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Enjoying the ride

I have been really busy this week and haven’t been able to pass along any design content. I will catch up soon and when I do I will announce the first ever design competition on this blog. In the mean time though, here is a picture that is a bit off topic, but I want to share it anyway.

Greenville had a big weekend of racing this past weekend with criteriums downtown all day Saturday and on Sunday. My 5 year was really excited about participating in the kid’s races this year and, as you can see, he had a great time. He may not have won, but he had that same smile on his face for the rest of the weekend. He even slept with his ribbon (all kid’s race participants were given ribbons) clutched tightly in his little hand Saturday night.

Anyway, I get pretty serious discussing bikes and cycling sometimes, but I just want to remind myself, and everyone else, that this is what riding a bike is all about. What could be more fun?

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18 Responses

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  1. Michael Kelly says

    Amen. Everyday I ride to work. About 5-10 minutes into the ride I’m all warmed up, have the wind in my face, and pedaling with a smile on my face. That feeling never goes away.

  2. Anonymous says

    Fantastic picture! It tells more than 1000 words.

    Angelo

  3. j_harn says

    Heartwarming stuff… i love his smile!

    Great post!

  4. Human_Amplifier says

    Here Here !!
    Great picture and a great reminder of that FUN feeling we all got the first time on a bike – that, unlike many things in life, we still get everyday.

    Keep taking the pictures James as blink, and they become massive teenagers – still fun tho’ :-)

  5. Anonymous says

    James,
    I run a local non-profit community shop, we support all forms of sustainable transportation but most of our time is spent on bike recycling, advocacy and safety education. I gave up driving in 2001 and this is my way of helping others do the same. As a consequence I have the dilemma most bike shop owners are familiar with – I spend so much time getting others on bikes that I have to remember to go out and ride myself when I get time.

    My favorite part of the job though is teaching kids to ride for the first time (or teaching adults to ride again). I don’t think there are many things you can teach a kid that take them so far for so long in life. I get to see that smile on their face the first time they get confident enough on 2 wheels to enjoy it.

    Nick Hein
    http://www.positivespin.org

  6. Peter says

    I think this post deserves a soundtrack!

    Theme to BMX!

  7. dragonfly says

    I am a big fan of riding a bike. (My fav thing to do is riding bikes and eating noodles, as here: http://www.odyssei.com/travel-article/8458.html – I truly recommend you this text to read if you like cycling). Amyway, i am happy i have come across you site, i will add it to my fav link. :) Take care! btw – great pic in this post!

  8. jimmythefly says

    True. There’s this roller-coaster type section on Vashon Island (near Seattle) that the first time I road it I laughed out loud! It was so fun, the laughs just came out reflexively, I couldn’t have stopped smiling if I had wanted to!

  9. James says

    Michael, I feel the same way about commuting in the morning. Sometimes it is hard to get going, bout as soon as I start riding i love every second of it.

    Human amp, my oldest turns ten next week, so the teenage years are near. I can’t believe he is already that old. Time flies.

    Nick, sounds like a great organization that you run. Keep up the great work.

    dragonfly, glad you like the site.

  10. mr carter says

    this is exactly the thing we all should never forget – riding bikes is fun fun fun!

    and it doesnt matter if you are big, little, young or old. that buzz you get from riding bikes never goes away!

    my son just startted riding his 2-wheeler this summer and he had that same look on his face the first time he pedalled on his own.

    beautiful!

  11. Anonymous says

    It looks like that seat is adjusted right, good for you. I cringe at the numbers of bicyclist both young and old that have their seats set way to low. Set so they can flat foot it while not moving.
    -x-

  12. Anonymous says

    Hey James,

    I’m a big fan of your site. I have a six year old also who sleeps with the ribbons from those great kids races! I am surprised to see the choice of bike for your son. I know they grow up fast (I have tiny, small, and medium sized bikes hanging from the rafters that only lasted a season as he grew out of them faster than a pair of pants) and they aren’t cheap, but… a maven of style and utility as yourself having your progeny riding a monocoque aluminum box-store bike?! Personally, as I looked to find a unique, stylish, cool, performance bike for my son, I was bummed at the dearth of cool kids bikes. I think the big brands’ offerings are too smarmy(sp?) and cartoony. I think 30 pound (tiny) clunkers that are noisy and uncool take the fun and freedom out of greatest activity. I know they don’t know any different at this age, but I want the bug to take hold because it is such a great lifelong activity that is driven by passion. Nothing sparks that passion more than the sound of the wind blowing by your ears and the treads crunching soft dirt or fall leaves. The distractions of a creaky crank or a rusty drivetrain (bike left out in the rain ;) get in the way of the fun.

    Curious to hear your thoughts…

    Thanks for the blog!
    Jack

  13. James says

    x, funny that you mention seat height. My youngest son’s seat height is fine, but I have been trying to convince my older son to raise his seat for a while now. He tried it but he keeps lowering it back since it has a quick release. Oh well, all I can do is show him where it should be. I would rather let him ride in a position that he is comfortable with than push the issue.

    Jack, my youngest won that 16″ spiderman bike in a random drawing at a local restaurant some time ago. He was very excited about winning it and he is happy with it, so I am not about to tell him it is a cheap bike. Yeah it may weigh more than my mountain bike, but if he is happy with it, it is good enough for me. He is pretty good on it, so I don’t worry that it is going to turn him off to cycling. When he is ready to move up to a 20″ wheeled bike, he has an old Torker BMX bike that we have been working on together. He is very excited about graduating to that bike, but it is still a little big for him.

  14. Andrew Dasilva says

    @ Nick Hein

    Wow, two West Virginians on the Internet, on the same blog! That happens as often as lightning striking twice!

    I go to WVWC, and am trying to get advocacy for bike racks. I’ve joined positive spin, and read Bicycle Design nearly every day (to my dismay of infrequent posts, compared to some crazy non-life living bloggers)

  15. Anonymous says

    It is no wonder why he didn’t win – look at the equipment you gave him to work with! Those bars must have a 6″ rise. He has one speed and one brake. Those pedals certainly don’t look clipless. He doesn’t have a proper jersey or shorts, and it must be steaming hot under that closed-in helmet. And those tires?

    Next time, I expect you to give him a proper carbon fiber frame with some decent road tires.

  16. bikesgonewild says

    …glad to see the young one having such a great time…

    …i’m betting that if they made a camera that took pictures of your inner being, that old dad’s fotos would look pretty much the same as his son’s…

    …huh, dad ???…

  17. James says

    “…huh, dad ???…”

    I am a little late to respond to this one, but bgw, you are absolutely right.

Continuing the Discussion

  1. Riding with kids | Bicycle Design linked to this post on March 17, 2010

    [...] absolutely love riding on a bike that is attached to mine any chance they get. My five year old likes to ride his own bike these days, but he still loves to ride with me on the tag along. Together we can cover a lot more ground than [...]



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