Monday, January 13, 2014

Out of the Vortex . . .

So Jet Blue finally got around to bringing my long-suffering wife and little bikeists back from New York where they had been in the clutches of the "Polar Vortex."  I'm still not, exactly, sure what a "Polar Vortex" is, but think it falls somewhere between the Abominable Snowman and the Winter Warlock when it comes to wintry menaces:

Anyway, I was very thankful when the Vortex (and Jet Blue) ceased holding them hostage (in a cave, I think) after a week (that's seven days, folks) of canceled and re-canceled flights.  They got back Friday night, so I was not about to head out for my usual Saturday morning 60 miler (if I knew what was good for me). 

Not about to stay entirely out of the saddle, though -- instead, I fixed a flat on the Red Cannondale, do-anything urban-assault bike, and told the bigger of my little bikeists to grab her beach cruiser and head out with me (the littler one was nursing a sore throat and head cold cast upon her by the Vortex).  I balanced her new Sector 9 "Supertubes" longboard (skateboard) on my bullhorn handlebars (sort of like how I once transported baseball bats when I was a kid) and she transported our nearly-useless Boston Terrier/Chihuahua "Benny" in her basket. 

We headed over to the Coronado Golf Course where we picked up the bike path and pedaled to Tidelands Park (right on San Diego Bay), on a glorious, sunny, 60+ degree morning (take that Vortex!).  We had been tooling around with the longboard in our alley before the girls headed east to visit the grandparents, but the park, with its endless wide sidewalks (encircling multiple playing fields) seemed like a good place for bigger little bikeist (and me) to get a real feel for the board, and each other (I have this weird theory that doing stuff with your kids might bring about a bond of some sort -- I know, I know -- crazy, right?).

Anyway, as it turns out, I'm pretty much a natural long-boarder (skateboardist?).  Like paddle-boarding, cross-country skiing, or (dare I say), biking, I instantly loved the smooth, steady glide I was able to achieve on the board.  We found a less-trafficked part of the park, and took turns riding back and forth (with our nearly-useless mutt looking on with his usual, mindless, indifference).  Once we felt pretty confident in our abilities to steer without falling off, we then took turns encircling the big field (I knocked out my daily burpees whilst bigger little bikeist did her laps).  I even managed to do an entire lap without stopping (getting some wry smiles from other park-goers my age who seemed somewhat amused by a grown man (overgrown boy?) learning to ride a longboard with a big, stupid grin on his face (partially due to the joy of learning a new way to get around on wheels, but mostly because that's my default look . . .).

Once our boarding (and, in my case, burpee) muscles had enough, we hopped back onto our bikes and proceeded directly to the ferry landing for gyros by the bay (and a frappe for bigger little bikeist).  We talked about board-riding technique, and nothing else in particular (with a little awkward silence when I tried to direct the conversation toward the plan to get caught up after missing a week of school), and took advantage of the excellent people-watching available at the ferry landing. 

Then, after scarfing down the gyros, it was back onto the bikes for the mile-and-a-half back to the Bikeist Bungalow.   All told, we pedaled three (slow miles), boarded three laps around the park (with burpees sprinkled in), and burned a little more energy romping around with the mutt.  Not exactly a 60 miler, or a Strava-worthy workout, but more rewarding on so many levels.  Yes -- we are The Bikeists, and bikes (and, sometimes, boards) are our bond! 

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