(I’ve Had) The Ride Of My Life


It’s so pleasing to see Miss8 taking inspiration from her big sister to get into cycling.

I think.

We participated on a charity bike ride today for MS Queensland. It was great fun, although Miss11 probably won’t be going to school tomorrow. Not because she’s exhausted though – that’s sort of my thing.

We were the last of the riders to head off this morning – they let the skinnier, healthier people doing the 100km, 50km and 25km go first.

One of the ladies in our group, who participated in a much bigger ride, mentioned after the race (I mean ride) she had to push through a wall 4km from the end.

“I had to push through a wall too,” I told her. She knew I only did 10km and was looking doubtful, so I explained. “Last night. When I worked out I’d have to get up at 5am to make it here on time I really, really didn’t want to come at all.”

When our 10km event finally got away mid-morning I spent the ride bringing up the rear of our little group, riding most the way side by side with a young five year old who handled the ten kilometers in much the same way I didn’t – easily.

I explained to my charge after we passed someone that we were winning.

“Mum says it’s not a race,” he told me, eyes firmly on the road in front of him.

“And she’s right,” I admitted. “In a way. It’s only a race with the people you finish in front of. That way you win.”

His parents can thank me later.

Having said that, we were in a very small race. The pace was a little slow, and at one point we were passed by a kid with training wheels.

And check out my traditional Sampson sandals – just like the Romans used to wear when they rode their bikes.

Which meant my own two kids had well and truly crossed the finish line by the time I got there.

Can I just add at this juncture that of all the people volunteering at these events, the ones I most appreciate aren’t, like those who know me and my fitness level might suspect, the medicos scattered throughout the course giving me skeptical looks as I pant past, but the people waving and cheering and holding up ‘thank you’ and ‘well done’ signs at the finish. Way to make me feel like an achiever!

The thing that was different at this event, though, compared to other cycling rides I’ve participated (and I use the word loosely) in is they were rather cleverly looking up numbers on the bikes and helmets and congratulating people by name as they crossed the finish line.



“Dad…” Miss11 moaned at me when I caught up with her after the race. I mean, ride. “I crashed.”

My poor girl was limping and had scraped some skin off her knee, thigh and arm. Her knee is a little tender and a touch swollen and I suspect this will cost us a lot of icecream and time on the iPad to heal.

Plus, she added sadly, her bike was broken. Later I frowned intelligently at the thing for a bit then admitted I didn’t know what I was looking at.

“So what happened?” I asked her. Being the shortest event there were a lot of family groups like ours on the ride and kids were stopping suddenly and swerving radically (yes I saw you Master10) throughout the ride. I nearly hit a gutter or two myself.

Yeah, it was none of that.

“They said my name over the speaker as I finished,” Miss11 said by way of explanation.

“What do you mean?”

“I don’t know. It surprised me,” she added sheepishly. “So I looked around to see where it was coming from and who was talking and then…sort of….”

Sort of came a cropper.

You know how when you make a fool of yourself a little bit in front of strangers but you console yourself by thinking, it’s okay they don’t know who I am? Yeah, well when they announce your name over a speaker as you spring over the handlebars you don’t have that.

She is my daughter. No paternity test needed.

So we’ve explained to my poor, crippled poppet, depending on how her knee comes up in the morning, she might not make it to school tomorrow.

Which I suspect is why Miss8 is so keen to become more involved in cycling.

“You’re sooooo lucky!” she exclaimed to Miss11 when we told the scenario at home tonight. Then she straight away turned to me and demanded, “Next year, I’m going to go on the ride too!”

I’ll try remember to give the medicos a heads up.

Miss3 inspects Miss11’s injuries – with a container of cheese. Not sure how that fits in. Stress eating?

“Raising a family on little more than laughs”

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