The household has been filled with illness of one kind or another for the past 2.5 weeks, making riding next to impossible. Between strep throat, head colds and general malaise, everyone has lost a lot of time from work and school. Last Saturday, I awoke feeling run down but decided a ride in the fresh air would do me some good, if for no other reason then to get away from the other sick people in the house! I felt great for the 57 mile club ride in wonderful fall colors, but fell apart the next day with a terrible sore throat and congestion. Mind over matter sometimes does not work.
I’ve all but surrendered to the prospect of DNF’ing the Coffeeneuring Challenge for this year. I’ve been out four times since it started, and each time I think of squeezing a ride in, my body reminds me it’s sick or one of my kids reminds me they are sick and I should not be out (inaccessible in an emergency) on my bike.
My son saved me from certain failure this morning when he proclaimed his desire for a bike ride. I asked, “Your bike or the trail-a-bike?” and he eagerly selected to ride behind me on the Piccolo. That meant we could go on a coffee run. Run #5.
This ride was special for a few reasons. First, it got us both on the bike for some exercise. Second, it was our first ride on streets other than our own. Although I’ve ridden home from school with the kids, we’ve always used the sidewalk to stay out of the way of traffic. Today being a light traffic day in the ‘hood, I decided to use the side streets to reach the local Starbucks. It’s a really short hop to the coffee shop so, to keep me honest in the Challenge, we rode around some side streets before heading home for a total of 2.3 miles.
Finally, the ride reminded me of how much fun it is to ride with someone else thisclose, particularly when it’s your kid. My wife and I dabbled in tandeming several years ago and gave up after several mishaps that soured her to sharing a bicycle frame with another person. Getting hit by a car was one of them. For nearly three years, I paid good money to store the tandem in one of those storage facilities because we lived in an apartment, before selling it at a considerable loss. My thought at the time was, “When will I ever want a tandem again?” My kids will very soon be the same height as my petite wife and boy-oh-boy am I regretting selling that bike! I know the Piccolo isn’t a real tandem, but it is just as much fun from my perspective.
Today’s ride makes #5 for the Challenge. I’m not sure I can get two more rides in next weekend. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better and my schedule will allow time. Perhaps more of a challenge will be finding two more places to have coffee, since my area has a paucity of coffee shops other than Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks and there’s only so much of that a man can drink.
For the record, today’s ride was to the Starbucks shop in Port Washington, NY (PW). The ride for yeast was to the Starbucks inside the P.W. Stop ‘n Shop. Coffeeneuring as Race Prep took me to the Starbucks in Woodbury, NY. Comedian on Bike took me to the Starbucks in Manhasset, NY. See a pattern here? The Kickoff ride was to the Dunkin Donuts in P.W.
Maybe we can count today’s ride twice since I recruited a new coffeeneurer.