Hawkes Bay NZ Water trail

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Making riding part of your life

Summer's over, so time to return to blogging.

Being laid up by my ankle break, I missed riding so much, I forced myself back on the bike in May. My ankle continues to hurt at times, but you get used to it and it does seem to hurt less and less. For the first months, I swapped out my cleated pedals for flat ones so I could ride in shoes, and I walk up a lot more hills pushing the bike than I used to.

Currently I'm participating in King County's InMotion program, which rewards local residents with prizes for driving less and doing more by bike, bus and walking.

Challenges like this are fun, and Seattle's 3-month run of unbroken sunshine makes it easy. Because it's not a stretch for me to do errands by bike, I'm deliberately planning complex rides across town. I did two great trips this week. Tuesday, I rode downtown, took the King County Water Taxi to Alki (bikes travel free), took the free shuttle to Alaska Junction in West Seattle, and rode to a cooking class at a natural foods store. The return trip, at 9:30pm, was too late for a return on the water taxi, so I used the new Metro Rapid Ride, "C" and "D" routes, and then rode the last mile home. Not too many drunks on the night bus, and it took about an hour.

Yesterday, I rode through the University district to Montlake station, hoisted the bike down the stairs, and rode Sound Transit across Lake Washington to Bellevue. The return was from Bellevue Transit Center to downtown, finished with a return home by bike.

On both days I used William the Conqueror, the baby bike that draws a lot of interest. Metro buses have bike racks, but they don't fit my bike with tiny wheels. And the folding bike is certainly a lot less hassle to wheel onto escalators and out of the bus tunnel. A Brompton is designed for this sort of travel.

Still, I continue to tour, and did manage one good one. In May I took William for a week long trip in Southern Utah. I flew SW Airlines, so there were no bag fees for the cardboard box I cut to size to transport the bike. With a rental car, I had a great time riding and car camping in Zion and Bryce National Parks. Certain parts of each park are closed to private cars, so cyclists can ride some of the best scenic routes out there. Everyone else is stuck in the mandatory park bus.