Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jack Rides!

Dear Mark

I can hardly contain my excitement. OMG!!! My son can ride a two-wheel bicycle! He just learned this evening, or more precisely just put it all together. I'm so stoked and excited that I can't stop hugging him. He's been asleep for a few hours tonight and I'm still tempted to go in his room to mini high-five him on his accomplishment. I mean... my son can ride a bicycle! My son can ride a bike!!! He's managed to do this just shy of his 4th Birthday!

You know he's had his balance bike since he was two. He started riding that in earnest when he was 2.5 years old. He would just scoot with his feet and balance on two wheels. We've been scooting around the block for 1.5 years now. He's never had training wheels. He's loved his Big Wheel (cause come on, who wouldn't right!) and he's ridden some tricycles at school too. Recently a friend gifted us a bike with pedals. He tried it a few months ago and was luke warm, preferring the speed of his balance bike more.

This evening he was riding his balance bike and I asked him to try the pedal bike. He usually says "maybe when I'm 4 Dadna" and begs off. Tonight though he said okay. I let him climb on the bike and he got his foot on the pedal. He pushed off and I held his seat and softly said "pedal pedal pedal" and he did it. We went the length of the drive way and then stopped, started again and circled back.

The third time I took my hand off the seat and he pedaled and stopped on his own. I told him "good job Jack! I wasn't holding on that time." I tell you I saw it in his eyes when the reality of that clicked in. He just smiled, put his foot on the pedal and was off on his own. I mean it. It was just like that. I started jumping up and down yelling "Yes! Yes! Yes! Nice Job Jack! Woo-hoo!" The smile he gave me as he showed me how proud he was just as infectious. He was so pleased with himself.

I took some rough video of it:

Here he is putting it all together:

Did I mention that he can power an uphill as if he was from the Basque country? After getting stalled going uphill a few times he just learned to push the pedals harder. I swear that made me more proud than anything.

Now some may not be surprised that Jack achieved this at such a young age. Being my son some will have suspected that he'd be winning races or at least a domestique for some team by age 3. But I've tried to hold him (me) back from all that silliness, and just let him be a kid, right?! I mean he's had a lot of influences and I think there have been signs that he would do so well so early.

  • Is it because he's watched all three grand tours with me (Giro, Tour and Vuelta) each year since he was born? Maybe. 
  • Is it because he thinks that the Marvel comics God of Thunder, Thor, is indeed a full time cyclists who wins Tour stages and is the World Champion in commanding fashion? Likely. 
  • Is that when some kids say "Dad I'm going to be as tall you as you some day" that my son says "Dadna I'm going to beat you straight up on a sprint one day." Possibly. 
  • Is it because he wore a world championship jersey when he was still an infant and now he dreams of rainbows? Plausible. 
  • Is it because he's been riding to school/work with me for a few years that he knows proper drafting and peloton etiquette and critiques other helmet-less riders out lout so they can hear him? Darn-tooting. 
  • Is it because my @TdF_Dadna twitter account is not as fictional as many would believe? Spot-on. 
  • Is it because in a family where cycling is respected for what it brings to a community, fitness and recreation that he's excited to try it? One would hope. 
I really cannot fully express how happy I am about this. Lets just say that the plans for him to win the 2035 TDF are on target. Book your Paris hotels today for 2035. Jack Sheppard Moran will be in Yellow, and I'll be the proud Dadna looking on with tears of joy in my eyes remembering today when it all started.

Now I need to teach him "On your left" in multiple languages.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Lack of posts, blame Apple

Dear Mark,

There have been a lack of posts from me recently, and by recent I dare say a lot this past year. Compared to past years that saw me writing to you more frequently, the year 2011 has seen a drop off. Normally I like to blame the economy, politics, training, or even el nino for such activity. However, this year I think I must place the blame squarely on the shoulders of who is responsible for such a down turn in creativity. Yes, my iPad is to blame.

You may recall that I received an iPad for the holidays last year. I was quite excited. I am a recent Mac convert by all standards and I have to say that I'm okay with that. I don't miss my non-Mac hardware or operating systems for a moment, although I must admit I do miss some of the software that just runs better on Windows (I'm looking at you MS Office). Still, I've been quite happy.

Over the year the number of devices designed by that company that Steve Jobs use to work for has jumped at our household. Laptop, desktop, iphone, itouch, nano, more iphones, Apple TV and the list will grow as 2011 closes out I'm sure. I have even started planting the seed the Mom and Dad should convert, but your Mother is a bit stubborn and quite frankly is a power user so I should probably leave that alone (and no Family Tree maker on Mac me thinks).

I've been using the iPad more and more at home. Even Jack uses it. We both watch videos on it, from Netflix and from our digital library. I use it to check various email accounts, play games (Scrabble!), read news and other consumption activities. I think that tablets in general are a fun way to interact with the web and consumption activities. For now though, they seem to be stunting my creativity a little. While there is a blogger app, several actually, it is difficult to sit down and bang out some quality creative writing.

Couple the above consumption driven activities with the bed time routine of a 3 year old and I've got plenty of excuses. But not wanting to just go with conjecture I mapped out some numbers to illustrate the situation.

Here is a graph showing the frequency of our posts this year.

Here you can see the combined frequency of both our posts. Its revealing in many ways.

Now here is the revealing graph that shows as my iPad usage has gone up that the number of posts have suffered. 

I hope to correct this trend soon. One thing about data discovery is what you do with the data. I'm hoping that this will get me back on track with these posts. Perhaps the data can lead you to a similar discovery. If not, I'll be forced to re-market this blog as "Brother Moran" which will make me sound like a monk.