Saturday, February 19, 2011

Saturday errands

Snow capped peaks in the distance on a beautiful Colorado day.
It's always a treat to have a few errands to do by bike on a warm, sunny day. It's even better when the whole family is along for the ride, and time is no issue. Today was one of those days. We started off with some books to return to the library and took the opportunity to ramble past the museum farm along the way. Next, we took a familiar route to the center of town, taking in a spectacular view of the Front Range at the top of the hill overlooking the local business district.
Longtail family: Xtracycle and Big Dummy with Electra Hawaii stowed aboard.
We participated in a little bicycle enabled commercial activity, in particular to buy some tikka masala spices for some terrific Indian food Julie has slated to make for tomorrow. Our long tail bikes always seem to draw attention whenever we are out, but today the frequency of stares, questions and exclamations of interest by passers by seemed of even greater quantity than usual. Much of the time that the girls were inside shopping I spent talking with people who happened to walk past as I was locking up the bikes.

Apparently I emit a genial vibe, as people don't seem to be shy about approaching me when I'm around the bikes, and I always take the time to answer any questions. Even those people who appear unlikely to ride bikes seem genuinely interested, if only in that "Hey Honey, guess what weird thing I saw today?" kind of way. In any case, I feel as though I'm serving as a social intermediary, modeling good behavior while promoting bicycle diplomacy.
Bike riding is fairly good here, even on the street. We're fortunate enough to live in what was an actual small town long before it was absorbed as a suburb. This pic is for Jennie in chilly Minnesota.
While riding on the street several people in cars passing by eyeballed us, I'll assume in wonderment of seeing a small pink bike and pink clad girl riding on the back of an odd, elongated bike. This sort of attention is not an unfamiliar phenomenon for me, and likely not unfamiliar to anyone who rides a cargo bike. Even when riding on trails, only the most intensely focused weekend warriors lack exhibiting a puzzled look followed by a grin as we pass.

It was great to see the quantity of activity on the Platte River Trail, with no shortage of bicyclists, runners and walkers taking advantage of the day. However, the best viewing was of the wildlife on the river. She spotted a goldeneye duck, and there were also several widgeons and mallards feeding and bobbing around in the current. Flocks of geese flew overhead and alighted in fields nearby. Even though I didn't manage to get any wildlife photos today, upon reflection it's easy to forget how great the wild scenery can be even in a major metropolitan area.

Bikes patiently waiting while their riders fuel up.
At the apex of our ride, we stopped for an early dinner. For years Julie and I have lamented the apparent lack of a reasonably good, non mega-chain burger joint in our vicinity. It's not that we often eat burgers, but it's nice to have the possibility. While this is not a food focused blog and I'm certainly no connoisseur, Freddy's seems to fit the bill. Their burgers and fries are about the right size, aren't too greasy, and as a bonus they have great frozen custard. It also doesn't hurt that they are located just off the Platte River Trail.
Our little big girl almost finished a whole burger by herself. The photo on the wall is of Freddy as a kid with his bike, from sometime in the 1930s.
Even as the possibility of snowstorms always loom well into March and April, days like today are a little reminder that Spring is just around the corner. I can't wait.

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