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Posts tagged ‘Greenway’

#30daysofbiking Day 22: a day in the life of a Big Dummy (10 photos)

Todays #30daysofbiking story will be in photos.  (Because it was a long one, and I am too tired to write coherently.)

Heading out. Paying respects to a "deceased" brother ...

Needed some cash.

Picking up a picture I had framed.

Picking up the tennis team snacks.

Mailing graduation announcements.

Dropping off some mail.

Taking the Greenway through town.

A visit to the bike shop; lusting after pretty shiny things. (Ltd. edition Felt Brougham in full chrome/white glory)

Sharing. (Another tennis match. Tennis team kids wanted to ride. Will hold many racquets.)

Watching Grant. Won both his singles and doubles matches today. ūüėÄ

After a long day, back at home. Good night, moon.

#30daysofbiking – Day 2: bicycle dinner party/picnic

I consider it my catering van...

Big Dummy: a better kind of "catering van" ...

Day 2 of #30daysofbiking … Another glorious weather day, beautiful balmy evening. ¬†Sons Mason and Ross are home for the long Easter weekend (while sons Dillon & Grant are off recording with The Band). ¬†Decided to plan a lovely dinner picnic, transported by bicycle to a great little picnic spot along the local greenway. ¬†Didn’t know if it was going to come together until nearly the last minute, due to Mark and Ross driving home from Johnson City … fortunately, it all worked out.

Undoubtedly due to the beautiful weather and school holiday, the greenway was packed with people – walkers, bikers, skaters, scooters. ¬†Everybody out enjoying the beautiful evening. ¬†It’s so wonderful to have a community gathering place – a place where we can all get outside for a while, out of our cars, and just take a walk, socialize. ¬†Take a ride or have a picnic. ¬†Or any combination of these things.

Our dinner next to the creek was lovely. ¬†Our ride was fine. ¬†Another great day of #30daysofbiking. ūüėÄ

Pass the salad, please.

Springtime dinner by bicycle: divine

Springtime dinner by bicycle: divine!

the others ...

the rest of the herd

bicycle days

Xtracycle always delivers

Xtracycle always delivers

It’s been kind of a scattered few weeks. ¬†Lots of miscellany. ¬†People coming and going. ¬†Different days with different rides. ¬†Here is a sampling (although I’m leaving alot of the mundane, like grocery-getting).

The picture above was a box of ‘stuff’ that son Mason forgot, and subsequently decided he wanted shipped to college. ¬†So I packed his box, and took along some recycling to drop off, thankful as always to the trusty Xtracycle.

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country roads to ride

I still get out on the roadbike a few times a week, simply for recreation and to clear my head. ¬†I visit with the cows. ¬†On the day I took this shot, I had seen a newborn calf being attended to by his mother. ¬†I think he had to be only hours old. ¬†I was a little concerned about him being left out in the open with a storm brewing – yes, I’m ridiculous. ¬†I rode by the farm a few days later and ran into the farmer. ¬†When I asked about the calf, he said both calf and mother were shipped off to a different farm – actually just up our road a bit – because he doesn’t typically keep the little ones around his place.

bike lunch

bike lunch

When errands take me into town, I like to utilize the Greenway as much as I can. ¬†We’ve started to have the beautiful fall temps, and it’s nice to pick up a sandwich from Gardner’s Market and stop for a lunch break at on of the picnic tables along the Greenway.

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mountain bike at the Y

Lately, when I’m not on the Xtracycle, I’ve been taking my mountain bike around town and to the YMCA to swim. ¬†I used to take the road bike, but got tired of repairing flats from all of the junk that’s on the roads around here. ¬†The mountain bike and the Xtracycle have puncture-resistant tires, which makes a big difference. ¬†(In my aggravation level, if nothing else).

lawn & garden bike

weedeater repair service

We’ve hauled some goofy stuff by Xtracycle, and I will include the weedeater in that list. ¬†Had to take it in to be repaired (after Mark tried everything he could think of himself), and I know I got a few stares along the way, with the thing sticking out the back. ¬†Oh well. ¬†Just call me Crazy Bike Lady.

Someday I hope I will live in a place where I’m not looked upon as such an oddity – carrying boxes, weedeaters, small trees, etc. ¬†Someplace like Portland, or Seattle, or Amsterdam, or wherever … where people ride bikes and do amazing things on their bikes. ¬†And it all seems normal.

grapes for bikes

65 lbs. of concord grapes, ready for a trip on the Xtracycle

65 lbs. of concord grapes, ready for a trip on the Xtracycle

There were too many grapes.

Our vines were quite prolific this year, and we still had canned juice from prior years. ¬†I hate to see them wither on the vine and go to waste on the ground, so I decided to cut what remained and take them to our local farmer’s market. ¬†Rather than try and sell them – and to avoid messing with scales, or figuring out a way to package them in sellable amounts – I decided it would be a “grape give-away”.

Farmer's Market folks - getting some grapes, giving to a good cause (World Bicycle Relief)

Farmer's Market folks - getting some grapes, giving to a good cause (WorldBike)

I really wanted to figure out a way to add a bicycling element to this outing, so I decided to pick a bicycle charity, and give any donations I could gather at the market to one of these groups.  There are a number of smaller bicycle charities I was familiar with Рand one in particular, WorldBike, which I believe was founded by one of the amazing folks at (Ross Evans?) at Xtracycle.  I did an informal survey with my cycling friends on Twitter, and in the end decided to donate to WorldBike.  Please take a minute to watch their very inspiring slideshow on Vimeo; it will move you!

So, I spent a few hours cutting grapes and loading them into the plastic window boxes that make great carriers on my Xtracycle – especially for “messy” loose cargo. ¬†The weather had been kind of questionable, with storms in the forecast, but I new I either had to go for it, or give up on the idea. ¬†Our fledgeling farmer’s market only takes place once a week on Thursday afternoons. ¬†I knew if I had to wait another week, the grapes would be gone and on the ground.

I got everything loaded (including my rain gear) and rode into town, with the skies threatening to open up.  Sure enough, barely five minutes after I arrived at the market, the downpour started.  I managed to stay dry under the overhang of the nearest building, but I was afraid that the trip would be a waste Рfearing that not many people would be inclined to be shopping in the rain.  And what would I do with all of the grapes?

... and the rains came

... and the rains came

To my delight and surprise, the people were amazing and most generous. ¬†They stuck it out in the rain, were interested in the grapes and finding out about what I was trying to do for WorldBike. ¬†They were intrigued by my Xtracycle – making jokes about it being the “most original pickup at the market”. ¬†The rain also brought several offers of rides home – which I assured them was not necessary.

It was great getting to meet and talk with several of the sellers – a lady who brought in her beautiful tomatoes, and also sells home-made goat cheese, along with a very friendly gentlemen who sells his locally grown grass-fed beef. ¬†We’d actually seen him at the Amish market back in June when we were bike-camping, and he said he remembered us by our unusual bikes.

People took the grapes for jam-, jelly-, juice- and wine-making, and made some very generous donations.  Even in the rain, there was a refreshing sense of community and hospitality around the marketplace; it was wonderful.

Within about two hours, most of the grapes had been claimed, and the remainder I left with the beef man and a couple of the other vendors.  In the end, I matched the dollars that I had collected, and sent WorldBike a decent donation. The whole afternoon left me with such a good feeling Рto have participated in our local market, to see the grapes go to good use, and to have collected a small sum for a good cause.  I definitely plan to revisit the market Рas a customer.

farmer's market flowers ...

farmer's market flowers ...

... and home-grown produce

... and home-grown produce

riding home on the greenway - after the rains

riding home on the greenway - after the rains

under(water)pass

 

Cleveland, TN, Greenway/Bike Path - after the rain

Cleveland, TN, Greenway/Bike Path - after the rain

Our local Greenway/Bike Path is one of my favorite ways to travel through the more congested parts of the City of Cleveland.  That is, until we have heavy springtime rains.  The path runs adjacent to Mouse Creek, with several street underpasses Рall of which wind up underwater with even the slightest rise in the creek.  I guess they had to build it somewhere.

Riding in the rain – I think I’ve finally perfected my rain gear combination: Gore Bikewear Alp-X Rain Shorts, Marmot rain jacket, helmet cover when I need it. ¬†The rain shorts deserve a prize — I don’t feel like I’m wearing a sauna-suit (which happens with full pants). Comfortable, great ventilation and great rain protection at the same time. ¬†Can’t recommend these highly enough. ¬†As long as my seat and thighs are dry, I find that I’m remarkably comfortable in a fairly wide range of temperatures. ¬†

I would love to find a rain vest (?) for warmer temps. ¬†I wouldn’t mind having wet arms, if I could just manage to keep my core dry.

It seems like the news is full of floods, wildfires, crazy weather. ¬†Can’t help thinking about changing weather patterns, climate change … and wondering: how badly have we messed things up?