Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Bike Night!

Today is a wonderful day- it's Bike Night! 

The sun is shining, it should be warm and not too windy. This will be my second bike night- the first one of this year was last week, and I was initially very worried as I pedaled home beneath this sky.

I hurried home to take Grunt and Jackson outside to pee, change into jeans and swap my regular froggy pendant for a giant crystal one. The theme was Diamonds and Denim.

Wow! The recent thunderstorms, and I guess the warm weather, means I was starting to get worried that I'd meet a closed gate due to high waters one of these mornings. You can normally walk across those rocks.

I made it right at 6:15 as planned, which made me very happy. I went inside to use the restroom with plenty of time to look around. One guy with two kids was already there, the first ones.

The leader!

His awesome boom box trailer. He even has a remote to be able to control the music.

Starting to gather.

At this point, I realize that a little girl with the cutest crowned helmet has been staring at me, and when I heard the word "zoo", I turned around and she got all excited talking to her mom. That's right, it was one of the kids from my field trip!! Ella was the one with the princess hat, but I also later recognized a girl wearing glasses (Anya), and then two other kids exclaimed "it's our bus driver!" later on. 

Bridgit was talking to her dad about me, and when she said I was her bus driver, the dad was saying something along the lines of "no it's not" when I turned around to look. He must have been a chaperon, for he immediately apologized to his daughter for automatically assuming she was mistaken. That's when Max discovered me too.

I felt positively like a celebrity. The fact that these kids were impacted that much just because I was excited to go to the zoo with them, that just made my night. For the rest of the ride I tried to stay in Ella's general vicinity, since she was having just as much fun as I was, and that meant I wasn't completely surrounded by strangers. Her crown made it easy to spot her :)

Our escorts!

No action shot of this guy, but I DID find out exactly how he intended to dismount that gigantic bicycle. I was too excited to start the ride to hang around and see how he got going again.

Pre-ride safety meeting for the kids. 
It turns out the "car up/back" part is completely unneeded.

Getting ready to go.

SO many people!! The final count was 213, and that includes me! Whoohoo!

The BEST idea ever. A bicycle hood ornament! And a bobble-head Darth Vader is just plain awesome.

There were lots of pretty bikes there, as well as some really old ones, such as a Schwinn Breeze. The Breeze lady said she especially loved the pedals. Now I want old Schwinn grippy rubber pedals too.

THIS bike, I met again a few days ago headed home from work. Zoomie's decorations are recognizable too, so we both did an enthusiastic "Hey!" greeting of recognition as we passed each other.

We paused at a big grassy area for a break. I was extremely grateful for this. It turns out that chugging an energy drink right before the ride is a BAD idea- the energy was not required and the liquid quickly went through me. Yay for a potty break.

I love all the little personalized details. These are purchased, but wouldn't it be easy to make them?

Being the 10th year, the routes are pretty well established. People were out sitting on porches waiting to watch us ride by and wave, we were our own little bicycle parade, and it was wonderful. There was lots of bell-ringing and horn-honking when someone would cheer us from the house.

Above and below- paused in an alley downtown, all lined up.

Right as we began the ride, one little boy crashed. He was fine and didn't take anyone else out with him. But at on of the early stop signs, an adult spontaneously fell over on top of a little girl next to her (I think it was a lady. Hard to tell). The girl was fine, but the lady gained a physical reminder to unclip early next time.

I love little kids and their bright colorful clothes.

The music wasn't heard very far from the front of the pack, but it made the ride so much fun. I worked my way up front for a brief time, trying not to look like a pedophile photographing the little girl's neon-skirted butt.

The sky was gorgeous on the way home.

Pretty airport lights. Yay for my camera's free-hand night shot setting :P

All said and done, our route wound around and crossed itself, but we covered 5.9 miles. Counting the mileage there and back, and then the commutes to work, I rode just short of 30 miles last Wednesday. RAWR. I'll have to return on my own with my camera to go down art alley, where there were such beautiful mosaics, I think that might have been the best part of the ride.

Now I have a wonderful reason to say: Happy Wednesday!!