(My Belated Report)
Oh, where to begin…
We left the Cady Way trailhead with 9 cyclists and a dog, 5 trailers, and bikes with assorted baskets and panniers. Keri led the ride, choosing a nice route, and setting an easy pace. If you have watched videos of Keri cycling confidently and competently through the streets of Orlando, you only need to envision her doing that while towing a trailer with a life size inflatable emperor penguin standing in the prow.
Earlier at the ride meet-up, we had met Vincent, who dropped by briefly with his adorable little daughter, and we got to check out their Burley child trailer. Rodney had to work, but sent his trailer and his neighbor, John, as his proxy. We hitched up a converted child-to -cargo trailer to John’s bike. Andrew was riding his bike with folding Wald baskets, and we hitched up a flatbed trailer to Brad’s ride. Biker Rick got to pull Rodney’s trailer with the heavy ice chest. Rick’s lovely wife and daughters quickly took over looking after my Red dog while we loaded up, giving him bits of their breakfast sandwiches winning his heart with all their attention. And we were off!
I was towing Red in a DoggyRide trailer, and every time I glanced back at him in my handlebar mirror, he was grinning. Red was my reason for getting a bike trailer, since at 14 years old he’s slowing down, but still eager to be included in activities. At one point, Keri asked me to check my mirror to see if everyone in the group was keeping up all right. What? Oh! Duh. I had been using my rear view mirror solely as a “Red view” mirror, and looking back at the other riders somehow hadn’t occurred to me. Everyone was doing fine.
We had no problems at all with motorists. We got waves and smiles, and I saw a couple of parents pointing us out to their kids. What a pleasant ride!
As we pedaled along Virginia Drive, I was thinking about ChipSeal, and wondering how our cargo ride would be greeted if we were bicycling through Ennis,Texas. How would the inflatable penguin affect our situation? Would Red give the cops a piece of his mind? Would the Ennis Police decide that, by comparison, perhaps ChipSeal was not so much of a problem after all?
We “rode large” through the downtown, and pulled into the Farmer’s Market under the shade of some big oak trees. Mighk (Mr. Bicycle) and Carol arrived on their tandem, so that we could check out their BOB trailer. We broke out some bubbly to drink a toast to our inaugural ride. Prizes were awarded, and Mighk was recognized as the possible future deity of a Cargo Cult, or at least a Cargo Bicycle Cult. Mighk and Carol said that they had to leave, since they were on their way home from the store with half gallon of ice cream in the BOB bag, which would soon melt. Well! We had a solution for that! We scrounged up some plastic spoons, found some cups, and dug into Mighk’s chocolate chip ice cream, which was just perfect for the hot day. Hmm… arriving on a strange conveyance on a hot day with a “gift” of ice cream… while we don’t actually worship Mighk yet (although we think the world of him) that ice cream delivery moved him a good step closer to his goal.
We shopped the farmer’s market, visited in the shade, and availed ourselves of the beer garden. Red enjoyed a short walk and a lot of attention. The beer garden contingent came up with a name and a logo and a cargo bike “movement” at some point while I was shopping. We had to leave before they were able to solve all the world’s problems.
We loaded everything up and had an easy ride back to the trailhead. I think we all had fun, and Red had a wonderful day. There were many comments of “Let’s do it again.” Oh, we will. We will.