This past weekend was our annual Kidical Mass Overnight Extravaganza to Gibson Ranch and #BikeYourPark day for Adventure Cycling. It was quite an adventure, as always. Our group was small, just 13 of us total, six adults and seven kids. Both Big and Little Brother were able to join us this year. We met up with Neil and his kiddo with their Nihola packed up and rode to the meeting spot. It's so great to be able to load up the HaulaDay without kids on board, although I had planned to save room for Little Brother in case he bonked toward the end. This would be his longest ride, yet, at 17 miles. Little Brother doesn't have a rack on his bike and I decided it would be better for him to just concentrate on the ride but Big Brother was carrying all three of our sleeping bags and all our clothes for the trip.
It was a hot day to ride. Our route was mostly along bike trails so the kids had a great time pedaling along a relatively peaceful path. We had a nice stop for lunch at a big playground where the kids somehow had energy to continue running around.
The last section of the ride is in traffic on quiet rural roads until the last 1/4 mile where we are on a busy narrow stretch. Little Brother started to ask to go on "someone else's" bike (Neil's, in fact) but I told him if he finished riding to Gibson Ranch, we could talk about him hitching a ride back the next day. He managed to pedal the entire route without any problems, including the final part on Elverta as he proved to be a great rider and listened to all my instructions while navigating the busier section.
We had a large grassy (and soggy) spot to ourselves to set up camp. There was a wedding party next to us and a Boy Scout group on the other side of the lake. We knew this meant it would be a noisy night, unfortunately. Next time, remind me to pack extra ear plugs. The kids loved playing with Melissa's kids' bow and arrow and the stomp rockets (as always). They ran around, checked out the playgrounds, and kept moving all afternoon. I don't know how they had the energy after all the riding!
Sadly, nighttime was a mess (literally and figuratively). The wedding was noisy, the staff rode around on gas-powered carts throughout the night, and Big Brother ended up throwing up multiple times all over the tent. Luckily, our wonderful friends helped me clean up and gave him a blanket and towel to sleep on. I had to give up my sleeping pad and his sleeping bag was unusable. Little Brother slept peacefully through it all. In the morning, Big Brother still wasn't feeling well so I called their dad to pick them up. That left me with all the gear (minus a bag of barfy stuff Jose took home for me, thank goodness!). I packed up the rest of the camping gear, food, and both bikes, probably my biggest load on the HaulaDay, yet.
The ride back was nice but a bit sad without the boys. The bike was really stable and easy to ride. I'm looking forward to next year, hopefully with healthy kiddos and possibly to a new wedding-free location. It was great to see Little Brother break his riding record and Big Brother loved riding a loaded up bike. We're getting closer to doing more family touring!
This is us. We're fun.