Sunday, September 30, 2007

Pumpkin Patch Pedal

We took Emily on her first organized bike ride today! We went an hour south to some flatter country for the Pumpkin Patch Pedal. It was a great day for riding. We decided to ride the 25 mile option. Pre-Emily, we would never have traveled for a ride of that length (50 used to be our lower limit), but we thought it would be fun to do with her. Emily was really good in the trailer and even managed to snooze a little bit.

With riding a tandem, there are certain comments that we have learned to expect. We always expect a lot of looks and nearly always get told "She's not pedaling back there." Haha, our pedals are connected, I have to pedal. Of course, we didn't get any of those comments today. In fact, in the first few minutes, we could already tell what the comments would be about pulling a trailer behind a tandem. Tops on the list was people asking if they could ride back there. Next was comments about the family being out together and how great that was. Nearly all of the cyclists noticed us which is good and most had some sort of comment or said how cool it was. We passed several different parents and older kids whose parent said that's how their kid got their start. When the 25 mile ride joined back up with the longer rides, we got a lot of comments from those riders. It was pretty funny, most were telling us how great we were doing and to keep it up. We got a kick out of it because 2 years ago we would have been doing one of the longer rides. The funniest comment was from a British guy who was riding a longer ride. He came up beside us and told us not to be alarmed, but there is a small child following us. Just completely random.

We really enjoyed seeing the mix of cyclists at the ride. We are used to seeing the very dedicated cyclists. It was a nice change of pace to see all different levels and abilities on this ride. We did run into some other riders from our tandem club as we were leaving. Looks like they had a nice ride.

We rode 29.7 miles, so this was certainly Emily's longest ride. It is quite a bit harder than riding without the trailer, we are debating how much. 1.5 times as hard (and count the miles 1.5 times) or twice as hard (cound the miles double). One of our tandem friends suggested that it was double, we are probably pulling 40-50 pounds behind us.

Emily had a lot of fun at the rest stop in the middle and enjoyed eating some of the snacks that the ride had. There were horses across the street and we went to look at them and she knew just what a horse says. And, big new word of the day was bicycle! A big, big word! And it was said before we left the house this morning about the bike on my t-shirt.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Cuyahoga Valley National Park

We took a trip to Ohio to meet up with Grandy and Poppy at the Cuyahoga National Park there. The park is located between Cleveland and Akron and was quite nice. We took Emily hiking on our backs and Greg and I managed to get out for a nice bike ride on the towpath while Emily hung out with Grandy and Poppy.

As the pictures show, we saw some beautiful waterfalls and great scenery. We even had one really cool day when the high was only mid-50's.

Emily did great on the drive to and from OH. She's becoming quite the traveler regardless of whether it is by plane or car.

We had to tailor our hikes to be Emily friendly - not too long and with enough stops to keep her happy. And not too tough, the backpack with her in it is at least 25-30 pounds so one person has a bit of a tougher hike than everyone else.

Emily hit a new milestone on the trip. Her first temper tantrum. Make that, her first 3 temper tantrums all in one day! Fortunately, each was short lived and we haven't seen them again since then. I have a feeling that she was overtired and that contributed to her frustration. We tried on the sleep front while we were gone, but Emily seemed to think there was too much going on for her to sleep too much during the trip.

We all had a really good time and had fun enjoying the outdoors.

Back to School

I had to go back to work right after Labor Day, so Emily had to start at her new sitter's house. She took a bit of adjusting the first few days and had some tears for drop off the first couple of weeks, but now she is doing great there.

These pictures were taken the weekend after going back to work. In the top one, Emily thought Daddy's bike helmet was so cool when he went out for an early ride that she had to put hers on, too. Emily has been obsessed with all hats in general and her bike helmet is no exception. If it can go on her head, then she is might excited about it!

Later in the day, we went to our town's block party. Emily loved being able to stand up and eat her food from a plate on the bench. Once she was done eating and we had cleaned her up with a baby wipe, she used the wipe to clean the whole bench. It entertained her for awhile until we took her to the playground there.

Labor Day Weekend

Aunt Jill and Uncle Nathan spent Labor Day weekend with us. We had a pretty relaxed weekend and hung out most of the time. We took Emily to the park one day and she had a great time there. Emily started with a huge separation anxiety phase a week or so before the visit, so one of us had to stay within sight most of the time. Emily had fun with her visitors and the extra attention she got.