Friday, April 11, 2008

The Bicycle Commuting Diaries: Maiden Voyage

Day: 199
Time: 2 hours or so
Distance: Across South Denver and back
Avg Speed: Stop and go
Terrain: Urban

It’s been almost a year since the last installment of the Bicycle Commuting Diaries. In the previous post I shared the accident I had with a BOB trailer. I escaped with minimal injuries but I have not pulled a trailer since. Today I got back on that horse and took one of our new “Yaks” out for its maiden voyage.
It wasn’t an especially nice day today but we needed to run errands and get some exercise. We watched the weather alternate between sun and snow showers all morning but decided to brave “springtime in the Rockies”. After changing into our cool riding gear and switching out rear quick releases, we ventured out into south suburban Denver. Chris pulled the trailer first and we worked our way to the first stop: the post office.
It’s amazing how different a very familiar place becomes on a bike, and on the side of the road. We put our recently acquired urban riding skills to the test as we navigated our way through several intersections along Kipling St. We took turns pushing the crosswalk buttons and caught some interesting looks out of the corner of our eyes. It couldn’t have been the big yellow flag sticking up from the back of the trailer…
After mailing off our applications for Nepalese visas, we continued east to drop off Chris’ new wheel. DT Swiss, the company who manufactured the rim, was kind enough to send a replacement right away and we didn’t want to waste any time getting it rebuilt. After a few calls, Chris found Arapahoe Cyclery and made plans to drop off the wheel. From the post office, we plotted a course through city streets and paved pathways. Meanwhile, the skies to the west were becoming increasingly dark. I shouted back to Chris “I’m guessing we’ll get snowed on before this ride is over”.
Our circuitous path finally brought us to the bike shop. In a matter of five minutes we were back outside the store; it had taken almost an hour and a half to get there. I guess commuting by bike is mostly a labor of love. Luckily, there was a fabric store right next to the bike shop. We were relieved that we could accomplish the next item on our “to do” list so easily. We popped in and Chris got more supplies to turn his bicycle helmet into a sombrero. By the time we got back outside to the bikes it was snowing. Go figure. We mounted up and Chris yelled “WHITE SQUALL!” as we rode out of the parking lot.
The ride home was uneventful. I pulled the trailer and can say that I made it back to home base without incident. You see, this time, I read the directions and I now know how to avoid crashing with the BOB trailer.

Happy Spring,

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