@ChadwickF & @Alan_1.0
Wow! Thank you! You made my day!
Well, we bought the neighbors’ car, then promptly sold it. It wasn’t something we wanted & the repairs were beyond my capability, so it was just as well. We have continued being car-free. I still rent a car or do a Getaround App borrow 1-2x a month for Costco or the odd freelance job too far to bike. I lucked out and got a Burley for $50 that I call my SUV for larger hauls, but most rely on my bike+panniers+bungee cords. I’ve installed racks on the teens’ bikes & even tightened up a brake cable or two, but leave the more intense stuff for Kenton Cycle until I can take a couple classes again someday. I was really looking forward to doing classes & reporting in them here and still want to someday.
I owe so much if my comfort and confidence to all of you here. The encouragement and advice was and still is what feeds me. I mean, I didn’t take all of it. I got earbuds with ambient sound and often listen to audiobooks on longer rides. Lol. And I did get my first real road rager that forced me off the road. That’s some permanent trauma. But even with that, I still take the lane more often than not, I ride with my kids all over, I’ve taught my teens to run to the store or Farmers Market for me… all in all it’s been pretty awesome.
Now for this winter: I’m going to have to up my waterproof pants game but also figure out better ventilation. I gave myself a lovely case of hoale rot last year sweating/school/rain/repeat, so need to figure that one out. I’ve designed some pants & a co-designing a face mask around these needs and those are in prototype phase. I tried a Japanese typewriter (super tight weave) cotton for the pants with reflective piping, and it is golden for the wind, but total fail for rain. So yeah. Working on that.
I’ve got the kids convinced the can ride or combo ride/trimet if school ever starts up again. They’ve been working in their distance- conditioning all summer. I’m kinda a stickler for leaving sidewalks for walkers/less able bodied, so there are times I’m more brave for the kids riding with me on the street than they are for themselves. It can be scary out there.
Last but not least, I’ve been exploring greenways more, without a destination. I’ve even gotten a bit lost. It’s really fantastic.
Oh! I found out the hard way you want to keep those fender guide wire tips covered. Filled my shoe with blood & took 3 deep stitches. Grace has never been my strength.
I applied for a job I didn’t get in East Vancouver, WA, and just to let you know, if I would have gotten it… I just would upgrade to an ebike for the commute.
So yeah. There are times, for like an hour, it’s a PITA to work out alternative transportation when I need it or need to haul kids to pediatrician/orthodontist/whatever, but it’s worth it. I never go running or miss the gym rats. My workout is built into my life. My kids are active, which is more challenging for patent with organized sports & play dates canceled. I’d say we are all more aware of our surroundings.
I’m rambling, but going back to winter for a second. One of the coolest things? We experience weather. It’s a wild realization how much humans insulate themselves (ourselves?) from weather. Here we are in the PNW with all the seasons of a temperature rainforest region, and how often do we spend hours in every type of weather? It’s life changing to be in all the weather. So on one hand, yeah, I’m tinkering with my waterproof pants option, on the other hand, I’m in no rush to re-insulate myself from it. I may wear earbuds (partially so I’m less neurotic about drivers after Mr. Angry), but I enjoy feeling everything around me.
So yeah. I miss you all too. You’d be so proud of me. I had physical therapy for 2 months… apparently you can have a pelvic floor that’s too tight… who knew? So when she asked me if my biking contributed, I could honestly say no. I ride properly and there little to no impact in that region.
Ok. Really am done rambling now.