We rode over to coffee to meet up with Madi, Kath, and Sarah. The bike was feeling more natural and easier (relative, it's still a beast!) to ride, especially with Kath's special mostly-flat routes.
After playing bikes, we were all starving so Kath led us over the the food trucks. The kids could run around a bit and we shoved our faces full of delicious crepes. By the end of the day, we were tired and cold but we had BionX! Being unfamiliar with the neighborhoods and routes, having the assist gave me so much more confidence to ride longer distances and more often. We didn't use much assist while we were riding around town with Kath and crew, usually around level one or two, just enough to offset the weight of the system and the kids. However, on the way home, I decided to just go for it and cranked it up to level four and took Google's route home which ended up being just about 5 miles of steady uphill and a couple of steeper grades. We took the hills at about 13-15mph and I wasn't even out of breath. It was a blast! Made it home in about 30 minutes, about half the time it took to get us there on the Kr8 (which had been downhill).
Even though I had only used about 1/10th of the battery life from the day before, I topped it up overnight to have a full charge for the day. I was getting used to the main bike boulevards Clinton and Everett/Davis but still found myself in weird locations on occasion.
I was following Google's route, again, and in unfamiliar territory. We got into some trouble when we were suddenly faced with an incredibly steep downhill that ended at a very busy and dangerous crossroad. I debated our options for a few seconds before I turned us around and pushed the bike to face uphill again and find a safer route. If we had been on a different bike, I wouldn't have been able to get us out of that situation. We finally made it back to the condo, cold and wet but happy. The boys peeled off their layers and plopped themselves by the heater while I plugged in the BionX and tried to warm up before I had to leave to go out again that evening. The trip up Tabor and our circumventing route back had taken a chunk out of the battery finally.
We're now back home after 11.5 hours in the car. The kids were so patient and helpful. I'm looking forward to getting back to my best bike friend, Babe the Blue HaulaDay. I'm also really excited to know that I have some more exciting adventures already planned for next year that will take me back up to Portland! Thanks, PDX!