By Madeline Bashore — For weeks I had been asking my mom, Emilie, about my grandpa’s adventures on a bike after seeing him ride down to the Riverton 4th of July parade. She told me that he liked doing long-distance bike rides and I wondered if I could ever do one. I had not been on a bike in years, but the idea kindled in my mind until about a week before we were to go to my grandparent’s house for dinner. I asked my mom if she would let me and wondered if my grandpa would take me on one with him. Her answer was, “You could ask him. I’d let you go.”
At the Christmas party I walked in the door with one thing on my mind—ask Grandpa about doing a ride with him. I sat by him on the couch and asked, “Hey Clampa. Do you still do bike rides?”
He looked surprised that I’d asked, but he responded, “Yes.”
I asked him, “Do you think I could go on a ride with you?” wondering what he would say, but his answer got me excited.
“Well sure!” he said, looking shocked at my question. Then he became serious and started telling me about all of the pros and cons about bike rides. But the only thing I was worried about was slowing him down and my backside hurting. We looked at his past articles and adventures and it looked great!
I didn’t have the kind of bike I needed so I went to my parents to see what to do. My dad gave the idea of riding a tandem bike and the first thought into my head was, “I haven’t been on a normal bike in years! How am I supposed to ride a tandem?” We got the bike and decided to give it a try.
Practices went well. The first practice started a bit tough, but got better as we went on. I felt like I was about to tip over and fall off every turn we made. It did not help that I couldn’t see in front of me. I could only see the sides so I had to trust that my grandpa wouldn’t run into anything and that he would tell me when I had to put my feet down to stop and balance us. I believe that we made a pretty good team and that after a couple of practices, I was ready for the ride.
The day of the ride started a little rough because I woke up to find that my house had been toilet-papered and that my cat decided to mark his territory on the pants I was going to wear for the trip. I told my parents everything that had happened and luckily my dad had an extra pair of shorts I could use. And as for the toilet-papering job, we found written on a piece of toilet paper that said that the people who creatively decorated my house loved my brother. I’m sure he enjoyed cleaning up that mess.
On the bike, we made it about two and a half miles before getting our first flat tire. We stopped in front of a church and sat in the shade of a tree trying to fix our flat. Once on the road again, we just happened to get another flat tire about 300 yards from our last one. We decided to call my dad to pick us up a new tire. Also, my grandpa had to call the people we were meeting up with because we wouldn’t be able to catch the train at the time we had planned. As we waited, we watched a biking race and sat on a rock by my high school seminary building.
Finally arriving at the Trax station, we missed the train by 10 seconds and had to catch the next one. On that train a man in a wheel chair was frustrated with us for having our bike in the handicapped area. We tried to explain to him that our bike would not fit in the bike car, but I don’t believe he was listening. The man made conversation with my grandpa, but I gave up trying to listen because out of the whole conversation I only could understand three things he said—which were: Evel Knievel, his Jazzy, and the word “anyways” which he said about once every five seconds. At our stop to get off in Ogden, I met the people we were going to ride with. They seemed nice.
Riding through the country was beautiful. We went by field after field of cherry trees and even saw some kittens running through the grass looking for mice. The first day of riding was only 40 miles. But still, that’s more than I’ve ever done in a day. We stopped at a place to eat by the Brigham City Temple and I had the best smoothie I believe I’ve ever tasted and a hamburger! When we continued to ride, my grandpa explained to us the story of the Paramount Pictures symbol because we were riding past the mountain (Ben Lomond Peak) that the symbol is based off of.
Crystal Hot Springs was nice. We arrived at our destination and got checked in. Then we went into the pools and my grandpa and I agreed that the warm pool was the best. Not many people spoke English, so we never fully understood what some of the people were saying, but we didn’t mind. We camped overnight under the stars and when I woke up, my grandpa told me that I had slept through a train and a boy playing drums in the middle of the night! The day before we went to the store and bought oranges so we ate them for breakfast before we had to leave to start heading home.
Set on getting home, we started early in the morning. The air was a bit chilly, but it heated up more as the day went on and our backsides were sore from the previous day’s journey. We would be traveling 20 more miles than we did the day before. On the Rail Trail we passed through a couple small towns and eventually we got to my dad’s friend’s house where we completed our ride, got picked up, and went to McDonald’s to get smoothies.
In conclusion, I had tons of fun on this ride. For a first ride it was a good trip for me to take—not too hard. I would love to do it again. In fact, I asked my mom today if I could take a ride with her and my brother to Moonstone Beach in California.