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Ardgillan Park Ride – Attempt One

TLDR – Maddex and I went on a bike ride, destination Addgillan park. We ended up stopping at a bunch of parks, having lunch at Ikea then taking the Dart home from Malahide. We never made it to Ardgillian park; next time

Bike prep

Friday morning Michelle sent me a message on signal “Tomorrow is supposed to be nice and the girls don’t want to do much. You and Maddex should go for a bike ride” Sounds like a great idea. I asked some co-workers for suggestions on places to go no more than 40Km away from Dublin. After work, I presented the options to Maddex. Maddex picked Ardgillan park north in Balbriggan near Skerries. Works for me for a destination. Friday night we charged up the helmets and bikes and mapped out a route. Saturday morning we packed up a snack then started some bike maintenance before we took off.

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Maddex getting ready to take the chain apart

My bike has 9 gears. Gear 9 is the gear facilitating the greatest speed and providing the most resistant. 8th gear is the gear I use the most. It would seem 8th gear has a life span of about 1100Km as it’s worn out needing to be replaced at that distance twice now. Last ride home from work the 8th gear started skipping again indicating the teeth on the gear 8 sprocket teeth are rounded off a bit. Before our ride today Maddex and I need to replace the sprocket cartridge.

We set the bike up on the repair stand and removed the rear wheel. While I was lubricating the rear wheel bearings and replacing the sprocket cartridge Maddex tested the chain with the chain stretch test tool thing. He determined the chain was too stretched and required replacing. I showed him how to use the pin extractor to remove a link and he did the rest of the chain replacement on his own. My little engineer getting his hands dirty working out how to fix things and fixing them.

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Chain tool worked out, punching out the pin to remove the chain

Now we ride and Park

The first leg of the trip we rode my usual commute route to work. First, stop of the day the new playground in the Lord Mayor Sean Moore’s park by the beach. Maddex made a friend, Thomas, age five, who followed him around the whole time trying to play with him. Maddex kind of acknowledged Thomas but did not interact much. The park has dual zip lines, a few nice slides, and a trampoline zone ankle killer things. We raced on the Ziplines, Maddex won, and jumped on the trampoline thing a bunch. A great new park, Thanks Dublin for adding amazing spaces for kids.

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Dual zip lines, we raced; Maddex beat me every time

Next stop, the park on north Wall Street near my work, Fairview park, to check out the skate park. The metal half and quarter pipes are a bit too steep and slippery for the bike. Maddex tried plenty before we came to that conclusion and carried on to the playground. No friends were made here but plenty of play took place. Griffith Park is our next stop. We were following the GPS which told us to turn right and head north, but Maddex saw green in the distance and the GPS said playground – We have no comitment to get anywher at any time, so we go strait towards the green.

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Top of a ramp at the skate park
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Spinning thing, Maddex loves to spin

Griffith is a nice park along a waterway, the Tolka river, with a playground and exercise zone in it. So far this morning I’ve heard Russian, German, Spanish and Italian spoken to kids in the parks. Always impressed by the commonality of play for kids no matter where you’re from. Maddex worked out, we played in the playground then walked by the river a bit. Next park, Albert college park. Total tease. They had a new fancy climbing thing and suicide swings all fenced off not open yet. Sad days we did not get to play on the killer toys.

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Workout park at Griffith park
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Griffith park
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New rope area all blocked off – sad days

IKEA for lunch +  Santry park

Maddex Quote after we left the letdown park heading north for some food “I love that we don’t have to be anywhere. We’re just riding and exploring for the adventure ”  About 2k from where the park I saw a Homebase in Santry with a subway and McDonalds in the parking lot that looked like a destination for lunch. When we were getting close to possible food Maddex Noticed Ikea off in the distance. Seeing Ikea he said “Dad lets go to Ikea for lunch! they have good fish” One of my kids picking somewhere besides McDonald to eat out; Yes, please.

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Sent this picture to Michelle – “Are you two at Ikea without me?” – Um, yes we are dear.

Meatballs for me and fish for Maddex with a side of raspberry cheesecake and apple crumble. We sat for lunch and quizzed each othe with some math problems. Maddex was into halves. Half of 87, Half of 333, and so on. He says math is his favorite subject in school. After lunch we walked around the kid section at Ikea a bit before getting back on the bikes to head north, well more east them north.

We left Ikea following the GPS off the main rode onto a creepy dark path that took us through Santry park which had brilliant play ground with one of those spinning balance tetter totter things we love. Sadly 210 vs 72 pounds did not math right aginst gravity and Maddex and I were not able to work out balancing on it together. We tried a few times but Gravity. MAddex did go for a ride with a girl about his size for a bit until her mom pushed too hard and she fall off; opps.

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Super fun rides

Leaving Santry park Maddex and I starting doing some math with the GPS and decided we’d dilly dallied too much and needed to start making our way home vs carriing on to our destination. We decided to head to Malahide Dart station and Dart to Booterstown then ride bikes up the hill home. On the way to the Dart station, we rode by Malahide Castle park. Next to the park, Maddex says “Dad remember how you always wanted to get a video of me going down the slide at Malahide” I don’t think I ever wanted that before but I wanted it now. While Maddex was running around I worked out the next Train time and set us a 20 minute timer before we needed to leave.

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Malahide park big slide in the background
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Malahide dart station

At the dart station Maddex asks “what’s the weather going to be tomorrow we need to go on another bike ride” I told him it was going to be raining tomorrow “How about next weekend can we go on another ride next weekend” he asks. I’m taking this as a good sign, Maddex likes the bike ride adventures. We’ll have to try to work in some more when the weather is dry. We played Text twister on the Dart ride to Booterstown. Off the dart, I carried my bike up the stairs over the track then back down the stairs to the exit. Maddex took the elevator – who is smarter?

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View of the ocean from Booterstown Dart station

6km up hill home from the Dart station home and another bike adventure has ended with about 65Km traveled by bike.

The rest of the pictures

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Maddex suited up ready to ride out
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Maddex playing some music thing at the Lord Mayors park
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Climbing thing at the Lord Mayors Park
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Crossing over the Draw bridge by Three arena
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Maddex about to drop in at the skate park
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Climbing thing at the tease park
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Playing with Trains at Ikea
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Maddex on top of the tower
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This thing spins
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Running around the dart like a crazed kid

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