All throughout the recent clear, calm weather, we’ve discussed getting our bikes out to the road and riding to town. Typically, we finally got around to it on the one day it rained.
We would ride our bikes more often, but we store them at the end of our property nearest the road. That means they sit under a tarp in the middle of the forest, where they miraculously survive the winters without being crushed by falling trees, or rusting to pieces. We have to push and carry them about a half mile down the trail to the beach, then, in order to keep them out of the salty water and grit, we carry them across the bay. Keeping them handy for travel means finding a place to stash them on the edge of the mud flats, trusting that no one will walk off with them or damage them. It’s not extremely difficult, it’s just far easier to find excuses not to. But, with local gas prices slightly below $5/gallon, it was high time we made the effort.
Saturday we finally did it. We saw rain developing as we left the homestead, but decided to at least get the bikes to the road, then take it from there. After we made it that far, we decided to go for it.
We learned that, until we get used to the trip, it takes just over an hour to town from Mud Bay. I’m proud to say that I pedaled up all the hills, which slowed us down some. Michelle pushed her bike up most of the hills, and I couldn’t help notice that walking her bike, she was slightly faster than I in low/low gear.
Going home was a different matter. We loaded my cargo-hauling Xtracycle with groceries and supplies, which added considerable weight. I couldn’t pedal up all the hills on the way back. We arrived soaked (the rain only really stopped during a visit to friends in town) and tired, but still had the strength to pack most of the load home. We made sure we took plenty of pain relievers before going to bed. The next morning, we were fine, feeling no unusual aches or pains.
We’d hoped to see if Michelle might commute to her job by bike, but adding two hours to the work day seems a bit excessive. However, now I know that I can get to town in a reasonable amount of time, independently of the car, which makes us far more flexible. And, any trip we can make on the bikes is like money in the bank.
We’re lightweights in this arena by local standards. We have several neighbors who commute daily in all weather and seasons. We should have been out there with them since we moved here. Hopefully we will be now, more often than not.