Today was my fourth time riding and third time acting as a ride leader for Bike Newton‘s Tour de Newton. Unlike my usual weekend bike rides, this would be short We were riding the shorter Petite edition of the Tour de Newton, designed for younger riders and their parents. Instead of the 20 mile route running thorough all 13 of Newton’s villages, the Petite edition runs for a much shorter 3 miles.
It’s a great Father’s Day event because I get to ride with my kids and Mrs. Doug.
The morning kicked off with getting riders signed in and getting them into their blue T-shirts for the ride. Bikes ranged from small kids’ bikes to a monstrous tandem with a trail-a-way trailer.
Many bikes needed air in the tires, but there were no obvious mechanical deficiencies. Some seemed dusty enough that they may not have been ridden since last year’s Tour.
I had a grabbed a handful of bike bells at the store yesterday and attached them to kids’ bikes until I ran out. Kids need bells on their bikes.
We spent a few minutes talking about safety and hand signals, including a special signal for bell ringing.
Then we were off. Sixty+ riders of all shapes and sizes and experience, celebrating being on a bike.
The first stop was Newton City Hall. I gave a warning to the group that this stop would be about bike advocacy and they could stay to the side if they did not want to participate.
I call this picture in front of Newton City Hall: We Bike and we vote.
There were four ride leaders. We had one at the front and one at the back. Two of us were “corks” blocking the intersections and stopping traffic for the procession to get through.
The corking probably made a few drivers grumpy, causing them to be a few minutes late for where they were heading on a Sunday morning. How mad can you really get at a huge pack of kids and parents riding their bikes and ringing their bike bells?
One driver did pull up next to me, I was expecting anger, but instead I got love. She thought the ride wonderful and was happy to wait a few minutes to pull into her driveway.
There was a short hill on Terrace Avenue that caused a few young legs to reach their limits. Our rest stop at Newton Highlands’ Hyde Center was just a few more turns of the pedals down the road.
This is going to be the last Petite ride for us. The Boy said he wants to ride the full ride and of course The Girl is going to follow her brother.