Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Mother's Day Mountain Biking Excursion

Mother's Day means that I get to pick what we do and where we eat. So even though Jack was voting for Wendy's for lunch, I opted to try The Daily Ration. The promise of pancakes was a good persuader and Jack was on board with forgoing Wendy's.

We were pleasantly surprised to get right in at the restaurant, and even though it took a little while to get our food, it was worth the wait. Though a photo at the restaurant with my boys was not going to happen (someone was hungry and needed a nap!).

After our fill of delicious food, we headed home to grab our bikes and hit the trails for a little family adventure. On the drive home, Isaac had a little cat nap and Daniel had time to take Jack to get me flowers and make me a sweet gift.

Once our bikes were loaded on the car, we made our way to Stringer's Ridge for some mountain bike action. We have been wanting to take Jack to try out the Pump Track there and if we felt like he was able, we thought we would try one of the shorter trails at this park.

I can't tell you how excited I am that Jack is ready to start getting on easier trails with us. Daniel introduced me to mountain biking about 10 years ago when we lived in Charlotte and I love it. It gets me out in nature, and there is a thrill element to flying through the woods while navigating sometimes difficult terrain. It is a ton of fun.

Being able to take our kids out with us is fantastic, and it was a great way to spend Mother's Day.

When we arrived at the Pump Track, Jack hopped on his bike and went straight to the biggest mound to ride over. He didn't make it up and ended up in the tall grass. Initially I thought he was going to be over the experience, but he got back on his bike and worked on the smaller mounds.

Before I knew it, he attacked the big mound again (following Daniel this time), and he made it! And then he rode down it like it was nothing! Proud mama moment for sure.

After we all did several laps, we made our way to the second track and tried it as well. The first track we did was kind of a figure eight, the second track was 3 loops (kind of like a snowman?). You can do variations of the loops and work on your banking skills, as well as riding over small repeating bumps and hills. It is really good skill development for being on an actual trail.

Unfortunately Isaac was not enjoying the Pump Track. We noticed that his head was bouncing around more than we prefer and we were in the sun, so it was hot. We told Jack to take a few more laps and then we loaded the bikes and drove around to the other parking area and trail access at Stringers. The trail access to Stringers from the Pump Track area is really steep and not great for little kids.

So we loaded up and made our way up the main trail to the Choo Choo trail. The Choo Choo trail is a short dirt path that loops Old Baldy. It was PERFECT for Jack. He had some small climbs, but it was manageable even though Jack's bike doesn't have gears.

As soon as we were on the trail, Jack shouted something like, "This is AWESOME! It is just like the pump track!" It was better for Isaac too because we could ride quickly and it was in the woods so it wasn't as hot.

We did four loops on the Choo Choo trail before we had to leave.

Jack had a lovely meltdown because he wanted to go back to the pump track and we were out of time. Other than the meltdown, it was a fun day with our family.

After our ride, Daniel dropped me off at Warehouse Row where I met a couple of girlfriends for dinner. We ended up eating at Tupelo Honey (after I got changed and cleaned up a bit). Three hours spent with other moms, visiting with no distractions, responsibilities, or bedtime duties, was a perfect way to end a lovely Mother's Day.

I am looking forward to more adventures with my little family. It feels so good to know that the kids are getting bigger, and more skilled and that bigger adventures are just around the corner for us!

Previous Mother's Days:
Paddling Lookout Creek (2016)
Biking South Chick Greenway (2015)
Time Spent with Family (2014)
First Mother's Day – we were supposed to hike, but got rained out (2012)

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