A year in the life

30 08 2013

Dearest Little Ring

It’s hard to believe it was a year ago you wriggled into our lives. And our hearts.

It seems like you’ve been with us forever, and I mean that in the best way possible.

Your first day!

Your first day!

As far as papsies go, let’s just say I’m a little more, er, established, well past the age when most papsies become papsies. I was pretty set in my ways, none of which included spending much time with very young people, let alone babies.

But then your papsy met Princess of Pavement, and we kinda hit it off. Your mamsy let it be known she’d someday be pretty keen to have a Little Ring or Little Ringlette scampering around our feet, and I agreed I’d be cool with that too.

Fast forward a bunch of years, some trips to Europe and a couple of Gran Fondos and marathon runs and you happened. And our lives titled sideways forever more.

Those first couple of days in the hospital were pretty cool. You slept a lot, looking incredibly cute and wrinkled with your little bald head. The nurses were always close by to help us figure out how to change your diaper, then show us again because we’d forgotten, how to bathe you, show mamsy how to feed you. Piece of cake, we thought.

But then we brought you home and we were all on our own. And oh my did you cry. We thought we’d somehow broken you. Nothing brought you peace. We paced and rocked you. We sang softly to you every lullaby we could remember. We Googled for any other ideas. We even called the nurse hotline. What have we gotten ourselves into? we thought.

Your first bike race!

Your first bike race!

But somehow, we all started to figure things out, and were truly able to enjoy the wonder of you, the joys of all your first.

Your first great feeding and burp.

Your first bath, so tolerant of the water and the soap.

Your first visit to the public health nurse when you hardly cried after your first shot.

Your first sleep through the night.

Your first podium!

Your first podium!

Your first smile. Your first giggle.

Your first turdlumpen.

Your first visit with a doggie.

Your first Giro!

Your first Giro!

Your first tufts of actual hair upon your head.

Your first time in the high chair, getting a chance to taste real food even if it was all mashed and puréed.

Your first visit to a restaurant where you behaved so well and charmed the servers and the nearby diners.

Your first bouncy moments in the Jolly Jumper.

Your first visit to Musette caffée!

Your first visit to Musette caffée!

Your first chance to watch mamsy in a running race.

Your first fondo!

Your first fondo!

Your first army man crawl, oh how we waited for that one!

Your first big boy crawl, quickly followed by your tripod and then standing up!

Your first time clapping your hands.

Your first visit to a bike race.

Your first Gastown Grand Prix

Your first Gastown Grand Prix

Your first word, was it “da” or “hat?”

Your first time in a swing, and now you can’t get enough.

Your first taste of sorbetto and the big smile it put on your face. Uh oh, what have we done????

This guy is pedalling a long way but not going anywhere!

This guy is pedalling a long way but not going anywhere!

Your first day at daycare, so very brave!

And today, your very first birthday! Happy birthday Little Ring, my son.

Love,

Big Ring

Hey papsy, when can I get one of these???

Hey papsy, when can I get one of these???

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The long way around

18 08 2013

Detours can be frustrating.

They can also be an opportunity.

Sunday’s FRF ride had plenty of both.

Our route was to be the most ambitious one yet, about 90 km to “The Goat” and back, via the new South Fraser Perimeter Road and over the Golden Ears Bridge. For some in the group, it was uncharted territory.

The first of the day’s many detours hit us early; the South Fraser Perimeter Road, the key to our route, was closed. Deconstruction crews are tearing down the old Port Mann Bridge, and the risk of a giant steel girder falling upon our head was too great.

We were kicked onto a narrow, hilly side road that ascended up into deepest, darkest suburban hell. So were the trucks, that couldn’t manage the steep climb and stalled out, clogging the road.

After an interminable time winding through ugly subdivisions, we finally came to a main road but no more signage as to where we needed to go to get back on course. Then it started to rain.

It was, for the group, a dark time. We didn’t know where we were, all but one of us was unprepared for rain. Doubt creeped into our eyes.

We’ll press on, it was decided, reassess if the weather deteriorates even more.

Back on course, the rain subsided, and we pedalled with renewed vigour.

Until Guy flatted.

Uh oh, the first flat of the day.

Uh oh, the first flat of the day.

Then it started raining again.

Shortly before our destination, I flatted.

It was that kind of day; it seems The Goat was mocking us.

When we reached him, we dutifully saluted for good luck. Given the way the ride had gone so far, our luck couldn’t get much worse.

FRF salutes The Goat. Hopefully the ride's bad luck is now behind us.

FRF salutes The Goat. Hopefully the ride’s bad luck is now behind us.

On the return trip we chose to take a couple of detours of our own, along pan-flat pastoral country roads with minimal traffic. The ride was good again.

Another detour. At least the builders at this bridge site kept a route open for pedestrians and portaging cyclists.

Another detour. At least the builders at this bridge site kept a route open for pedestrians and portaging cyclists.

Ahh, finally an activation button at Ford Dr. and Lougheed.

Ahh, finally an activation button at Ford Dr. and Lougheed.

Then we detoured to our coffee stop, in an odd little commercial development at the bottom of a new housing subdivision along the Fraser River. It was a bit of a find, as all the bikes strewn around the patio could attest.

A pit stop find off the beaten track.

A pit stop find off the beaten track.

As the girders were still falling from the sky along the Perimeter Road, we knew we’d have to find a different way home, through suburbia’s dark underbelly. We rode past crack shacks and scrap yards. We dodged lurching junkies and menacing pick-up trucks. The rain began again, this time harder, colder. It was a new kind of cyclist’s hell. Grim determination to get home fuelled every turn of the pedals.

It was the FRF group’s first official 100 km ride, a milestone. It was a day for the hard men.