Sunday, April 12, 2015

Bike the Blossoms Ride Recap

Saturday turned out bright & sunny, not a raindrop to be seen. We got ourselves ready & our friends came over to borrow my old bike again & hook up their new double child trailer to it. I rode with both kids on the Yuba Mundo & Oli was on his mountain bike commuter. We weren't running too late, but arrived at Trout Lake a few minutes after 11am to find the group already riding out. We turned our bikes around & joined the 150+ people biking westward.

The route was intentionally circuitous, following as many pink-canopied streets as possible through East Van. It was an enjoyable pace, easy enough for the handful of kids on the ride to keep up. However, the route went up & down hills quite often, which was a struggle for some of the parents pulling trailers. Since we were such a large group, we needed to brake down all the hills.

Eventually, the riders got spread out & separated into a few smaller groups when we were stopped at lights. Finding our way was still easy, as there were arrows marked in chalk on the roads at all the turns & several volunteer riders waiting at intersections to direct us. Earlier in the ride, because there were so many of us, drivers just had to stop & wait a few minutes until we passed. But as the riders spread out, the drivers were just forcing their way through impatiently, rather than letting us pass together. I didn't see any major conflict between riders & drivers, but it meant I had to focus on riding defensively as I usually would on my own, instead of enjoying the ride & chatting with friends, like I'd been able to do earlier.

Climbing on our "portable jungle gym", aka, Yuba Mundo
We rode for about an hour & a half total, ending up at the Winter Farmers Market in Riley Park. Most of the riders stopped for snacks or shopping at the market & the kids had a chance to run around a bit & burn off some energy saved up from being on bikes & in trailers for so long.

It was great to get out & bike around with so many other people--we saw five other families we knew & a few people who we'd met once on other rides. Ending the ride at the farmers market was definitely a great decision--lots of space to picnic & lots of food trucks & vendors to buy food from. I look forward to doing this ride again next year!

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