Sunday, April 25, 2010

Living Larger

I need to get into town more. I went into Boston last night to meet up with a friend, her sisters and a friend of theirs. It was a fun night out, with good company, and honestly I'd forgotten how alive the city is. Maybe that's because it was a nice evening, weather-wise, so people were lingering outside, rather than rushing between buildings to stay warm. Or maybe it's just that I was more open to seeing the energy around me than I've been in a while. Whatever -- it was good to be there, and I need to get in there more. By contrast it's really kind of depressing to go out in the suburbs, here. There are more than just chains, yes, but not much more. More Boston -- need to remember that.

It's been a good and busy weekend. I had lunch with one friend and then dinner with another on Friday. Then on Saturday, I did some chores around the house, then had a really good call with my friend living in Amsterdam -- the kind of call I thrive on, honestly. After that, I ran a few errands and kept a couple of appointments, then shot over to see my daughter's soccer game. After a late lunch, the kids and I put 8 miles on our bikes, and then I went into Boston, as I mentioned. This morning, I replaced the brakes on my car (just regular rotors, but Hawk HPS pads, which bite pretty well, though are noisier than stock). Later I have a few errands to run, then a friend of mine from out of town will be coming in and hanging out for a few days, which should be fun. Lots going on, which is a nice change of pace.

With respect to yesterday's cycling: my older daughter Juli had been having kind of a rough morning yesterday. She ate too much for breakfast, from the sounds of things, she let three goals in during her soccer game (so did their team's other keeper -- the opposing team had one dominant player) for a 6-1 loss, and she was generally in a down mood. But I'd bought her some new Pearl Izumi shorts while I was out and about yesterday, and managed to cajole her into a ride to my folks' house, to swap mountain bikes. Not a half mile into the ride, she was woo-hoo'ing and generally having a much better time. And she really did well on the ride. We worked on lane/shoulder discipline, got her back up to speed with trimming her derailleurs (her shifters aren't indexed) and I coached her through breathing up a few tough hills without too much complaint. Seeing the ride improve her disposition towards the day really made me feel great, and when I called to say goodnight, I could hear that the change had stuck.

Ava had a great ride, too. I could really feel her working back there, and she's re-learning the application of gears, as well. She seems to grasp the fundamentals a little better than her sister. Perhaps through observation, or maybe she just has more of my mechanical inclination running in her veins. Her next challenge will be getting more comfortable on solo rides on her little bikes -- she likes the trailer bike perhaps a little too much. That's my task with Ava for May -- I've already replaced the brakes on her Gary Fisher, and its time for her to put the bike to work.

I didn't have the girls much this weekend, I just watched them for a bit while my ex-wife did some triathlon training. But I'm looking forward to logging some more miles with them next weekend. Weather permitting, we'll ride to soccer on Saturday, and get another ride in on Sunday as well. And I think I'm going to take them into Boston on Saturday evening for dinner. Just as I needed reminding, I need to show them there's more to the world than the suburbs -- help us all live a little larger than we have been.

All for now,


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