Lemme tell y'all about the Little Scout Trip that Could...
Back in march, I approached the scout leaders in our ward about going on a bike trip that was being planned. They were looking for an experienced bike-riding adult that also knew more than a little about bicycle mechanics. Since I qualify on both counts, I talked my way onto the roster. We ended up with six boys, and that in itself is an interesting story...
Daniel Buzzeli was undecided about coming unless his friend Jordan could come also. Jordan is not a registered scout, but our scout committee members decided that he could come along as a 'guest' if all the proper releases could be signed. Unfortunately, Daniel made this decision the day before the trip was to begin; so it was a bit of a scramble to get the paperwork signed to allow Jordan to travel with us. I don't regret him being there, he's a good kid, but Sherry Marciel pointed out that the untimely fashion in which Daniel got the committee to bend over backward to allow Jordan to come sets a really poor precedent.
Nyways, the boys all showed up at my place a day or two beforehand to have their bicycles pronounced roadworthy. Ether Inlayo showed up with a Norco 12-speed that was both too small and too heavy. I had got a Dept. store 18-speed basher with a bent pedalcrank donated by my father in law Bob; and now seemed like the perfect time to get it back on the road. So, Ether got a "new" bike. That basher was the only bike on the trip (including mine) that didn't need any sort of repairs or tweaking on the road.
Daniel Buzzeli got a new shifter, and because we lost one on the trip, a new QR skewer for his front wheel. I got recomp'd for both.
Jake Madarang had the WORST luck with his bike. It is a fairly new machine, but he had the chain jump a couple of times, which damaged the chain guard, and he had the rear derailleur freeze up a couple of times, which damaged the indexed grip-shifters. "Falcon" is not a brand I would recommend buying. Jake himself is a pretty strong rider, and not a bad camp cook, either.
Quinn Marciel was riding my old Norco Kodiak, and led the ride sessions most of the time. He's a sharp kid, I didn't have to show him how to mount/dismount the brakes and QR wheels after the first time.
Miles Davies had a front brake lever jam and missed the turnoff back to camp during our twilight ride friday night. He got a little lost down the trail in the daycamp area, and had a minor spill at the top of the stairs leading back to the trail. As if that weren't bad enough, that branch of the trail was "quarantined" by parks canada to stop an infestation of Chilean Jo-Jo weed. Miles eventually made his way back to the campground by re-tracing his steps - in the dark, no less.
Jordan smacked into a phone pole on 12th in Tswassen. This was less than 10 mins into our ride down to the ferry terminal. He picked up some fairly painful abrasions on his face and neck, and his front forks had to be bent back straight once we got to the Saltspring Island terminal, but he didn't complain or ask to be sent home even once. It could have been much worse; if he had broken anything in that collision, the whole trip would likely have been cancelled. Both myself and Scouter Dan Davies offered to send Jordan home, but he insisted he was well enough to come with us. The road rash ought to be all healed by the time Jordan goes back to school in Sept.
Sherry Marciel packed us a verrry thorough First Aid Kit, and boy...did we NEED it!
We looked at the stars, we visited Maxwell Point, we swam in Cusheon Lake, we rode from Long Harbor to Ganges, and Ganges to Cusheon Lake. We rode from Ruckle Point Park to the Ruckle Farm, and to the park gate, we rode from Ruckle to Fulford Harbor. We rode the campground trails at Ruckle.
We were supposed to ride on saturday from Ganges back to Long Harbor, but we cancelled the ride in favor of another swimming session at Cusheon lake. The blacktop was over 35 degrees C in the shade, and there wasn't much shade...
We tied knots, we identified local trees and plantlife, we took the self-guided tour of Ruckle farm. We took a lot of pictures. We ate ice cream.
We ended up packing ALL EIGHT BIKES in the back of Dan's Chevy Suburban...not once, not twice, but FOUR different times.
We had a really great BBQ at Dan's home in Tswassen Saturday eve after it was all over.
...and I have one small, nagging, guilty worry:
I re-set the brakes on some of the boy's bikes, including Jordan's; and I re-set them to the same pressure that I myself am accustomed to. That may have been a mistake, because I FORGOT that the boys probably have only half the grip strength that I do. One or two of them complained that the brakes were too loose (I set my own brakes that way to prevent the pads from wearing down too quickly), and I did wind up re-setting Jordan's brakes again.