I'm in a mood to complain so although everything is going well, here were some of my rougher moments this week.
This first happened while I was heading out to work last Wednesday. I was teaching a bike clinic about how to choose a bike that fits and thought that the HaulaDay would be a fun bike to show off. I hadn't tried getting it on the Light Rail before but I leave early so as long as I could get it up the stairs, I was sure there'd be enough room.
Turned out to work just fine! I was able to hoist the bike up and get it onboard. I was feeling great! However, when I got off the bike to transfer to the shuttle, I realized that the HaD seemed a bit long for the bike rack. It was the standard design but the back wheel was hanging out a bit more than I felt comfortable. It was a pain in the butt to get onto the rack, too. I had my fingers crossed as I boarded the bus and as we turned out of the parking lot. All of a sudden, I saw the back wheel bounce up and go down. I screamed out and the bus driver, calm as could be, slowly made her way to the edge of the road. I was grateful the HaD hadn't jumped off the bus to be run over but was freaked out. The bike was caught by the chain and I couldn't get it off the rack until the bus driver finally came out to help. She wasn't worried and thought I should put the bike back on the rack but I decided to ride and not risk it again.
The school was six miles away and last time I had ridden there, I had gotten stuck by a terrible stretch of really busy street without a shoulder. This time, I found the route that took me almost all the way via the Folsom south canal. It was a beautiful ride.
On my way back, I chose to ride again and found some new trails around Rancho Cordova. No damage to the bike and some great exploring, I guess I can't complain too much.
So, while the HaulaDay works on the Light Rail, using it on the bus seems to need some more practice. I could still shorten the frame another inch or so to make it shorter. Other Twitter suggestions included using a bungee cord to add support because the bus arms aren't designed to hold down a small wheel as well. I'm not giving up on getting the HaD on the bus, yet, but I'll be more prepared next time.
My most recent bike headache came at the end of a great Kidical Mass ride. We had 37 riders show up (although we had to turn away one family because they wouldn't put helmets on their kids. That's a tricky guideline to enforce). We met at Marie's Donuts for some sugary treats.
We even had a couple of middle schoolers who are part of an afterschool bike club run by my friend and fellow LCI, Arlete. The ride was about 2 miles and we had eight kids on their own bikes, including my own two monsters. There was one unfortunately horribly-behaved woman driver who didn't like us "in her way" but the trip was otherwise just fine.
Fairytale Town was great. It was a beautiful day and the kiddos ran off their donut-highs.
I should have realized that Little Brother had gotten to his limit. He had already ridden about 4 miles plus running around all day. As we rode back, there is a stretch without a bike lane but the road is still wide enough to share. I was struggling to keep Little Brother from riding too fast and getting Big Brother to keep up (seriously, that is my problem with both kids riding together). Luckily, Jarrod and his family were riding back with us. I was giving LB directions to get closer to the curb when we were overtaken by a Prius. The driver cut back earlier and closer to LB than I expected and it scared me enough to yell out for LB to pull over. He got confused and stopped in the street. I was too overwhelmed and told him he needed to get in the Bullitt because he just wasn't listening to my instructions well enough. Instead of coming over to me, he took off down the sidewalk and I couldn't catch him. He finally came back and reluctantly got in the box with his bike. Thirty seconds of crying and then he was fast asleep.
I'd forgotten the difficulties of new riders and letting them go too far (physically and mentally). Juggling both kids wih their differing speeds, attitudes, and skill-levels is really exhausting! I'm hoping they sleep well tonight so we can all recharge.