25 January 2009

Staying cool

Riding with kids involves special activities, like pouring water over yourself.

Ten years ago I "over did' a bicycle ride with my 14 year old son Seth. He came home from boarding school for the weekend with his roommate and I took them for a long bike ride into masailand. It bordered on epic as it was too hot, energy levels got low, food wasn't eaten. It was my ignorance, and I almost gave bicycling a bad name for Seth.

Since then I am careful trying to make it less painful and fun for kids.

A week ago Sunday I needed to make some social visits, to Erik mdogo's to see what he has been doing and to Pete Oneal's to hang out.

It was a 75km ride lasting and all day. Nashesha and I packed up our tandem with some water and snacks. Dina got on a man sized bike and by 730 am we were on our way to Erik Mdogo's for a big breakfast. This 20 km section was cool and generally downhill. No worrying about kids spirits.

After a huge breakfast and a tour around Erik's farm we moved on at 11am.

Note the sweat on my shirt. Now I start worrying about Nashesha , so after taking this picture I have her splash around in this stream.
A bit later she sees some "zambaro" fruits so we pick some of those.
From the smile on nashesha's face I am going a good job
Nashesha informs me she needs real bicycle shoes with cleats so her feet stay on the pedals. Wow, am I happy.

We cross the highway and head up the Momella road. It is a long gentle uphill and Dina starts to lag and it is hot. We stop at as many streams as necessary and in between Nashesha takes cold stream water from a water bottle and pours over herself as seen in the first photo. That makes all of us feel better.

We reach Pete's early afternoon and drink cokes and beer and gobble crackers and eventually Pilau. We meet the orphans and watch a animated cartoon with them. Then we chat some and head out home. I am not sure we will make it as it is about 35km uphill. the first part is easy but we stop in one stream anyway just for fun.

After we cross the highway black clouds come up behind us and with the sun in our face we get rained on. Nashesha finds a rainbow and memorizes the colors.
The wind is behind us pushing us home. The dirt road is smooth and little traffic. I am doing a good job.

Erik Mdogo turns off to go home. Nashesha makes a firm decision to ride all the way home, and not get a lift from Mom like 3 years ago. We start racing daylight. Everyone feels like they have energy as we reach town but I force a soda on the kids, we drink 1/2 and the rest goes in water bottles. We make it into town before dark, but get caught by darkness on the other side. we crawl along on the side of the highway, weaving between pedestrians, cars, bikes, parking lots. We are on the wrong side of the road because that keeps us from crossing major intersections. We make it home 715 pm.

Nashesha is a chatter box of excitement, telling her mom all about her adventures for the next hour.

I think I succeeded in keeping her happy.

1 comment:

  1. What a fun trip! ALMOST makes me think that biking might be fun.
    Instead, I bought a child's size snow shoe for Adam. I can't wait to get him out in the snow off the beaten track. Byrna