The day began with wake up for the adults at 5 a.m. (yup, that is not a typo) and for the kids at 5:15 a.m. Fortunately, they woke easily and Little Squid even woke up with a huge smile on his face. Never underestimate the power of a birthday to wipe away early morning grumpiness.
We all donned our biking gear, including the brand new matching Squid On Wheels tee shirts. We looked very cute if I must say so myself.
At the Start Line.
The comments began practically from the moment we arrived in Central Park in our matching gear. If the gear did not bring the comments, the presence of the Squidlings did. Some of the comments heard / directed at us during the day:
"There goes the biking family." (Notice how we were the biking family.) This was answered with "We prefer to be called the Squid Family or Squid on Wheels." Yes, I really said this and said it with a smile.
"Your daughter is really strong."
"Your daughter is really built for biking." Followed by "So is your son."
"I told my daughter she should have come with me!" And then at the finish line, on his cell phone talking to the wife and daughter -- "Hurry, the family I told you about is here." (We left before they arrived.)
"It's so great to see a family riding together."
"What is that on your shirts?"
"Are you a team or a family?"
There was not one negative comment and so many people were pleased and surprised to see a family doing this together. I think we inspired a few of them to try it with their kids next year. We had some nice conversations with the commenter and gathered a small cadre of people who we kept bumping in to at the rest stops and along the way.
There were a few other kids there but I only saw one other on the 35 mile route. Most of the kids were on the 15 mile route so we lost them after the first rest stop -- their finish line.
This ride went much better then the other two organized rides that we have done. The pace was much better then the Tour de Brooklyn and we stopped for traffic very few times between rest stops. The traffic stops were so light that we did the mileage a lot faster then on any of our other rides. The weather was great, the views were spectacular and we had a fantastic time. Next year -- the 55 mile segment!
A few of the photos are below. For more, go here and here. For the GPS map, go here. (Ignore the weird part in Manhattan -- it was a GPS anomaly. The weird part on Randall's Island was us getting slightly lost.)
A Squid pace line. All 3 white shirts are Squid.
Rest Stop #1. Look how fresh they are!
The Triborough Bridge from below.
Rest stop #2 -- starting to sag just a bit.
Squid on a Turtle. Amazing what some food can do to perk up a tired Squid.
On the Triborough Bridge. This is just about the time that Little Squid actually turned 9. Yes, we sang to him on the bridge just after carrying the bikes up the second set of stairs. (Squidette carried her own bike this trip.)
At the finish line! For our efforts we each now have a new tee-shirt and water bottle. The Squidlings plan to wear their tees to school tomorrow. Yes, they are planning to show off a little. I am not discouraging this.
And now, for some cake!