Sunday, July 22, 2012

Trips To the State Line (Almost), The Park (Definitely), and The Dirt (Unfortunately)

There was rain this week so I only got to ride into work twice (although I did manage to stretch it out to 21 miles instead of just 13). Kate and her father are in Oregon visiting her grandmother.  Kate's mother is staying with the rest of us to watch the monkeys while Kate is gone.  Since the monkeys really like their grandmother, they are behaving better than usual (which, believe you me, is a very good thing).

My mother-in-law needed to go back up to her house yesterday, but graciously held off leaving until 8:30 a.m. so that I could go out for a quick ride.  I rode most of the way to New York state, turning around in Bethel, Connecticut.  It was almost 650 feet in altitude gain with some pretty serious hills just before I turned around.  I only averaged 12.7 mph, partly because the hills slowed me down so much climbing, but because they were in town, I couldn't safely zoom down them when I came back home. I was going to finish the ride with a pass up Flax Hill road, but I ran out of time (No, really, I ran out of time or I would have.  Stop snickering.)

A view of the rode in Bethel just after I turned around.

Today I packed both monkeys in the trailer and took them to a nearby park.  Last week I ended the ride pulling the little monkey in the trailer and I found that it wasn't much more (if any) effort than pulling the big monkey on the trail-a-bike.  But pulling them both in the trailer was actually kind of demoralizing as it was a lot harder than I remembered.  This ride only had 400 feet of elevation gain, but apparently we've been feeding them too much because I really felt it today. 

The monkeys had a good time being monkeys at the park (we even ran into other monkeys that we knew).  On the way home things were going well enough.  It was mostly uphill to the park, so it was mostly downhill on the way home.  Apparently that wasn't good enough as a mile from home, I decided to (er.. well..) hit the curb and fall over.

The trailer arm has a spring in it designed to make sure that it stays upright even if the bike falls over (I've unfortunately verified this feature works well in the past).  I fell onto the grass, but did it hard enough that I scraped up my elbow and arm somewhat.  The bike was mostly ok with the exception of breaking part of the plastic chain guard.  The crankset was half-buried in the dirt and it took me a couple minutes getting everything clean.

The broken plastic chain guard.

You hear a lot about how people in cars are a real problem for bicyclists.  I'm very pleased to report in this time I had the exact opposite experience.  I had several drivers pull over and make sure everybody was o.k.  To anybody who is ever in that situation, please do stop and ask. It's nice to know that most people out there will do the right thing when they need to. 

I picked myself off and dusted off my arm and my leg.  On the way home, the big monkey asked if I fell down just like the people on the TV (we have been watching the Tour de France).  "Yes baby girl.  Exactly like that."

The last couple weeks (with this fall and having issues with my front wheel last week) have been more exciting than I would have hoped.  Let's all be careful out there.

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