TCI Friday works best when you weigh in. Read, respond, relax.
As you read these words, I am sitting in a small bungalow in tiny Welsh village drinking a cup of hot, sugary tea and contemplating what is possible. Here among my aunts and uncles, the couch is so comfortable, so gravitationally dense, that I could easily let myself stay here, eating cookies, all day. My kids are staring at their phones, well-satisfied by the strength of the Welsh WiFi. Any my wife sees that it’s drizzling again, that it’s somehow raw without being cold, and we’re all tired still, not quite caught up to the time change.
But when you go to Mecca, you pray. That’s what you do.
So I’m sitting blissfully in the place my family has lived since at least the 18th century, and trying to figure out how I escape for a mountain bike adventure without offending anyone or getting in whatever kind of trouble a 50-year-old man can get in.
You’ve been on vacation with your family. You know how this goes. How many times have I said to my kids, standing atop a hike they never wanted to start, “Look! See! You’ll thank me for this one day!” That day has not yet arrived.
We have a list of magical things to do. Hike the sea cliffs in Pembrokeshire (Dyfed). See the waterfalls in the Brecon Beacons. Climb to the top of Mt Snowdon, and maybe Cadair Idris and Pen y Fan as well. Drive to the end of Holyhead. Eat ice cream in Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch, the little town with the impossibly long name my father taught me to say in installments before bed every night. There’s a lot to do, on top of kissing a million aunts and catching up with all the cousins, which isn’t possible in a month of Sundays.
And somewhere in there I need to ride. Wales has a handful of world class trail systems, some with bike rental and on-site cafe. I have to figure out how to get dropped off and abandoned at one or more of them, without causing great inconvenience or offense.
So this week’s TCI Friday asks, how do you juggle family and ride plans when you’re on vacation? Do you just give up and go with the familial flow? Or do you give up and chase every ride, consequences be damned? Moderation and balance are usually the right answers, but what would you say to a person (me) who was pretty bad at those things?