The End of the Trail

Charlie after completing a 24-mile bike ride Out on the bike trail in Jersey horse country (as in, where people have properties with super tasteful and extra large McMansions + an equally tasteful barn for the horse(s) ), there were no dogs.

And the weather was so lovely, high 70s, not humid, with a steady, strong wind (courtesy of the now 100-miles-or-some-such-out-to-see Hurricane Earl?). The sun came in and out of a sky with photo-opt-worthy clouds.

Conditions, that is, were excellent for Jim and Charlie to make it to the end of the trail. And they did!

All 24 miles of it, 12 out and back.

Charlie was especially motoring on the ride back, which was into the wind. As Jim texted me, 'He loves resistance'—-just as, many a summer ago when Charlie and I went to the town pool (the one he refuses to step foot in now) every afternoon, he loved nothing better than to sink down to the bottom in the deep end, and feel the water's pressure upon him.

Charlie leading Jim onto the bike trail

Will he come to shrink from riding his bike as he now does to go to the pool?

I never like to predict the future about Charlie; that's a very dangerous business. But it is not so much that Charlie does not like the water—he has been eager to get back to the ocean; we've been waiting till said Hurricane passes to go to the beach, as swimmers have not been able to go in past their ankles—as that, I think Charlie simply outgrew the pool. No matter how many people are in the ocean, the pressure he feels when a wave breaks over him is the same. Plus, a lot of the kids his age at the pool are primarily engaged in checking out the opposite sex, checking how they look in the swimsuits, and being otherwise social, and Charlie stands out because he is not (understatement) inclined to do any of that.

And (again, with all due hesitance to say too much about what might-could happen), bike riding seems to be an activity that is growing with Charlie. There's no limit to how far he can ride his bike. Jim has been very willing (and fit) to go on these long, and longer, bike rides, and over increasingly serious terrain. Good thing they both have mountain bikes.

After spending much of the latter part of Friday sleeping, Charlie woke around 7am on Saturday. We could hear him chattering, and then we didn't hear him, as he'd gone back to sleep. He ended up sleeping until noon. Jim noted to me later that this was all good preparation for the 24 miles on the trail (their longest yet) plus the extra 12 he did later on in the evening on his and Jim's home bike riding route. Too, after a couple of really hot 'n' humid days (not to mention a really hot summer), during which a great deal of bike riding over a great many miles has occurred, it seems likely that Charlie needs a lot of rest.

Or maybe he's started on another growth start.

In which case, we'll have to raise the seat on his bike—-or get him a bigger one!


Ready to ride!

3 Responses to “The End of the Trail”
  1. Jill says:

    You’re right, there is no end to the increasingly challenging adventures that Charlie can have on his bike. The president of one of the four (!) bike clubs to which my hubby belongs is in his mid-80s and he still goes on rides of 50 or so miles. Until a couple of years ago, he was a participant in the annual 200-mile-plus “Longest Day” ride that went from High Point, NJ, to Cape May.
    My hubby is almost 50 and he’s planning on his second ride in the Paris-Brest-Paris event next summer. That one is about 600 miles, round trip.
    Bike riding lets Charlie see new sights and get those important endorphins flowing. If he ever chooses to ride with a club he would find the other riders to be welcoming in as understated a way as he wants; there’s talking but it’s mostly motion and quiet companionship.
    Not to get too long, but if Charlie ever shows frustration with bike riding, the cause might be the bike’s limitations. A good bike shop technician can make sure that the bike is right for his growing body. I don’t know if he shifts gears or not, but doing it properly makes riding less of a chore.

  2. Club 166 says:

    The great thing about both bike riding and swimming, are that they are activities you can do most all your life.
    Good to see that Earl missed you.

  3. autismvox says:

    I brought up the idea of biking across the country today.
    Jim pointed out it would take a long time.
    But he didn’t say a complete no.
    Mm, 600 miles…….. maybe the 200 first…..

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