Friday, May 27, 2016

Bowen's First Bike Tour

It was time for Bowen's first overnight bike tour. We grabbed the bike, detached the front section, and stuffed it into the Honda Fit. Since mom wasn't coming along, we could fit both of us in the car with no problems.

We drove to La Honda, assembled the bike, installed the panniers, and then rode off up Haskins hill. It was a beautiful clear day, and we could get sunlight through the trees in the Redwoods. The climb took a little while but the descent to Pescadero was beautiful as usual. Riding onto North street on the approach, Bowen opted to bypass the goat farm, and we ended up at Norm's market around 1:00pm. It'd been quite a while since I'd last been to Norm's market, and I was impressed by the newly installed bike repair station. Bowen told me that we weren't really bike touring, because we'd put the bike in the car and driven out, rather than just riding from our house!
We took our time with lunch, and left for the pigeon point lighthouse around 2:00pm after buying groceries for dinner. It was only a 6 mile trip but we opted to use Bean Hollow road, and despite the tailwind it took us an hour to get there. We didn't wait very long before Calvin, Kevin and Pamela showed up and we checked in, grabbing the sunset spots for the hot tub.

Bowen and Calvin upon seeing the dorm rooms immediately asked to be on the top bunks. Once 2 boys are around it was a chore getting the bedsheets installed. But we did it and eventually managed to get them to go play outside.

We had unusually good luck with the weather, since the projected rain didn't show up, and we got a glorious sunset from the hot tub.

The next morning we had an unusually still weather, and so left the hostel unusually late, around 8:30am. We rode back through Bean Hollow road but opted to take Stage Road to 84 instead of going back over Haskins hill. This gave us 1600' of climbing, but with Pomegranate Clif bars (Bowen's favorite), it took us only 2.5 hours.

It never ceases to surprise me how much difference each age brings in a child. It took Bowen all of 3 months to decide he didn't like having seat belts on the bike. But recently, he started taking advantage of the seat belt: whenever he wanted to have something in his hands (like a drink, or a clif bar), he would ask to have me belt in him. With the biggish descents enough to scare him this time, he also asked for the seat belt whenever we had a big descent. This was great.

We arrived back at the car around 11:15. Bowen loved the hostel, the hot tub, but declared that "uphill makes me slow, and downhill tickles me, so I only like no-hill."

I've had people ask me whether Bowen ever gets bored on the bike, but with so much to see and do, and with nearly every trip being new to him, that hardly ever happens. I think adults who never ride bicycles for long distances simply project their own experiences onto kids who don't have the same attitude. All in all our little overnight trip had us riding 41 miles with about 2400' of climbing.
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