Sunday, July 29, 2012

Vintage Post: Tour De Parks 2011

I'm calling this one a "Vintage Post" because it was originally published on my family blog in October 2011.
Yes, it's October, but it's a beautiful sunny day, and this puts me in a mind to thinking back about some of the things we did this summer that I haven't yet posted about. So let's go back in time to July and a dazzling Saturday afternoon! This day was Cousin P's birthday, so after helping her celebrate at a pizza 'n play place, we went to Downtown Hillsboro for a fun family event: the Tour de Parks! This is the fourth year that they've held this kid-friendly bike ride, where families can choose from three different lengths of courses that take you all around Hillsboro and through the city parks. We ended up on the medium-length route and saw six different parks while we rode through town. First order of business, we got our son Alton settled in his child seat on the back of my longtail bike with a water bottle and snack--I have made small "leashes" to tether his water bottle and snack cups to the straps of his seat for trips when he'll need them. In the picture below, you can see him holding his water bottle while the snack cup (with spillproof lid!) is the small white circle dangling just above my left heel. The stretchy leashes are just long enough to give him freedom of movement with munching or sipping, but not so long that they actually get in the way of my pedaling. He likes to drop whichever item he's currently not using to the side, then tells me that he's "going fishing" when he reels his eatware back up.
Andy held our small digital camera to take pictures on the ride. Here you see us riding in line with some good friends, the Zawalski family. The orange child seat is mounted onto my friend Fabi's bike--she has an extended frame bike, like mine, also equipped with bags so that she can haul gear, groceries, and more! Unlike my bike, however...she carries two kids on hers! One child seat mounted behind her for her daughter Alton's age, and one smaller seat balancing the weight by being mounted to her frame in front of her seat for her younger son. I ride ahead of her with Alton in his blue seat, and Fabi's husband Gabe takes the lead in front of me in his orange t-shirt. We were quite a parade!
Here you can see the two "big" bikes riding in a line!

Through Walnut Street Park.
Turning off of Baseline Road, one of my favorite major streets to ride in Hillsboro because it has a dedicated bike line and runs East-West through the whole city. It can get me many places!
At the end of the ride, the City of Hillsboro was hosting an awareness event on Main Street about environmentally-friendly choices. Information was dispersed about green power choices, saving water, etc. There were also food vendors and free popcorn for kids. Alton was happy to sample!
After some relaxation in the shade beneath the trees to eat our snacks, it was time to load the kids onto the bikes again and head home. Below, Alton and I pose with our Xtracycle "Radish" next to Fabi's Surly "Big Dummy" (no, I don't know where the brand came up with that name, although it's a honkin' big bike frame) with her two kids. Matching bike baskets and all! A fun day to ride with friends, and we're so glad that we have buddies to share our hobby with.

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