Have you ever committed to do something you weren’t certain you were equipped to do? You knew you had the ability to perform the required tasks separately, but putting them all together to achieve a specific and (somewhat) monumental feat seemed daunting. That’s precisely how I felt this past week as I prepared to travel from Florida to Pennsylvania with our 8-year old son and our bikes.
Travel is my middle name. Travel with our son is even sweeter. Traveling with two bikes in tow plus luggage and 8 year old? I was a bit apprehensive. What sent me over the top was the prospect of assembling the bikes as soon as possible once we reached our destination. That gave me pause. The local bike shops I contacted quoted me a turnaround time of two business days for assembly and two days to disassemble and repack. That would eat up too much precious ride time. So, I committed to doing the builds and teardowns myself. I was extremely nervous. Thankfully, my jitters were all for not.
We had a full day of airline travel Friday. My most amazing travel companion and I grabbed our luggage from the baggage carousel and made our way outside to the car rental facility. I had reserved a Ford F-150 pickup truck so we loaded everything into the bed and king cab and hopped on the highway. Unfortunately, Pennsylvania road construction (thank you, potholes) caused major roadway traffic and bottlenecks as we drove to my mom’s house. A typical airport drive takes approximately 50 minutes. It took J-man and I slightly over three hours to make the drive. After five hours of sleep the night before, I was toast. As badly as I wanted to tackle at least one bike, it was not going to happen that night.
A good night’s sleep is indeed a panacea. I awoke Saturday morning feeling refreshed and ready to tackle the bike assemblies. My Specialized CruX Expert X1 went together like jam on peanut butter. I had to borrow a TX-25 driver from my sister to install J-man’s rotors, so we took my mom out for lunch and a drive through the rolling Pennsylvania countryside. I stopped by my sister’s house to pick up the driver and returned home to finish assembly of J-man’s bike. I had the bike back together in no time at all. J-man and I hopped on our bikes for a short spin around the neighborhood. I felt like I had quite literally conquered the world!
We took our first real ride this morning. J-man completed one of his longest rides to date at 18.5 miles. The rolling hills were a bit of a challenge for him (in his mind), but I knew he’d have no problem. When we returned to the truck, J-man turned to me and said, “This was the best ride ever!” This labor of love sure was worth the undertaking.