Seventeen Miles

January 28, 2015

Sunday’s weather was the most spring-like of our recent warm spell. 60 degrees, dry… much nicer than we have a right to expect in January. We took advantage and made it a car-free day for the kids. In the morning, we biked to Alex’s soccer game. In the afternoon, we biked to Gas Works Park. All told, it was seventeen miles of biking, which I think is a record for Alex. He’s getting bigger and his biking is getting better. I had to raise his seat, and he consistently beats me up hills. (In my defense, I am pulling a heavier bike and 55 pounds of red-headed dead weight up those hills.) Alex’s legs & butt handled the miles well. However, his saddle is now higher than his handlebars, and that took its toll on his arms and back. I’ll adjust his handlebar height before our next long ride.

Sunday I also discovered a new family bike formation that works much better for us. In the past, we always rode with Alex in the front, and I’d follow with Patrick on the cargo bike. I felt confident in this formation because I could keep an eye on Alex as we rode. When we rode to Gas Works on Sunday, though, we had to navigate several detours on the Burke Gilman trail. Rather than call out instructions to Alex to make sure he went the right way, I simply said, “Follow me!” and rode in front. It was a little nerve-wracking at first because I couldn’t see him, but the longer I rode the more I became convinced this was the better way to ride. Not only was it easier to guide Alex through turns and intersections, I also got to set a consistent pace — a skill he hasn’t mastered. This way of riding was also more entertaining for both kids. Patrick wound up sitting backwards on the deck of the cargo bike, facing Alex, so it was easy for the two of them to talk to each other as we rode. We must have made quite the sight on the trail.

Monday was the last day of nice weather, so we biked to and from school… something we haven’t done since the darkness of winter descended. All told, that means we went more than 48 hours without putting the kids in a car. Not bad for the middle of winter. I’m sure we’ll beat that streak when good weather comes in earnest.

Yellow, Red

Patrick climbing at Gas Works.

Sparring Partners

Nice weather on a Sunday at Gas Works? Of course there are people wearing armor and fighting!

Bike to school in January

Getting ready to bike home.