Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Great Pumpkin Metric

Ahhh – the Great Pumpkin Metric.  A sure sign that fall has arrived!  This is not to be confused with “The Great Pumpkin” made famous by Charles Schulz.  Nope – this is a bike (pedal – not motor) ride in Evansville Indiana.

We’ve ridden it in the past.  We’ve ridden the 100K route several times.  We’ve ridden the 50K route a time or two.  But we had never ridden the 25K route.

25 kilometers.  It works out to be about 16 miles.  It’s a route that many people ride with their children.  And this year – we decided to take OUR child on the ride!

We weren’t sure how it would go.  Mike had certainly enjoyed his rides in the bike trailer – but this would be farther (and longer) than he had ever gone.  So – with a “why not” attitude, we registered for the ride…

The morning of the ride was exceptionally nice!  The sun was bright.  Not a cloud in the sky.  The temperature was not to hot and not to cold.  It was going to be a perfect day for a ride!  We started unloading the bikes and the trailer.  As we unfolded the trailer – Mike wanted in right away.  We explained that it would be a little while before we actually started riding – but he didn’t want to hear it.  He was excited and ready to get started!

We finished getting the bikes ready.  Aired up the tires.  Picked up our packets.  Pinned on our numbers.  Stretched a little.  Gloves – check.  Sunglasses – check.  Helmet – check.  Hooked the trailer up. 

By this time, Mike was PAST ready to go!  He was ready to skip all of this silly nonsense and get on the ROAD!  So off we went on our epic journey…

I'm ready to go!

“Ummmm – can we go now?”


We had ridden about a mile.  That first mile.  On a long ride – it’s always the first mile that is the hardest – knowing that you have sixty-some-odd miles to go.  But for this short ride – it was the hardest because we didn’t know how Mike would do.  Then – all of a sudden – we heard it.  Mike.  In the trailer.  And he was….

…not crying…

…not screaming…

…not throwing a fit…

…not wanting out…

He was SINGING!  It was Old MacDonald (the Mike remix version).  “With a moo moo here and a moo moo here and a moo moo here and a MOOOOOOO!”.  At that point we began to relax a little and enjoyed the ride.

Halfway through the ride (about 8 miles or so) was our SAG stop.  SAG – Support And Gear – would be know to most “non-cyclists” as a rest stop.  A chance to get a bite to eat and a little something to drink (and a potty if you need it).  Since this was Mike’s first ride – he had no idea about SAG stops.  But he walked right in and handled it like a pro!

Mike at the SAG stop

“WOW!  This is a SAG stop?  I love it!”

Mike at the SAG stop

“Dang!  We need a SAG stop at home!”

Mike at the SAG stop

“Alright guys – let’s saddle up!  I’m ready to get back on the road!”

We finished up the ride with no problems.  Mike sang some more songs to us.  Some “Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  A little “Thomas and Friends”.  An encore performance of “Old MacDonald”.  He even took a short nap (one of the MANY benefits of riding in the trailer!).  Mike had a fabulous time – and “the mom” and “the dad” had a good time too!  We are looking forward to riding again next year!  And who know – perhaps we will take Mike on a couple of different rides next year!

Finishing the ride

Mike and “the dad” finishing the ride!  Notice that Mike is taking a drink from a cycling water bottle!  Gotta train them early…


“That was FUN!”


“All that riding sure made me thirsty…”

Pap would be proud!

Ok – I understand that it has been a while since the last post!  However, if everything goes right this week – then you might be in luck.  There may be another post or two later this week!

But that is for later.  And this is now…

There is SO much that has changed since August on the “Mike development scale”.  He really is – quite literally – changing every single day.  But if you are going to tell a story, you’ve got to start somewhere.  And since Mike truly is “all boy” – then we might as well start this story at “the boy’s store” (known to many as ‘Lowes’).

We had been working on  painting / remodeling the upstairs bathroom.  It was one of the first rooms we did when we moved in to the house – which means that it had gone the longest without much done to it.  Of course, that means that we needed to make a trip or two to to Lowes to buy some tools and supplies.  One of the things we needed to get were some new “white” plugs and switches and eventually found our way to the electrical isle.  Mike stood in front of the all those display light switches and said “WOW!”.  Twenty minutes later he was still flipping all of the switches on and off!

I just stood there and watched him with a big smile on my face.  Because in my heart – I know that Mike’s “Pap” was looking down on the two of us and telling all of the angels in heaven, “That’s my grandson!”


Mike likes light switches!

Off and on and off and on and off and on…