Back to the Beginning

With Mother’s Day next week I’ve been looking through old photos and thinking about how much Boo has changed and I started to consider how we started on the path that led to considering LEJOG on a tandem.

When Boo was born Mark, obviously, still wanted to ride and set himself cycling challenges but we also wanted him to have time with our new daughter. After much consideration of the available cycle carriers for small children we opted for a cycle trailer and managed to acquire an ex-rental one.

cycling1Mark engineered strapping to hold the car seat in place as Boo was not yet ready to sit up in the trailer on her own. She was rather thoughtful when we first put her in the seat to test the stability.

cycling2We recognised that, even in the spring sunshine 9 years ago, she would need to keep warm so wrapped her up and strapped her in.

cycling3The trailer was loaded with Boo’s change bag (not your usual first thought heading for a bike ride!) and food supplies for both rider and passenger.

cycling5_editedThen off they set for their first Daddy and Daughter ride.

Nine years ago I thought this was a lovely way to ensure an occasional nap for myself, an excellent way to combine Mark’s interest with his wish to spend time with Boo, and (my main argument when Mark suggested he ride for a morning without the trailer and child) an efficient training ride for Mark as the trailer increased the difficulty of all hills without him having to travel far from the relative flatlands around Warwickshire.

Soon it became habit for the two of them to head out and Boo didn’t always fall asleep. Mark developed a few routes taking in pubs and parks where he could grab a drink and she could play on the swings, feed the ducks, and chatter to her father.

DSCF6661Then came the day when she was ready to leave the padding of her car seat and sit in the trailer on her own. Boo looked like a little mushroom with the helmet perched on her small head, but she loved it.

DSCF6665She especially liked the extra freedoms being in the trailer gave her and we filled the side pockets with drinks and snacks ready for their pit stops.

Now these rides were becoming as important to Boo as they were to Mark. As anyone who meets them will attest; she is a real chip off the old block, a “Daddy’s Girl”, and is rarely as happy as when she and Mark can be getting up to mischief together!

She enjoyed and looked forward to their Daddy and Daughter rides. I suspect the ice-cream, playground and duck stops at The Fleur de Lys in Lowsonford may have helped ensure her excitement at these weekend trips. This may also be when her competitive urges began as, once she could talk to him from the trailer, Mark would receive a running commentary on their speed, ability to overtake, sadness at being overtaken, and worries about the spider families trying to join her!

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