Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Bikes, kids, sheep, and a dog

Dex enjoys serving as bell ringer in the front passenger seat. 
July is traditionally a busy month for visitors around the old bike ranch. The latest round included nephews and/or cousins Aidan and Dexter, visiting from Utah via Wyoming with Grandma and Grandpa. We ordinarily take an evening ride whether or not visitors are present, but it's always more fun to have extra riders to show around.
This is how we roll.
Scout continues to be a good riding partner. She's capable of amazing bursts of speed and galloping for several blocks at well over 15 miles an hour, but for the most part, she trots along at a consistent 6 to 8 miles per hour. That's a good speed for pacing riders of various skill levels around our neighborhood.

During one ride, we happened to chance upon some sheep along the fence at the farm. Because I suspect her ancestors were ranch dogs, and because I don't know much about her personal history prior to living with us, I was curious as to how she would behave around livestock. We approached the sheep slowly. When she got to the fence, Scout lay down next to it, calmly sniffed the sheep through the wire, and looked up at me as if in anticipation of a command. I was a bit taken aback. I doubt if she has had any livestock training, but she behaved, to my untrained eye, as if she were an old pro. I don't know if things would have been different if she were on the other side of the fence, but I was impressed in any case. It seemed that she would have been content to hang out with the sheep all afternoon.
My view of Scout on a typical ride.

An apparent ranch dog hanging with some sheep.

Scout at ease with her ovine pals. 
Last summer, I picked up an old/mid school fully chromed BMX bike. This acquisition was in part to serve as a guest bike for visiting kids, and in part to soothe my unrequited desire to own a similar bike, dating back to sometime in the late 1970s. During the visit, Aidan claimed the Diamond Back Assault as his steed for the visit; riding it the way a dirt bike needs to be ridden. The boy and the shiny silver BMX hit every bump and jump they could find. It made me remember my own long summer days spent searching out every pile of dirt in town. It was clear what had to be done. When our visitors left, the Diamond Back went westward to a new home with plenty of dirt riding in its future. Aidan's only cost for the bike was to promise that he gets his Dad out to ride as often as possible. I'm confident he'll hold up his end of the bargain.
Aidan and the Diamond Back Assault.
Big Sis was happy to have another dirt biking buddy to ride with, and they made quick work of finding every trail and stretch of muddy ground during our rides together. In my view, it bodes well for the world to have an up and coming crop of enthusiastic bike riders.
Still loving the new mountain bike.

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