Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. Maximum darkness – minimal daylight. In the Southern Hemisphere we host the Winter Solstice on 21 June while our Northern brethren bask in the long sun. But what should one do on this longest of nights?
Rug up? No.
Suit up? Hmmm…
Grab the bike lights? Now we are talking.
Helmets? You bet!
What to do? Night ride.
My boy, ‘The Pok’, and my little girl, ‘Kiki’, knew exactly what to do. They grabbed their helmets, and donned their jackets. I grabbed the bike pump and inflated the tyres. After a bit of faffing about we were ready to roll.
It was cold, but not too much. Nothing that a set of sleeves wouldn’t fix. Into the dark we headed, ‘The Pok’ on his Specialized and ‘Kiki’ in tow in the Chariot bike carrier.
We took to our regular harbourside route. And lo and behold the first race was declared by ‘The Pok’. As usual he called the race after he had punched it on the cadence. But his “Super” Mario Cipollini antics were not going to undo me this time. Papa bear had to lay the smack down, and beat my 5 year old son. I’m not competitive (much), he just needed to learn a bit of humility from his Dad.
‘Kiki’ was giggling in the carrier, lapping up the speed.
We continued around the wharves dodging bollards and weaving between light poles. This was the first ride that ‘The Pok’ didn’t stop pedalling going uphill. He put his head down and kept on pedalling. I rode beside him cheering him on, and his sense of joy at the top of the small hill was awesome to watch.
I turned behind to look at my little girl and she was sound asleep, oblivious to the two wheel fun.
‘The Pok’ took the lead and told me to follow. Hugging the waterfront, we were hitting the deadline to return home and get the kids to bed.
Circling back we had one final race, and the little man won… well, let’s just say he deserved at least one win.
‘The Pok’ pulled the pin and I grabbed his Specialized in my left hand while pushing my bike and ‘Kiki’ in the carrier back home with my right hand on my stem.
‘Kiki’ woke up just as we got into the garage and everybody was happy. 5 night kilometres in the bag and a brilliant night ride with my two kids. Looking forward to some more two wheel fun throughout the Winter months.
For the record – ‘The Pok’ hit 23kph in the sprint. Impressive for a little 5 year old.