Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Bike Trails & Areobars

So this last Sunday the family and I decided to get out of Vermillion and look for a fun family outing. We decided to load up the bikes and make the trek to the big city of Sioux Falls for a little bike trail fun. You might ask "Why drive to Sioux Falls to ride bike?". Well the bike trail in Vermillion is all of about 3 miles long and riding around the streets of Vermillion gets a little boring as the town is all of 3 miles long at the most, not to mention dodging cars with a 6 & 8 year old riders.

We got to Sertoma park and unloaded our rides and we were off. I had no plans on how far or how fast we would be riding as this was family time and I was up for whatever the Mrs. and the kids were comfortable with. We set a pace at about may-be 7 to 8 mph, which my 6 year old girl could handle but still stopping frequently, as in every 2 or 3 miles for her to have a break. Remember now this is a 6 year old girl and an 8 year old boy riding. The longest distance ridden by either of them to that point was Mr. T. a big 7 mile ride last year and Ms. K about 3 miles.

This is the first time either of them had really ridden on a bike trail with true traffic, there were plenty of walkers, roller bladers and bikes out that afternoon. I carefully reminded them of the rules for riding a trail like that, as in SHARE the trail. No riding side by side but in a line, which consisted of me leading, then the kids with the Mrs. riding sweep. We rode and rode. We rode way further than I had imagined and after a while arrived at Falls Park where we took a nice break and walked around the park. This was way further than I had imagined us ever riding that day and at that point the group pretty much decided we were going to try to ride the whole loop.

We departed Falls Park in our single line riding style and up to this point had not had any issues, sure we got passed, but people were friendly, pleasantly saying "on your left" as they rolled on by us. The kids were really catching on riding a straight line and not being too distracted, but remember my kids are 6 & 8 so distractions should be expected. About this time I look up to see a guy coming towards us riding hard, I mean this guy is in a full areo position and riding like it's a time trial on the Tour de France. I call back to the family to give warning to stay in the line as a biker was approaching. My 8 year old glances around me to get a look and of course his bike follows his glance. Granted he strayed out of our single file line a few inches but NEVER crossed the center of the path.

ZOOM, the super cool, all powerful, areobar, BIKE TRAIL, rider goes flying by me, I thought I heard someone say something put figured it was just some walkers chatting to each other. My wife waited a 1/2 mile or so and said "Did you hear what that guy said?" I responded "No" which is when she informed me he had told her to "Keep her f$!#ing kids off the bike path". I could hardly believe it, isn't that is what the bike trail is for? A place where families and kids can ride together safely. I'm glad my wife was thinking clearly enough to wait to tell me or I would have ran down that guy on my mountain bike and they would still be dragging the river for his body.

Regardless of that one idiot, we had a great ride on the Sioux Falls bike trail and I wish we had a trail of that caliber here in Vermillion. I'm also very proud to report the whole family completed the complete loop of the trail. The longest ride by far for everyone in my family, except of course me. It did help my training in one way...I got in a lot of saddle time that day.



Cathy Jo said...

What a great family activity! I'd like to see "Lance" out on the road where he could cuss out the wind and the hills instead of picking on a family!

Ham(m)er said...

Way to go!! I hope to get my mom out on the trail some this summer. It's something that I think she'd enjoy. WEll, I know she'd enjoy it, we tried a short section last summer.

That dude was a definate wheel sucker.

Anonymous said...

That dude was an asshole, pure and simple. I have personally witnessed these "tri types" run people off the path with their belligerent tactics.
There is absolutely no excuse for these idiots to treat the SF bike path as their personal training ground. I do believe the next opportunity I get, I will chase down the idiot and explain that to them.

Now that I have sufficiently vented, congrats to your family on their epic journey!!!

DIRK said...

The whole loop with the kids!! That is impressive!! There are a few riders in town that "train" on the bike trail. If fact there is one that rides a black Giant and wears a Trek jersey that just goes back and forth on the busiest (South) part of the trail over and over again.
Next time, pass the word around and maybe I'll meet your on the trail with one or both of my kids.

Dogs and now douchebags on aero bars on a bike trail...you've had a tough start to the summer :)

SD_pedalpower said...

I see the Trek guy like Dirk states. He did one of our time trials last year. The bike trail is for families. I wish the tri guys would get a pair and train on the roads.

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