As everyone knows, sometimes life gets busy and the little things get pushed aside. Last weekend started out like that for me. I was stressed and worn down, too many things on my mind. I knew that a ride would blast the cobwebs from my brain.
I finished breakfast and started to get ready to head out the door, it was a particularly nice day as well and would make for great riding weather. As I passed through the living room I spotted my son staring out the bay window at the start of a beautiful day. I felt like spending time with him was one of those things that got pushed aside all week and had a brilliant idea.
I asked "Hey buddy, you want to go for a mountain bike ride?" His eyes lit up and with a big smile said "Yeah" as he jumped from the window to follow me out the door.
The entire short car ride to the trails was a conversation with him about what trails we would ride, how much fun we would have, and what kind of treasure we might find. Once at the trailhead we unloaded quickly and were off into the woods. He would hoot and holler as we rode small obstacles and snaked through the twisty singletrack. Each time I looked back he was smiling ear to ear.
I think its safe to say that Little Bric has been bitten by the cycling bug. We have been on countless rides together, pulling him in a trailer since he was 10 months old. He has enjoyed all of it, making an adventure out of each ride and learning new things about the outdoors along the way.
Its hard to know if cycling will stay with him and be a part of his life as it is mine. If it does, thats great. If it dose not and he finds his own passion for something else, thats great too. For now he is my best riding buddy. The Trail-A-Bike is our new toy as the trailer is getting a little cramped now with his sister and he is on the verge of growing out of it. This year will see some rides with just her and I as she needs that one on one time with dad too.
We kept riding singletrack, Little Bric would often ask about the "next level" which was his way of asking about the next trail we would ride. The kid couldn't get enough riding in. To him, each little hill climb was a mountain and the downhill was a perfect excuse for the shouting of "here we go...... weeeee". Each tough section we cleared I would tell him "Good job buddy" to which he would reply with either a laugh or "Good job you too dad". At the end of each rest stop he would say "Me got a great plan...." then outline what trail we would ride and how fun it would be. He loves riding the trails out here at Turkey Point, or as he calls it, "Chicken-butt Mountain". Thank Grandpa for that phrase.
Little Bric is quite resilient too. We had a gnarly crash on a patch of ice, he jumped up and immediately said "me okay" with a big smile. A high five and a fist bump later and we were back on the trail like nothing happened. We did manage to break a pedal on the Trail-A-Bike in the crash. Good excuse for some upgrades.
It wasn't the fastest ride, or the toughest, but its always fun with my little riding buddy. His wide eyed excitement brings something new to the same old trails and he always seems to notice (and remember) unique things along the trail. He never backs down from an obstacle either, whether its his bravery or lack of knowing any better I'm not sure but he takes everything in stride.
I cherish these rides together and time spent outdoors. I hope these "memories with dad" will stick with him and be remembered for a long time. I know that I'll never forget these rides.
This December has been the best for riding in recent history. I remember last year we had snow and a white christmas, whereas this year its looking to be green and in the single digits. I managed two great rides this week.
I had Thursday off and took the Norco Torrent out for its second ride. I've gotten comfortable on this bike and am getting the hang of riding such an aggressive trail bike. It likes to be pushed hard and it didn't disappoint on Thursday. I managed nearly 30km of singletrack mixed between the East Side and the West at Turkey Point. I'm really digging the short stays and long top tube, the 3" wide Nobby Nic's hold traction in everything. I ride this bike like I rode my KTM dirt bike, on the gas and attacking every little obstacle. Its not the kind of bike that you want to use for a lolly-gagging tour, but should be pretty good on all day rides if you can keep pushing it hard all day. Enough about if for now though, I'll post up more thoughts on it in a while.
Sunday was the Outspokin Cycles fat bike Demo Day at Turkey Point. My wife has strictly forbidden me from even looking at any new bikes after buying the Norco, so I didn't want to tempt myself by taking a new fatty or two out. Instead I loaded up Little Bric and the new Adam's Trail-A-Bike for a morning of fun. Little Bric was wide eyed and smiling at the sight of all the bikes and riders. We attached the Trail-A-Bike and headed out into the singletrack, not really knowing what to expect of the little guy. He ended up loving every second of it, hooting and yelling for me to go faster. We rode the easier trails in the Provincial Park and ended up riding around 15km in a few hours, with some breaks tossed in spent looking at interesting trees and searching the forest floor for treasures. It was a great time and probably one of my favourite rides of the year. Little Bric and I are going to have to do lots more of this next year.
There are only a couple more weeks left of 2015 and its been nice to be able to squeeze every last ride I can out of this year. Hopefully 2016 holds as much great riding as this year has.
Its Thanksgiving and I read a lot of Facebook posts from people saying they are thankful for this and that. I am thankful to have such awesome kids that love to come on bike rides with me, and a wife that sends me out the door with my helmet in my hand a couple of times a week. I decided that I would take the kids out for a spin along the Lynn Valley Trail to Dover and back this morning and give Mrs. Bric a bit of breathing room while she prepares our turkey dinner. The weather was perfect and off we went on an early 8:30am start. The kids play with eachother in the trailer for the first 30 minutes before going silent and slipping into an early morning nap. The silence and near-empty trail make the fall colours enjoyable and I start to think about what I am thankful for and the things that really matter in life.
I've got two great kids that love to play and be around me, they also like to come riding with me and help me tinker in the shop. I see a lot of myself in them and am amazed by their imaginations everyday.
I've got a wife that understands me. She knows that I can only ride one bike at a time, but also realizes that each bike I own serves a purpose. She is okay with the N+1 rule as long as it stays within reason and the kids are fed.
I live in the most beautiful county in Southern Ontario. I've seen enough of them to know that Norfolk is a special place. Lots of forest space, 60km of the best mountain bike trails in the Province, and an interconnected system of rail-trails that bring together the four major towns in Norfolk. Whats not to like.
We rode into the Sunrise towards Port Dover, eventually arriving at the pier where we watched a wind surfer for a while. The wind was strong today and the waves came into the beach powerfully.
We made an important stop at the boat shaped playground at Silver Lake Park. This playground is a staple in our trips to Dover and back, the kids love it and its nice for them to stretch their legs after the journey from Simcoe. And how cool is it to play in a boat shaped playground while in a fishing town?
After our play and cookie break, we loaded back up and headed for home. The kids were tired from their playground adventure and had another nap on the way home.
There won't be many more days this nice left but its hard to think that this might be the kid's last ride of the season. There has to be at least one or two more nice days before things get too cold for them. Pulling them is good training too, the weight of the kids and the trails is over 70lbs. Riding 25km pulling a 70lbs dead weight makes for some ripped looking claves.
Little Bric is getting big for the trailer now, next year I might have to put him on a trail-a-bike which poses problems for when Princess comes along. A bike, trail-a-bike, and trailer is a long combination.... might have to talk the Mrs. into riding along more often.
Happy Thanksgiving and may it be filled with family and friends, the things that really matter.
My 3 year old son took his first mountain bike ride the other day out at Turkey Point. He managed to ride all of Saudwinder while dad was there with the camera to capture the moment. A few crashes and lots of laughs later and I think he's hooked.
My Norco cross bike had a flat tire. After swapping tubes I realized that I bought a bad batch. Damn. I had no more tubes, a flat, and Little Bric was itching to go to Port Dover. I said to hell with it and hooked the trailer up to the fat bike and pumped the tires up a bit from trail pressures.
We set out through the Friendship Festival happening in town, go lots of stares and pointing at the size of my rubber. I guess this bike is built to impress.
Huge tires and rolling resistance aside, the Nashbar is a pretty comfortable rail trail rider. The upright position (compared to the Norco) and the big tires mean cruising comfort.
Once in Dover we rode to the pier and took a break, then set out and rode along the beach for a distance before cutting through town and back to Simcoe via the Lynn Valley Trail.
It was a fun ride, the fat bike hauling a 50lbs dead weight is one hell of a workout though. Maybe I'll get myself a few tubes for the Norco before the next ride out, on the other hand though I might have schwarzenegger-esque calves if I keep using the fat bike for this ride.
It was big. I got tired. Started in Simcoe on my CCX with the trailer and little Bric in tow. The plan was to ride into Dundas to my sister-in-law's house for a pool party / BBQ with Little Bric riding along the entire way. Looked easy enough to link together a loop using all the rail trails from Norfolk / Brant / Hamilton.
We started out in Simcoe along the Lynn Valley Trail, heading north out of town and hitting the Sunrise Trail at the Lion's Park. The Sunrise Trail is short and turns into the Waterford Heritage Trail.
We rode over the Black Bridge in Waterford and continued north. After some saddle time we reached the boarder of Brant County where the trail turns from gravel into pavement. Nice touch Brant County!
We reached Mount Pleasant and Little Bric needed to stretch his legs. We found a park just off the trail and he spent some time playing while I massaged my legs. I was running out of fluids already, we need to find a store soon and get a drink or two.
We rolled into Brantford and I ran out of water. We crossed the bridge over the Grand River and found a gas station with a store. I got a juice for Little Bric and lots of water for myself to get me to Dundas. A quick run through the city along the pathways and we were on our way, riding the Brantford - Hamilton rail trail.
Somewhere between Brantford and Hamilton it started falling apart. I was getting exhausted from the effort of pulling a 50lbs dead weight on wheels behind me on gravel and the beating sun on me. Stops to stretch my legs were getting more and more frequent. I finally had to call Mrs. Bric for a rescue boat at Copetown Road. We were within 10km of our destination but I could no longer go on. Mrs. Bric picked us up and drove us the 10 min to her sisters place. I was disappointed in myself, I didn't finish the trip and the pictures to document it got missed as I was having some brain fade. In the end though, Little Bric had a great time, it was a huge ride for him. We rode 64km in total. Maybe next time we will make the entire distance. Until then, more riding to Dover with Little Bric to build my legs up and harden up my butt.
Had a great weekend of riding, weather was A1. Saturday was a mountain bike ride at Turkey Point. I rode all the park trails on the East Side, then headed over to the West Side for a nice zip along West Ridge and around Eco. Trails are so dry its getting dusty out there. May is shaping up to be a better month for me than April was, hopefully my luck keeps on flowing.
Sunday was a nice one down the Lynn Valley Trail to Port Dover with Little Bric in tow and Mr. B joining us for the ride down. Little Bric had a blast and really enjoyed seeing the fish and ducks at the pier in Dover, he especially liked the Ninja Turtle action figure that Mr.B brought him. The Lynn was busy, lots of foot and bike traffic in both directions. Little Bric and I need to get out on a few more of these rides with Mr.B. Good times had by all.
Mrs. Bric and I set out this morning for a leisurely ride through the nice paved paths through town out to the Lions Park with Little Bric and Princess Bric in tow. An awesome day with some riding, a picnic, and some playing at the park. It was Princess Bric's first bike ride in the Chariot ever and Mrs. Bric's first ride on her new bike.
Mrs. Bric did great, she learned quickly how to work the gears and brakes, cruising along blissfully. She even gave me some typical Mrs. Bric trash talking yelling at me to keep up while I grunted it out pulling 50lbs of kids plus lunch in the Chariot. It was a good day.
Good weather conditions this morning. Took "Little Bric" out for a ride along the Simcoe - Delhi Rail Trail.
We tried our best to break our 1000km season milage today but ended up around 980km this year (so far), pulling Little Bric. Not bad for pulling a 2 year old the entire way in a trailer, and good on him for slugging it out with dad. If we get another good weather day we might just break that 1000km cap, but next week is November and its getting a little cool on the wee-man in the trailer. Might be more solo rides from here on out. I've managed to get alot of riding in on my own this year too, and all things considered its been a decent year for riding thus far.
Little Bric takes a cat nap.
The haulin' rig. My Norco CCX cross/ commuter/ do-it-all bike and the excellent Chariot Cougar2 trailer. This outfit has seen ALOT of use this year.
The Bric...._ mountain biker, road rider, heavyweight gear abuser. Built like a brick sh*thouse. No bike is safe.