Remember outgrowing your bike?


New bike fever

I’d forgotten the feeling. Well. It’s been a long time. You know. The feeling. That feeling. Outgrowing the old bike and embracing the new one. But now I remember what it looks like.

Wednesday evening we hit the Taff Trail. Two JIF jerseys astride two rigid bikes. I was on my Singular Swift 29er. Evelyn on her shiny new Isla Beinn 24. It had arrived the previous day after many months of promises and several weeks of waiting.

Can we go to the park Dad?

Yes love.

We nipped to Hailey Park. It has a lovely wild area at the top, perfect for dipping your toes in offroad waters (if you don’t mind mixing metaphors or the odd bramble scratch). We did a few laps of that. Caught a smile or two off some other park users (the me/mini-me club jersey thing always gets a grin). Small spots of rain fell.

Can we go to the weir Dad?

Yes love.

A familiar group headed toward us. It’s a good chunk of the Cardiff JIF MTBers heading for the hills. More grins. ‘Secret training!’.

Seagulls stood in the shallow waters of Llandaff weir. The rowing club busied itself. Evelyn was going like the clappers . A quick reminder about the rules of shared park use – Keep to the left, take your speed down, watch that blind bend! –  and a meander over the grass. The rain was getting a taste for it.

Can we go where we went with kids club Dad?

<Cardiff Castle grounds>

Aww..It’s getting a bit late love. Another time.

We returned. The trail emptier, the skies emptying. Evelyn tested her longer legs on her bigger wheels. An unexpected turn of speed allows me to pin-point the precise moment when she was first able to get her father to work a bit harder on the bike. It was also the day that brought back memories of Kennards bike shop on Richmond Road, the sight of shiny steel racers and high-backed choppers, the memory of growing into your new bike. The memory of excitement. Expectation. Summer.

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