This is Part Two in a series by Natalie Good on her journey back to cycling after pregnancy. Click here for Part One.
June 23, 2020
Pulling kids is hard, but worth it! I am just back from my first real gravel ride pulling my almost 3 year old in the Burley D’Lite X. What a fun age! We did an out and back at the Painted Hills National Monument which was beautiful and allowed for several fun stops – the boardwalk is iconic and she loved looking at all the informative signs, even though she can’t read. The viewpoint was a great spot to share a snack! (Pro tip: if you are riding with kids, bring riding food for you AND them….) And the visitors center had a shaded, grassy area where we got to run through sprinklers together!
Our first ride together was only 8.5 miles with 629 feet of climbing, but man was it hot! My Wahoo ELEMNT boasted 102 degrees F in the sun! So when I say it’s hard pulling kids, I also think it is hard to ride in the heat. There are so many variables to riding! Temperature, rain, wind, lighting, cars on the road, hunger, thirst, level of fitness, amount of sleep you had the night before, how you feel in general. So let me rephrase… riding is hard. Pulling kids is awesome!
This was my first “solo” ride where I had a friend to talk to the whole way. “This is fun!” “I’m happy!” “I want some of that (pointing to my riding food)!” “I wanna walk on the boardwalk.”
We had fun! So what if we only went 8 miles and it took almost 2 hours?! I got a workout and we had fun!
I am SO looking forward to the days when I get to pull both of my girls. We’ve been WALKING with our youngest using the Burley Baby Snuggler for the last couple of weeks and the girls both LOVE IT! Every single day the oldest asks if she can ride in the stroller with her sister. And I taught the oldest how to check her sister – and she does it! Make sure you can see her nose, watch for her chest or belly going up and down, or listen for breathing.
“She’s good!” I hear my 2 year old yell periodically.
I am training them for the days when they are behind my Salsa Fargo and I may not be able to check for 10-20 minutes and so far, they are crushing it! Next month we plan to tackle light jogging with both girls in the stroller (#crosstraining) to see how the baby handles it. Truly, she needs to be able to SIT INDEPENDENTLY before we will be safe for longer rides in the trailer, so I am starting to doubt that she will be ready for Day 2 of The Ochoco Overlander* by September, but I am still committed to pulling at least one girl over the 25 miles and 2,000 feet! And how awesome that The Overlander will bring us back to the Painted Hills – one of our favorite places in all of Oregon! And the fun continues!
July 26, 2020
I just completed my first 5k run with both girls in the Burley D’Lite X stroller on the gravel/dirt road to our house. The baby did awesome! And her older sister (almost 3 years old) has become such an amazing helper and companion to me. At one point on the run I asked, “how’s your sister doing?” Big Sis leaned forward to check the baby in her Burley Baby Snuggler and replied, “she’s sleeping!” I thanked her and told her that I was proud of her for taking care of her sister. She then exclaimed, “I get ice cream!” She cracks me up!
We are so lucky to have such an amazing stroller. Living on a gravel road, the 16+ Wheel Kit (fatter tires) is essential. The stroller is so easy to push or pull and the girls love it. Our daily walk is usually a great nap time/quiet time for both of them, but occasionally it is also an opportunity to see deer or other wildlife or journey down to the creek to throw rocks in the water. There is a sun shade in the front so that I can keep the sun out of their eyes and a vent flap in the back to keep air flowing. And even though I am a cautious mom who likes to stop and check the girls frequently, I can actually see the tops of their heads while walking or running, so I get to watch them continuously.
The inside pockets [of the trailer] are always filled with essentials like dog treats, bubbles, sunglasses, and a kazoo while the handlebar console is reserved for other important items, like a water bottle and a dog leash.
Anymore, walking, running, or riding without my girls just seems lonely. In addition to checking her sister, I have been teaching my toddler to encourage me, especially on the up-hills. So we started to practice… I say, “I’m getting tired,” and ask for an encouraging response to which I get, “excuse you! *giggles*!” I asked her to instead try phrases like “You can do it, Mom!” Or “Go, Mama, Go!” A little later I say, “I’m getting tired!” She replies, “Go, Mama, Go! Excuse you! *giggles*!” We both laugh.
Finally, at the end of our first 5k, we were on the last steep hill and I was getting tired. Suddenly I hear, “You can do it Mom! I get ice cream!”
I love exercising with my girls! Thank you, Burley!
– Natalie Good, Good Bike Co., LLC
*Editor’s Note: The Ochoco Overlander was cancelled for 2020 due to COVID-19 restrictions.