If I had gotten out the door an hour sooner I likely wouldn’t have seen more than a couple of cars on the road. As it was I think I may have only passed a dozen or so on my entire 21 mile ride. For most of the ride I had the roads to myself.
At some point along the way I was pondering the oft touted anti-bike argument: cyclists need to stay off the roads and ride in bike lanes or on bike paths. Well of course that’s asinine. But as I rode along Furnace Mountain and had it all to myself I thought: THIS is my bike path. One day soon I need to go into a detailed rebuttal of that sentiment in a post. It really deserves to be rebutted.
The ride was great. I felt good. I was slow, but steady in my pace. I made the climb from Hardwicks Creek to Furnace clean. I was happy to see the grades painted on the pavement were still there. The return out Furnace was fun and fast. And at the end of the ride I wasn’t suffering. I could have gone further, but I had satisfied the craving for the day. In fact, I was somewhat lazy the rest of the day. Until we decided to go look at kayaks.
We wanted boats. And so Mandy and I agreed we wouldn’t get each other anything for Christmas. Or our respective birthdays. Or, now, Mothers and Fathers Day. Instead we got ourselves a combined gift of flatwater kayaks and paddles. They were $100 off. And then we also got $20 each at the counter because we spent over a hundred dollars (we bought them in separate transactions. So we saved $240 on two Perception Swifty DLX kayaks.
Oh, I also dropped off my new rims and Hope hubs at Mike’s Hike and Bike. They’re going to build a set of wheels for me. Hopefully by the weekend I’ll have The One (my Cannondale mountain bike) rolling again. That bike is seriously upgraded from the bike it was when I walked out of Arvada Bike with it in 2011.
Anyway, back to the boats. Unfortunately Mandy’s allergies kicked in Saturday evening. I worried that she was going to put the ER in Mother’s Day, but so far we’ve managed to stay out of professional medical care. We had made plans to paddle the Red River around Clay City on Sunday afternoon before her lungs failed. She insisted I go ahead and take the kids, and I did, but I was reluctant to do so—partly because I felt bad that she wasn’t getting to go and partly because I was concerned about leaving her at home.
It’s just that time of year. My allergies are modest compared to most allergy sufferers’s, and after I mowed the yard last week I felt pretty rough for a couple of days. I can’t imagine how she feels. And I know there are people that are just miserable all the time with the effects of allergies.
Now, really, back to the boats. We met up with Chuck and the Graham family at the Clay City park. Chuck is a family friend and a lot of fun to hang out with. He’s eccentric in a fun way. We’d never met the Graham’s before, but they showed up ready to go with a canoe and two kayaks.
In all we had eight on the river. The water was at a nice level. The river was flowing bank to bank with few gravel bars. There was only one strainer. It was river-wide and kind of a pain, but the rest of the paddle was fun and mellow.
The kids had fun. Bean rode in the Graham's canoe for most of the ride. The Boy had a good time too. He really enjoys paddling despite abhorring most other outdoor activities. That was a big impetus for doing this as a family.
That was our weekend. I’m glad to be back on the bike and it’s exciting to finally have a couple of boats after talking about it for, literally, years.