Sunday, May 24, 2020

Memorial Day 2020 - Family Ride

What can you do during a pandemic on Memorial Day Weekend? Well, I did a good run yesterday (6 miles in Minuteman National Historical Park. I'll probably do the same tomorrow.

Today, though, we did a family bike ride, all four of us. And what a ride! The day was gorgeous, if a little chilly. We left the house right on time at 9am and rode up the Minuteman trail to the end. It was pretty crowded between Arlington and Lexington - sometimes uncomfortably so. We were all masked up and still warming up a bit, and I wasn't sure how the day would go. But once the crowds thinned out, we picked up the pace, everyone was having fun, and it was clear that we were in for a nice day.

From the end of the bike path in Bedford, we rode up Railroad Ave towards Concord, which eventually merged onto Rt 62 into Concord Center, and then another short shot to the Old North Bridge Visitors' Center. We had a short diversion to the Great Meadow Lookout tower and admired the lovely views there. There seems to be an easy, direct route to our destination from there, but no bikes allowed unfortunately.

We found a great shady spot under a tree and set up our picnic. There were a good number of people there, but not crowded by any means, and everyone kept their distance and pretty much behaved as far as I could see. I'd filled one entire pannier with goodies, including pretzels, sandwiches, Wegman's Picnic Chicken, Fig Newmans, carrots, grapes, and apples.

We stayed there eating and relaxing for about 90 mins before finally heading home. The ride out was about 15 miles, and everyone did really great! It was another 13 home, and some of us struggled a bit - but no substantial complaining, and everyone was very pleased with themselves at the end.

All the bikes also behaved well - and Kim was on her 18-year-old Fahrrad Manufaktur, which I dusted off just the other day! She'll have her new Rivendell soon - then we can avoid lots of the roads we were stuck on today by using the Narrow Gauge Trail and the Reformatory Branch Trail.

What threatened to be the biggest challenge of the day was all the public bathrooms being closed. I was super worried about that, but we managed fine. I unreservedly made use of hidden spots off the side of the road, and the girls held out until finally succumbing at the Lexington Cumberland Farms.

Awesome day all round!

Friday, May 22, 2020

The Christiania's New Home

So, it was only a matter of time before we outgrew our wonderful Christiania cargo trike. The girls were too big to ride in it, and it really wasn't practical to use it around town. I knew another family would make good use of it, so I tried selling it here and there.

No results for ages. But then in February of 2016, I saw an email on a Boston family cycling Google Group:
Anyone out there looking to sell their Christiania cargo bike (or similar trike) this spring or summer by any chance? It's a long shot, but I thought I might get lucky with this group.
What? Incredible. And a dozen or so emails and $1200 later, a nice young family pulled up with a rented van, and it was gone.

Then six months later, I got a lovely email from them with a handful of pictures.
Hope you and your family are well! I just wanted to drop you a line to say we are LOVING the Christiania. We are all moved into our new place in Pittsford, NY and ride the trike to the library, bakery, dairy, and up and down the Erie Canal daily. We get all kinds of nice comments and questions (as I'm sure you did too!)--a great conversation starter in a new place. It's been so much fun--and man, a great thigh workout too! I'm sharing a few pics so you can see what your old ride is up to these days. Thanks again!
I'd love to ride the Erie Canal path with the fam. Maybe we'll make it up to the Rochester area one of these days and run across these guys.

What? A new post!

After AGES, I'm back. I'm also going to start focusing on cycling again. And some running I guess.

One bright side of the ridiculous quarantine situation we're in is that (like many others) am eating better, sleeping more, and getting a lot more exercise. Which has included running every day since February (3-9 miles per day). I did a nice ride last weekend and a really good one today before work - so I'm hoping to get 20+ miles on the bike in at least 3 times per week starting today.

I've been really inspired recently because:

It's springtime (okay, now summer!)! It's relatively easy to run a few miles in gruesome weather, but sunny skies and dry surfaces are really much more conducive to biking.

I've been helping Gemma clear out the attic, which includes literally hundreds of back issues of cycling mags. Turns out we brought at least 5 years' worth of Cycling Plus magazine back with us from London. It's such a good magazine.... I had a lot of fun last weekend poring over back issues - including March 2004, with the first full review of the Raven Adventure Tour. That's the review that sparked my obsession with the Rohloff derailleur and ultimately ended up with me going up to Somerset and being fitted for my very own Raven.

The girls are now both reasonably cyclists, and they have nice Specialized hybrid bikes - they should be able to keep up with me on most any adventure I should dream up, I should think.

And I just (minutes ago!) ordered a new Rivendell for Kim to replace her beloved Betty Foy. (Why? It's a long story, which I hope to tackle another day). I'm sure that she's going to LOVE her new Clem Smith L, when it arrives in July! Rivendell put them on sale at 3pm today, and I'm pretty sure I was one of the very first buyers. No need for a seat or pedals - Betty will be the organ donor. Here it's a pic from the Rivendell website - what a beaut!

More to come!