Solo to SODO

I met some seasoned friends at the Goodwill Outlet for my first visit to “the bins.” This was also my first time to take the Yepp PeaPod III off the FlightDeck Adapter–wow, it was easy! I know, I’ve had the bike a month and should have figured out all (or at least some!) of its intricacies on day one, but I needed the impetus of the possibility of transporting something big and cheap.

In addition to feeling sporty and aerodynamic (don’t laugh, I know I’m still more elephant than cheetah on this bike), it was amazing how quiet the ride was. This was the longest solo ride I’ve taken–50 minutes there (that includes getting lost time, by the way) with no constant chatter. My biggest revelation was that I retained most of my directions and was able to notice and remember things from the trip. It was my first time on the SODO Trail, which isn’t very scenic…unless you’re a fan of light rail trains and buses. LIGHT RAIL TRAINS AND BUSES! I’m not sure I’ll take the boys down here, though, because while the light rail train is surprisingly quiet, I happened to hit an intersection as the barriers were coming down and the alarms that accompanied it were so loud, I was a bit scared.

My getting lost detour was because I couldn’t see street signs from the SODO Trail and I missed my turnoff, but it was great to see the entire mile of bike path. It’s so wonderful to discover all these separated paths around town. I passed by Velo Transit as I made my way back on track. I recognize the logo, but didn’t realize they were a local company making waterproof packs and bags for bike commuting. They weren’t open, but a guy inside noticed me stop to take a look and came out to say hi.

The bins were overwhelming, but yielded some great finds, including 130 Mega Bloks and this sweet bikey tie:

I don’t know anyone who’d wear the tie, but I saw it as I was on my way to checkout and couldn’t help but grab it. When paying by the pound, one tie is essentially free, after all. My three bags of spoils were $10.70, though I didn’t find anything bulky enough to bungee to the top of the FlightDeck. I hadn’t expected to find bike parking at the bins, but there was a bike rack right by the door. There was even a bike already parked there which made leaving my bike unattended a little less scary. And as I was loading up to leave, a guy outside recognized my bike as a Big Dummy for the first time. I don’t think it’s just that I haven’t put the stickers (other than the head badge) back on, there just aren’t a lot of small Big Dummy frames out there so people aren’t accustomed to see the curveless top tube.

I stopped in at Ride Bicycles on the way home to talk to Edward about a front spring (waiting on a bracket thingy big enough to fit around my hefty frame), chain guard (still being researched), move my saddle back a centimeter, and move the kiddie seat adapter a notch. I don’t know if having the kiddie seat all the way back will make it easier to fill up the FreeLoaders, but it seems worth a try. And I’ve noticed an interesting thing about the Brooks saddle: it’s perfectly comfortable if I’m riding with just one kid, but if I’ve got both kids and both balance bikes (close to 100 pounds) aboard and I’m tired, it feels a little off. I’m curious if this holds true for other Brooks saddle enthusiasts. I’d like see how they like things dragging a hundred pounds of cargo around.

My final stop was the grocery store since I still had some available cargo space. If I’d left the kid seat on, I probably would have purchased one more bag of groceries and buckled it in there. I’m not sure what the lesson is there…

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2 thoughts on “Solo to SODO

  1. One of my New Year Resolutions is to comment more on the blogs I read daily.
    Hello!
    Love your big dummy.
    I have “the bins” on my list to experience. Nice to know you can park a bike there safely. (:

    That tie is a SCORE! Maybe you can use it for a belt, or maybe one of the salmon would like to wear it on an outing.

    I have a brooks flyer S and that things feels weird every time I sit upon it, load or no. Mostly it feels fine so I don’t worry about it. One thing I have noticed is that even a qtr. inch of change in the seat post height can change it’s feel. I have no doubts that you are getting a different feel with extra load on your ride.

    • Hey, that’s *my* resolution! Thanks for the comment :)

      I don’t know if I should endorse the parking as safe, but I fared OK that one time. Apparently it’s a thing to post videos of people patiently waiting until “go!” to dive into new bins as they arrive on the floor so search for that on YouTube to prepare yourself for the mayhem.

      Thanks for the seat height tip. Ideally, I like my seat probably higher than it should be, but on the mamabikes I keep it a bit on the low side so I can more easily reach the ground–seems safer. I think I can spare a centimeter so that’ll be my next adjustment if it still doesn’t feel perfect.

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