Monday, September 03, 2007

Labor Day Cargo Bike Ride

Mimi and I rode the tandem with the trailer attached (thereby winning the longest bike award) in today’s “Bakfiets to the Future” cargo bike ride from the disco pig at 4th and Spring to the Dutch Bicycle Company in Ballard. It was a pleasant, if sometimes painfully slow ride through downtown, down Westlake, across the Fremont Bridge, then on the Burke Gilman through Freelard to the shop, where we barbecued and drank beer.

I just love the mood of a ride where people are carrying stuff on bikes; with overloaded Xtracycles, a contingent of Bakfiets, and several other trailers, we took over the roads, but did so in a way that celebrated the bicycle rather than dissing the car.

Consistently, people would ask us, as they often do when a bunch of bikes appear, “What is this for?” As if the only reason lots of people would be riding bicycles together could be some event; usually, we would answer, “It’s just a Labor Day barbecue,” and the interrogator would look surprised and wonder aloud, or seem to wonder silently, how he or she could hook up with a similar ride next time.

On the way home, we crashed the trailer into a bollard on the Burke-Gilman, bending it; it made it stick out way to the right of the bike, causing us to have to get off and walk through tight squeezes the rest of the way. But Mimi was a champ, navigating the stickier passages for us superbly. And when we got home, slightly worse for wear, it was easy enough to bend the trailer back, good as new.

There’s a metaphor here somewhere, that escapes me slightly now. It’s got to be something about the inherent flexibility of two-wheeled transportation and how it represents solutions that have, as Wendell Berry calls them, “wide margins.”

In any event, one more memorable cycling event in a summer which neither of us are ready to end yet.


Anonymous alexw said...

I'm glad you made it home okay. Alistair Spence said he ran into you just after the accident. Glad to hear that the trailer survived.

9:21 AM  
Blogger markstos said...

Sounds like a neat event. Photos?

4:46 PM  
Blogger Brian in Seattle said...

A bunch of my favorite people on the same ride and I missed it! Damn! You gotta let me know about these things. I have a very nice cargo bike, ya know. I'm back, baby!


5:28 PM  

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