Let grace, mercy, and peace be with us in truth and love from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, Son of the Father!
2 John 1:3
Yesterday Ian and I drove to Providence, RI, to ride on the East Bay Bicycle Path (here’s my GPS route of the ride). The drive took a very, very long time because, with Charlotte hanging off the back of the car, we take no risks and don’t drive on the freeway. For local bike paths that works fine, but it took us a couple hours to get to the 14.5-mile-long trail yesterday — that’s with, of course, the obligatory getting totally lost in Rhode Island experience.
We arrived at the parking area about 12:45, unloaded all our stuff — which included our big picnic basket full of delicious lunch items, lots of water, and, of course, my camera — and then loaded most of it onto my bike. As you look at the pictures, notice my bike. I bungee-corded the picnic basket securely to the back and then loaded the panniers with miscellaneous stuff, and along the way I got a number of comments on the bike, many along the lines of “I need one of those!” or just plain “Whoa!” This was the first time we really used the Xtracycle for something you couldn’t do with a normal bike, and it performed beautifully: No handling issues whatsoever, aside from the added stopping/starting difficulties inherent to hauling heavy loads.
The rail trail turned out to be much narrower and more heavily frequented than I expected; and the people tended towards the older, unsteadily-wobbling rider rather than the small child accompanied by parent, which is what we’re used to seeing. This meant that, even though we only averaged 11.7 mph over 27 miles, we still ended up passing tons of people and getting stuck behind many of them riding at about 7 mph for long periods of time. That was OK, though, because we’d spent all that time driving down there, so we didn’t want to rush through the experience. In the spirit of not rushing, we stopped several times on the way out and back for me to take the following pictures.
We also stopped at The Fruity Cow for refreshments partway along the way home. This meant a smoothie-esque drink for Ian and a mint chocolate chip ice cream cone for me. We stood around to give our rear ends a bit of a break from the whole sitting deal.
When we got back to the parking lot, we rode on a little bit farther to complete the entire rail trail. This involved going down, and then back up again, a hill that felt pretty big to Ian after having already ridden 26.5 miles. I found that hauling my moderately-loaded bike up the hill did require some of the lower gears I rarely use otherwise. Despite the hill, we deemed the ride a success and took the following remarkably cheerful picture in triumph.