Thursday, July 24, 2014

Riding Bikes With Dad

We agreed to meet at the trailer, after the all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast and a quick game of stunt swim with my niece and nephew.  First I ran up to the lodge and changed into my bike outfit.

The campground was huge - the largest I've ever seen.  There was a giant slide, a big pillow jumpy thing, extreme golf, trails for ATVs, bike paths everywhere, and FunTown - which included miniature golf, giant chess and what can only be described as a "pool complex".  There was even a small complex of shops with names like "Pizza Wings Ice Cream" and "Wine Espresso Wi Fi".

I put on my mother's helmet and tiny gloves, moved her seat up and hopped on her 20" wheeled contraption to go ride with Dad.  We turned left onto the dirt road from the trailer.  Then right, just before the big red and white striped tent, and up the little hill.

I'd noticed an enticing campground exit the day before and was hoping to explore it.  I waited while Dad walked up the hill.  He asked that we turn back down the hill.  "I know it's nothing for you, but I don't want to ride up this hill anymore".  You've gotta respect his directness.

So, we turned right, leading us to a cul de sac of tents and cabins.  We u-turned, riding back past the red and white tent, then past Mom and Dad's trailer, the Bullet.  They purchased it last year with insurance money from crashing their previous trailer, which started to come loose from their car just outside Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Onward, past FunTown and onto an adorable little bike path circling a small fishing pond.  Around the circle by the registration gift shop and adult pool, then back to the fishing pond.  He kept straight and I turned left, but I caught him again before the turn back to the Bullit.

He pulled in and sat down, but I continued on.  For once, there was no time constraint, no control to make, no pace to consider.  Just me and these unknown little roads that went nowhere.  I went back up the hill, past the red tent, up the next hill and out of camp.

The dirt was reddish and reminded me of the now infamous "red sauce" section of the Oregon Outback.  Except it was smooth, not loose, and perfectly predictable. The South Dakotan ponderosa pines and badland rock formations were also reminiscent of the land I traversed in central Oregon, just two short months ago.

I noticed a small trail, really just mashed down grass, and went for it.  As suspected, it led nowhere, which was precisely where I wanted to go.  I u-turned after a while, went back to the red road and tried another outlet road.

Arriving back at Dad's trailer, I felt like myself again.  Several days of junk food and limited exercise during family vacation can be really taxing.  I parked my Mom's bike, which has a plastic basket mounted to the front handlebars, and took a seat next to Dad.

It was a good day, and a good bike ride, reminding me that although I love long distance riding, there's no bike ride too short.

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