Sunday, April 7, 2013

In Which Marion Earns Kudos for Trail Maintenance

Me and granddaughter Juliet before pleasant sunny ride.  Why do I look like a maniac? And why did Juliet's mom, who took the photos, not throw herself in front of the bike to stop me? Anyway, I was a careful biker despite my crazed look. In middle photo, Juliet's older sister Lizzie inspects the bike.

I took Juliet out for her first ride in my bike today. Her mom took our picture, and after I saw them, I’m surprised she let us go. I think I look like some sort of dangerous lunatic. I’m not exactly sure why I look that way—I just do.

Anyway, at about 3:45 p.m., Juliet and I headed south on C avenue to the Lindale Trail. When we started out on the trail, it was rather rutted and a bit soft, and I wondered at the wisdom of even going this way. Juliet didn’t seem to mind much, and kept up a low patter of nonsense singing as we went along, every once in a while exclaiming in some syllable.

The further east we went, the better conditions got. I was concerned about the hill beside the old rail bridge where the trail ends in a T intersection in Marion with the Boyson Road Trail—but as it turned out, post-flood maintenance by the city of Marion apparently smoothed out most of the rough spots, and despite rain yesterday, the hill and the rest of the Boyson Trail that we were on were in decent condition. Kudos, Marion.

Anyway, the trail was alive with bikers and walkers. There were Frisbee golfers out in force, fishers along the creek—a sunny day with the high near 60, and people were taking advantage.

Juliet really seemed to enjoy the ride. She was a bit tentative at first, she mentioned “mama” a few times as we started out, but by the time we were on the trail and saw our first puppy, I think she was sold on the idea.

We didn’t take the time to do the full Boyson Trail or the new trail that heads out to Menard’s—I just when to the park at the south end and then doubled back. By the time I got back home, I think Juliet was ready for more. When I stopped at my house, she gave me a look that said, “What are we doing here? And why have we stopped?”

All in all, a very good first ride. I could not persuade her sister Lizzie to have her second ride—Lizzie informed she that she had done a bike ride with me already, as if it’s crazy to ever go on more than one, but that’s OK. We had a pleasant family walk instead, and that was fine.

And it all goes to show that no matter how crazy you look, you might still be able to take a grandchild on a bike ride.

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