When you read this, we will be sunning it up in Yosemite on our second mini-holiday with the parents!!! But I’d hate to leave you, my sole reader, with nothing to read!
On Friday, we went for a bike ride. Full of confidence from Wednesday’s accident free trip to the library, we got a bit ambitious, loaded my bike and the Husband’s bike (for Dad) onto the cars and drove into San Francisco where we hired a bike for Mum and for our wonderful friend Gladys who came along for the day out!! It was warm and sunny on the peninsula. It was warm and sunny on the Embarcadero. It would obviously be warm and sunny all day!
A bicycle seat does pose a few problems – namely, how to carry the rest of my stuff. I’m not a girl who travels light, and with a toddler, I have a LOT of stuff. Nappies, wipes, cups, suncream etc. There was no way I was risking my balance even more with a backpack so my Dad very sweetly carried all my stuff in a pannier. I don’t want to add more weight to my back wheel, so I’m thinking about getting front racks for my bike so I can put a pannier on the front wheel. This is exciting for me, I’ve never had front racks before.
Today’s route basically followed the Half Marathon route through Fisherman’s Wharf, over the Fort Mason hill and along flat, lovely Chrissy Field. However the temperature dropped and dropped, until the Dude bellowed ‘I cold, Mummy’. So we had to stop at Sports Basement and buy him a fleece. I was slightly mortified that as an almost-local I should fall for typical tourist mistakes, but I also hadn’t reckoned on the extra chill for the Dude. The trailer does protect him from cold Summer breezes! Something else to remember!
We then stopped at the Warming Hut, my favourite cafe in the whole of San Francisco where we had coffee and cakes (we are great believers in cakes) and the Dude dashed off up the hills and splashed properly in a puddle, which meant his socks and shoes were soaked through.
However we could no longer avoid the obvious. Even though the Warming Hut basked in sunshine, the bridge was shrouded in cold, dense fog. And we were going that way.
Up we climbed, to the bridge. I was pretty ecstatic to find the climb relatively easy…much MUCH easier than trying to pull the trailer up! I shot up the hill like a bat out of hell, over-taking a couple of dads pulling tag-alongs and feeling frankly very smug. It was just because I have a great, Alp climbing bike, but I didn’t tell them that!
The bridge was loud, cold, foggy, crowded and pretty unpleasant. But what was pleasant was being able to reach behind me and squeeze a fat little leg, and reassure him.
We were hugely relieved to cross into Marin and the sunshine. Literally we stepped off the bridge and the sun shone again. The rest of the route was all downhill, but I was nervous – it was windy, gusty and the road was on a steep camber. I was very conscious of not falling off, of looking after my little boy, so I carefully freewheeled down into Sausalito. I paused to let the others catch up….and saw that someone had fallen asleep behind me in his chair. I took this as a great sign that he felt secure and comfortable in his chair. Triumph.
Heading into Sausalito town was magical. The road is flat, it was quiet, it runs next to the bay. The sun shone, my little boy was sleeping behind me and I got a rush of freedom that I haven’t felt on my bike since I had the Dude. I was free of the heavy, bulky, encombering trailer. I was back on my darling bike (her name is Liesl, by the way), in the sunshine, with my baby boy behind me. I was SO happy. It was such a lovely moment.
The ferry was in the harbour when we got into Sausalito. Gladys needed to head back so we all got the ferry together. I wheeled the bike onto the ferry (and nearly dropped the bike…sleeping toddlers are heavy) but was saved by a handsome Italian man. A ferryman took the bike and I lifted a sleeping Dude onto a nearby seat. Mum, Dad and Gladys went upstairs to sit outside…I sat next to the loos and was really very happy. This was a giant success today, I so wish I’d had the courage to put him on a bike seat before instead of the trailer…but better late than never. There will be no stopping us now!!!