A lovely day in Christchurch today, and I went back to McLean's Island to try out the track on my new bike.
There were a few more people around than the last time I was there, including quite a few families with young children, as well as the gnarly expert riders.
All went well as I headed off on the Coringa loop, I got passed by a couple of bikes, and I even passed a couple myself (hard to believe but true). I ended up behind a woman and her daughter (I'm guessing here), and we were all traveling at about the same speed.
We came up to a family group that had stopped in the middle of nowhere. The parents and a child or two were off to one side of the track. But, 10 meters further on, there were 3 young children stopped in the middle of the track in line abreast. There was a small gap between child 2 and 3, maybe about 30cm.
The two in front of me went through the gap, and I slowed down and aimed for it too. As I went through I felt contact with my right pedal, just a wee clipping of the child to my right. I thought it was very slight, but as I carried on, I looked back and he was down and I felt very bad. By the time I realised, I was quite a distance down the track, and it didn't seem reasonable to try to go back on a one-way track.
So, I hope the child was ok, and not too traumatised. In retrospect, knowing my abilities, I should have stopped and walked the bike through.
It does seem unreasonable to let your children stop in the middle of the track, effectively blocking it. Even if they had been two abreast it would have been ok. So maybe the parents need to think a bit too.
But I know that if I had been there with a young child and another adult knocked them off their bike then I would be upset - so I am sorry.
I'm still learning about mountain biking and today was another lesson.