Biking in Slushmaggedon

The snow is melting so I’ve stowed the mountain bike. Poor bike–last time it came out of hibernation was three and a half years ago when I got horribly lost in the Cottonwood Valley Trail System in Las Vegas and had to call home for a rescue. I think its previous ride was at least three years before that when I got lost from my group on Mammoth Mountain. I didn’t get lost yesterday or the day before so I guess the curse is broken. Should be safe to venture to the I-5 Colonnade with it and not get lost there, but maybe something as big as Duthie Hill should wait.

Our little street was very slushy this morning, but the forecast called for rain all day long so I set out on the Big Dummy with the expectation that I’d be able to get home easily after playing at REI for a few hours. The two blocks downhill to 40th were hard–I dragged a foot most of the way. I think I was more uncomfortable with the center-of-gravity shift than the less knobby tires. I didn’t wobble once. This is huge since I’ve nearly dropped the bike on its side several times in dry weather. This isn’t the fault of the bike, mind you, I keep trying to manipulate it like my old bike and it doesn’t work that way. It’s simple to treat a bakfiets like the cargo beast that it is, but the Big Dummy is so agile I forget it’s a lot heavier than my old bike with double the kid weight on the back.

I normally don’t like Eastlake since it’s so busy, but that made it perfect for today. The relatively heavy car traffic had melted two strips into the road. One of the strips was even the bike lane…not that the cars cared. The ride didn’t feel dangerous and the few cars that caught up to us passed safely on the left using the center turn lane. I pulled over once at a clear side street to let cars pass. A man standing outside near his pickup truck offered us a lift and asked if we were just out for the sake of taking a ride. I assured him we were doing fine and he offered one more time before traffic cleared and we waved and carried on.

REI was packed, but the bike rack was all mine. I wanted to get a sled–not because I like sledding, but because I wanted to transport something big and bulky. I have yet to do any really exciting cargo transporting. Fortunately for my wallet, REI was out of sleds, but we found some clearance snow boots and replaced the four-year old’s stolen gloves. The new gloves aren’t as long as the previous pair, but the Swix Fun Split Mittens make me chuckle.

We hung out at the play area for a long time, watching the rain wash the snow out of the trees and headed home just as the deluge let up. Eastlake was slightly better on the way home, though it was still an on-foot negotiation getting from the sidewalk down to the street. My street was better, too, but I hit it from above in case the slush hadn’t washed away. I think uphill may have been easier in terms of riding in a straight line. I had to put a foot down several times as I veered into slush. I hadn’t previously realized it’s hard to hold a straight line on the Big Dummy. Seems I have a lot of adapting to do with the new bike still.

In very exciting news, the little guy was warm enough today. I don’t think it was much warmer than our last non-trailer ride so maybe the sunglasses add that little bit of shielding he needs.

4 thoughts on “Biking in Slushmaggedon

  1. The first pic in this post… the one throughout the tree… is excellent. Also, I’ve thought about strapping a watch to my handlebars but the motorcycle clock is legit. I kinda want one… maybe one of the “doubles” with a clock and thermometer.

    • I’d love to add a thermometer, too! I bet a motorcycle shop would have some in stock–and perhaps even cheaper ones. I want a clock on every bike now…but the others will get wrist watches if anything.

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