Sunday, May 22, 2011

Big day of running and off road riding

We started the day early with the Gallop at the Grove run in Golden to benefit an elementary school. her friend Joel and his family met us there. Joel's mom Jen and I ran the 5k. I wasn't sure how I'd do, as I haven't yet fully recovered from bronchitis and I had run only one other time in 2011. I'm anything but a strong runner, but I finished only a few minutes slower than I might have if I had been running more consistently. Jen, who is much more fit and competitive had a terrific run and placed second in her age group. Good going, Jen!
Post run Gatorade with my personal cheering section.
After the 5k, the kids ran the 1k fun run, and all had a great time. Like his mom, Joel finished quite strongly. I wouldn't be surprised to see a lot more running events in his future. A 1k coupled with a 5k seems to be an ideal combination for getting kids and families interested in running events. It's good to see more 5k/1k runs in our area.
Warming up before the 1k.
The event was a well organized and conducted, and it is likely we'll do it again. It was particularly fun to do the run with friends. She has known Joel since preschool, and we always have a great time hanging with his family.
Big Dummy in aircraft carrier mode with the squadron stowed aboard.
After we went home, we decided to go for an early evening ride to the park. She has recently been favoring her mountain bike, a single speed Schwinn with knobby tires, so that's what she rode. In an area of the park there are a few interwoven dirt trails and some short downhill sections that she has enjoyed riding with me on the Big Dummy for the past couple of years. Today I asked her if she wanted to try out the dirt section on her own. As a bit of a surprise to all of us, she cruised over a roller, bombed down a hill and never looked back. From then on it was nothing but grins from a girl enjoying the dirt.
She went down with determination...
... and climbed back up eager to go for more.
She spent about twenty minutes going down one track and climbing back up another. Making circuit after circuit, she sought out ever more difficult routes. With every success, she became more daring, at one point exalting, "I didn't even use my brakes this time!"
Today she called this a bump. In not so long she'll decide it's a jump.
Perched at the top with an ear to ear smile.
Pilot's view of one of the downhills.
Whooping it up as she approaches terminal velocity.
I think we now have a pretty good idea about how we're going to be spending a lot of time this summer. In recent years I've ridden bikes mostly for transportation, but this experience has helped me to remember the sheer fun of dirt. Watching her today, I couldn't help but think of how the bulk of many summers when I was a kid were spent riding dirt tracks. With any luck, she'll be able to say the same thing.
Admit it. Sometimes you too wish you could rocket down the trail sporting a meshy yellow skirt.
Celebratory cruise on a chalk bike.


  1. Nice work on the 5K, although that effort is definitely overshadowed by the ease of Stella's transition to off-road riding.

    Is that yellow skirt Shebeest or Twin Six?

  2. Stella's dirt riding prowess was definitely the bigger hit. I don't know who was the more giddy of the two of us. As far as running goes, I'm comfortable with the fact that I'll probably never be more than a flounder.

    The skirt is even more exclusive than those brands. It's from Hello Kitty for H&M. She would probably admonish me for having called it a skirt, as it is a dress, with the upper half covered by a t-shirt. My excuse is that I'm a guy with no sisters and the terminology doesn't come easily.