to guess at what the other person may or may not have in mind.
Little one getting up earlier? That does make things complicated. Lucky for me my kids are all sleepers. Until they're up, that is...Let me dig around in my bag of tricks....in the past, I've volunteered to get up with the kids, do the breakfast, etc. and let my wife sleep in exchange for me going for a bike ride when she gets up. (Sleeping in is now about 8:30 on a Saturday) The key is to make sure you've brought in the paper, and made a big pot of coffee by the time she gets up. Perhaps even cook up some eggs and bacon. That way, she starts off the day on a positive note rather than you handing her a screaming child on your way out the door to go have fun....
My wife has been riding an old bike of mine and is looking at getting her own, so I may soon be in the same boat. I've done the trailer thing, but not much recently. Its too cramped for the 6 year old and he's bored with it. Not sure if I want to venture out with the baby in it just yet, but we're reviewing our options. Sometimes we pull the double switch - wife goes for a ride, comes back and then I head out. Everyone has fun and is happy.
Its great to get the family into it. My wife has really started to understand how much I enjoy it....she let me go for a ride on Mother's Day! I credit the goat-sacrifice for that....
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