Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ahhh we went to a birthday party in the park today, on the park that is along the way to my university. It was drizzling when we set out, and it drizzled through the whole party. We had cake, yoga, and the kids burst a pinata, all in the dry shade of the large trees. M and Z both went in the splash pad and got thoroughly soaked. Then as the party drew to a close the drizzle turned to a downpour, and we found ourselves bicycling home through the pouring rain. It was so invigorating! I truly had such a marvelous time. Most of the way was along the bike path, which was all but deserted, and the lush greenery with rain coming down was so cooling and refreshing, and beautiful. M rode the whole way in her bathing suit. Along the streets, we were riding uphill and water was rushing downhill past us along the side of the bike lane, water pouring down through pathways on roofs and eavestroughs. Wonderful. And I have disc brakes on the bike, which are amazing and it feels as secure to ride in the rain as it does when it is dry. Stopping is no different, thank goodness.

I can say this summer that I really feel like I have lived it, I feel that I have thoroughly enjoyed the season and been more in touch with the goings on of the weather than I have in years past. And there is something so magical about being on the bicycle. I notice I write a lot about riding the bike on this blog, moreso than taking transit or walking, which we also do a fair bit of. I was thinking today that bicycling is the only form of exercise that I can truly say I enjoy, I feel so alive and at peace whizzing along through town or the trails on the bicycle, children aboard behind me. And my kids are so happy on the bike. Even if Z is fussy and demanding, strap her in the baby seat and set off, and suddenly she is content and quiet, watching the world go by and enjoying the 'whee' feeling of bicycling.

I also talked with a friend who bicycles year round. She gave me tips about layering and reassured that the bicycle lanes along the streets are usually clear, although she doesn't usually take trails so isn't sure about that. I am in no way sure that we can bike through winter, but I would like to go as late in the season as we possibly can.

After drying us off, I dried the Xtracycle as thoroughly as I could. The baby seat was sopping wet, to the point that I took the seat cushion and wrung it, and tons of water came out. I undid the straps on the longtail bags to let them hang free, and took a towel to all the steel parts and screws of the bike. I read something ominous about how one must dry the Xtracycle when it gets wet, or a certain part of it will rust, but my mechanical knowledge is so limited that I have no idea what part. So I dried it all, and I hope I got whatever part was the important bit.

1 comment:

  1. I bike to work (dropping kids at school/daycare) right through the winter in Oregon. I'm not car-free, though -- I'm most likely going to use the car to go to the store on a winter evening.

    It *is* rainy, though. The part that rusts is where the posts on the v-rack fit into the holes down by the wheels, if that makes sense. I have always followed the instructions to dry off the posts to prevent rusts, but when I took my bike for a tuneup, I found that the rack had rusted in place anyway. So now, every once in a while (but not every time it rains) I take the whole rack, snapdeck and freeloaders off, dry everything, and leave it all separated to fully dry overnight.