It’s April! That means 30 Days of Biking and biking every day and hopefully blogging about it each day.
The weather was nice today, though cooler than yesterday, so it seemed the perfect day to take a big bike ride. I ran the idea by my kids yesterday and they were game. We’d bike up Mount Tabor, our little local volcano. It helped that it’s the same distance as our practice run to middle school the other day. They’ve been up to the top once, when I carried them up testing the Surly Big Easy e-assist longtail cargo bike, and they biked partway up once, when we watched the Portland Adult Soapbox Derby.
The roads within the park are closed to cars temporarily to give space for social distancing on foot and bike so riding in the park was really nice! I have a great route up that’s a bit steep at the beginning, but otherwise the flattest way up, as well as the most scenic and least potholey.
The kids made it all the way up! My 12-year old (on the blue bike) had to rest several times since he hasn’t been biking regularly since last June, but back then when he was biking to and from school I think he could have made it up without stopping. My 10-year old had a mishap (his bike toppled onto him while he was waiting at the top for his brother and me to catch up) so I got to carry him the last little flat bit. I simply twisted a GearTie around his top tube, lashing it to my Xtracycle Hooptie rear bar, but I have my tow hitch attached (I normally don’t keep it attached because we all tend to bang our shins on it while walking around my beast of a bike) for any kid bike hauling of significant distance.
There were a lot of people in the park, all giving adequate space to one another. Two employees from the parks department walked from group to group and gave reminders about social distancing from people not in your same households. We read and snacked in the shade for quite a while before heading home, with a brief stop to snag a free tandem (tandem! the rare two-kids tagalong) Adams trail-a-bike that I had admired on the ride up a block before the park (and therefore a block before the significant climbing started), but opted to only carry on the way down. It’s not for us–I tried one once and crashed into a rose bush so Joe will bring this one to the WashCo Bikes nonprofit bike shop in Hillsboro and the right family will find it there. The last time I towed one of these (April, 2013) I also had the kids on board and it was not easy, but today was a breeze!
Seven years ago:
Today’s ride was great, but given that we didn’t get out on bikes yesterday (yep, I’ve missed another day of 30 Days of Biking) and we took another big, multi-hour adventure of a ride, I wonder if I should try to get into the habit of taking smaller, simpler rides. I had also toyed with the idea of taking a smaller bike so I could keep up better and trust that I wouldn’t need to carry the kids at all…but then today we found that trail-a-bike so I would have missed out on that!
On this day in 2016 we were visiting friends in Minneapolis for spring break. The whole week was amazing! Being in the birthplace of 30 Days of Biking during 30 Days of Biking was amazing! The 11th was the day we went to Mall of America. We borrowed an Xtracycle from Perennial Cycles (thanks Luke!) for the week and biked to the light rail downtown, though I had read about people who biked the whole way to MOA.
Today’s miles: 9.5
Yesterday’s miles: 0
Days missed: 2
Total April miles: 53.8