Luckily, good friends invited us down to Redland Bay for lunch on Sunday. I then began formulating a cunning plan to squeeze a kids ride in as well, because the route to Redland Bay can take in Bayview Conservation area (and it's MTB trails) along the way. It would also be a challenging ride for a nine year old to test herself.
So we readied ourselves, a little behind schedule, to set off on our little adventure. A certain little red-head was very excited. I was also a little thrilled at the prospect of riding through the bush with my not-so-little girl. She just seems to be growing up and exuding so much confidence lately.
First up were some walking paths here in Cornubia. All very familiar to us as these paths form some of our regular after school ride route. As a result, Red was zipping along and gabbling twenty to the dozen all the while.
As we then had to traverse a short section of busy road, the concentration face was bolted on and we made sure we stayed well left through here. I must admit, I wasn't apprehensive about her making the distance at all. I was most apprehensive about riding along this section of road. Putting my life (and my daughter's) in the hands of other road users is a bitter pill to swallow for me and I do avoid these situations, where I can, as a matter of priority.
Anyway, we survived this short stretch of Sunday drivers unscathed and were quickly plying the back roads of Mt Cotton where small acreages dominate the landscape. Spotting Shetland Ponies and regular nags...er..horses became the game until it was time to refuel.
About one kilometre down the road we turned off and entered Bayview Conservation area. I floated the idea that we could ride via single track or via fire road, pointing out that the fire road was probably faster and hence, we would be able to swim sooner. The little voice chose fire road and off we charged!
Only the odd stop for a drink was required. The questions were flowing freely though. "Hey dad, what are those squiggly lines on that tree?" "Hey Dad, did you see that goanna?"
With the layout of the trails, we did have to do some single track to get to our destination. This section of grass trees is, for me, the signature section for Bayview as it is always a bit surreal riding through the Grass Trees while negotiating the narrow single track. Lucy was riding really well and having a ball by this stage!
The only negative squeaks emanated when we were tackling some prolonged climbs and our speed was quite slow. The main area of concern wasn't that she was getting tired. It was that she was missing out on swimming time! So, a helping "dad hand" on her back through the climb raised the speed to adequately stifle these squeaks. It also raised my heart rate somewhat!
Passing by the chicken farm at the end of Days Road raised some choice nine year old comments that I will not repeat here! I must admit, the battery sheds do stink and the hot air that is being exhausted from the sheds isn't exactly the wafting of a gentle summer breeze. It must be as hot as hades in there for those poor chickens....
Out via Days Road and our little ride was almost at an end. Just a few kilometres of blacktop separated us from our post ride catch-up and swim.
I was very proud of my little girl's performance throughout the ride. She didn't really grizzle and was happy to be out on her bike, riding through the bush on a warm March afternoon. Stats wern't important either, but she did ride 17 kilometres with 300 metres of climbing on a warm, humid day.
On reflection, as I type this post, I see the value of this blog to me. Granted, it may be self indulgent drivel for the most part, but it's real value to me is that it demands I really think about what I have done on any particular day and it serves to highlight pivotal moments in my (and my family's) day to day lives that may otherwise go unnoticed. It is cliched, but it really does seem like just yesterday that I was first handed a tiny, pale faced baby that I had no idea what to do with and now here I am, indulging in my favourite past time with one of my favourite people in this world.
Does it get any better than this?
Yeah, actually, I think it will.........