I got back home yesterday from a wonderful four-day vacation with my family. It was the perfect location-a little cottage on a lake in the Adirondacks-far enough away from home to be exciting but close enough to bike to and from easily.
We had so much fun as a family; swimming, kayaking, we even went for a bike ride! Although my family learned that I shouldn’t be trusted with planning routes-I promised my brothers a five mile loop but I led them down the wrong path and boom! The five mile loop magically turned into more than ten miles. Up some pretty decent hills too, I’m afraid. I think they forgave me, but that doesn’t mean they will forgot and trust my navigational skills the next time.
But even they admitted it was a lovely route, all twisting country lanes winding through the woods. It was wonderful to be able to ride with my brothers and sister, well except for the part when one of my brothers crashed his bike and face-planted onto the pavement right in front of me. That wasn’t fun to watch, it was probably even less fun to do. Other than
his left leg falling off some decent patches of road rash he made it through just fine, even enduring the pain to finish the ride with us.
To top off the entire vacation, on the way back to town I set a new record on my bike. I finally broke through the 40 mph barrier, pushing the fastest recorded speed on my bike up to 40.7. My dad was even there to see it happen, he had caught up with me in his vehicle just as I was flying down the hill. When I saw him later that day he told me, “You were going forty down that road, you know.” I still had a huge smile plastered on my face.
I remember just a few years ago all my descents involved a death grip on the handlebars and excessive braking. So flying down that hill yesterday, rounding every corner confident and carefree felt AWESOME. Brakes are totally overrated. But they did save my life and the life of an innocent skunk this morning so I guess they are occasionally helpful.