One area I had planned to mention, but completely failed to write about was the new bike.
This process began back on Nate’s birthday when he received a “big boy bike”. Throughout the summer, he’s become more and more comfortable riding it. About a month ago he spotted my bicycle on the rack in the basement and asked if I wanted to ride my bike with him. I looked at the thick layer of dust on the frame and the crunchy rubber tires and said doubtfully, “Well, we can try.”
So a bit of background on this bike. This bike came to me as a gift from my parents when I was a teenager… a fairly young teenager. It was used when I got it, I’d estimate at least ten years. It is what today is referred to as a “vintage ten-speed”: massive steel tubing, utilitarian but robust equipment, standard flat pedals with the built-in yellow reflectors, friction lever shifters on the steering column and relatively wide hybrid tires. This was a dream machine at that age. It was to a 14 year old what a cherry red mustang is to an 18 year old. Shiny painted freedom.
Over the high school years this bike underwent multiple upgrades, new shifters, a front and back generator driven light set, a gel seat. It was completely stripped, overhauled and repainted with primer and sparkly metallic blue paint. This was my primary mode of personal transport until after I graduated from high school. 
I don’t remember taking the bike to college, but when I reached graduate school it became a significant transport again. New tires, tuneups and the best maintenance no money could buy kept it in working trim. Hampton, VA, was far from a bike friendly environment, but I was in my early 20’s and cars didn’t scare me. That was 1997.
The bike has essentially sat idle since then with only a few rare exceptions.
So, I haul the battleship upstairs and hook up the compressor. I eye the tires warily as the cracks in the sidewalls expand revealing the weave inside… one holds… the other holds…
So we ride around the neighborhood and all seems well. Oh yes, the rims are so bent that the tires roll unevenly, the brakes pulse horribly… but we make it around and Nate is thrilled. A few days later we discover that one of the tubes has given up the ghost. No problem, I have a spare in my seat bag. Somehow, the spare is soft and supple. The installation goes relatively smoothly… except for the crumbling bits of tire which come off of the bead. We get another ride around the neighborhood. Now K and the kids go out of town, and I decide to use my after work freedom for a bike ride. I check the tires, saddle up and head out around the lake (about a 12 mile total ride). It’s all going rather well, although I’m noticing that the rear tire has begun to bulge in a worrisome way. Just before the awesome downhill reward… the tire starts losing pressure. I abuse the increasingly flattening tire all the way down the hill and it’s completely shredded by the time I reach the bottom. No problem, it’s only a two mile walk and the evening is still young. After some friends help me haul the old horse home, it’s clear I’ll be needing a new bike. Sure, new tires, wheels, brakes and possibly shifters and it could be a passable cruiser… but it’s so far past its prime and the gearing just isn’t high enough. 
So a scoop of Craigslist and a dash of research and I pick up a ~10 year old GT ZR-4000. It’s far from high end by road biking standards, but it’s in great shape with some add-ons: updated seat, clipless pedals and a bike computer. Bike shoes, cleats, Presta valve adapter and new helmet later and I’m feeling like a teenager again. 
Yesterday morning ride: 27 hilly (1100 ft of variation) miles including two fairly brutal hill climbs. One is about a mile at 5% grade, the other is a mile at 7-8%. The downhills were long and steady with one spot where I reached 45 mph.
Elevation profile from MapMyRun