A different kind of ride today: just meandering around town with my son as a happy passenger in his child seat, stopping off at a couple of places on route. Riding with a child seat is a very different kind of exercise. The sheer weight makes a big enough difference, but what really threw me the first few times I did it was the change to the centre of gravity. I’m used to carrying weight on my bike (I often ride with laden panniers as I’d much rather have the weight on the bike than on my back) but having a weight high up makes the bicycle feel like an entirely different machine. Standing up on the pedals feels decidedly unstable, and you feel like you’re using different muscles than normal at times.
Anyway, here’s the route I ended up taking:
Our first stop was at a playground where we ran and climbed and bounced and slid and spun for about 40 minutes. The second was at Halfords. I know, I know, better bike shops are available (even in Stevenage), but I was only looking and researching and they do have quite a good range of stuff and a couple of knowledgeable staff, and also lots of things to keep a two-year-old occupied while his dad’s busy. On the advice of a good friend, I’m planning to change my tyres to a proper road/touring tyre rather than the hybrid ones I have on at the moment, and I’m also planing to mount some proper mudguards. There may be a couple of other changes before my ride to Paris (fancy pedals, maybe?).
And I also need some proper clothes for cycling in. Especially shorts. But for that, I really need to go to a proper cycling shop.
The surprising thing was that just a happy morning pootling around town added up to over ten and a half miles. Who’d have thought it?
Distance: 10.9 miles
Riding time: 1 hr 7 min
Average speed: 9.6 mph (Much slower with a wobbly load!)
Top speed: 21.8 mph