Wednesday, March 19, 2008

You Big Dummy!

After leaving work via car last night to meet up with visiting family (and not wanting to throw my bike on top of the roof because of slop and slush), I was left with a dilemma -- well, sort of. I like dilemmas because they are perfect learning opportunities. I knew I could just ride my Dummy to work and pick up my Cross-Check to haul home.

Friends and co-workers had their doubts as they walked past me on the way out from work. "Have you done this before?" asked one. "No," I replied. But I've seen pictures. (Thanks to Paul L. for sharing photos of trailering a Karate Monkey with his Xtracycle.)

I'm pleased to say you can pull off this stunt with little more than the straps from the Freeloader and a couple extra bungees for safety. I had to stop part way home and shift the front wheel over to make the trailing bike track straighter, but other than that it was smooth sailing.

Imagine the implications: How about a bicycle wrecker service? With a fork mount attached to the Dummy you could haul a bike and its rider easily to their destination or a bike shop for a repair. With the Dummy you could even haul a pretty extensive repair shop around fixing commuters' bikes on the spot. Vacationing snowbirds could pedal to FL, their sporty bikes in tow. Racers could warm up on their way to a race and be ready to crank serious watts upon arrival. Okay, enough of that. Do those ideas really seem that far-fetched though? (Well, okay, old folks pedaling from MN to FL yearly ...)

I have to brag a bit about the weather. I've always been a weather person but moving to MN six years ago intensified that interest. The evening was clear and 40F. The moon rose and the streets were relatively quiet. All the snow from our storm yesterday morning is gone. The roads are melted all the way to the shoulders. Except for a few thin patches in the morning, the ice is also abating. It is my favorite season to ride in MN. I love this calm, too, because soon enough we'll get the rain and wind. That can be interesting in its own right.

But tonight I saw the nearly full moon. The season's first bats fluttered around me at Lake Harriet. The western horizon never fully darkened even though I left work late. Riding tonight was magic.

Happy vernal equinox. May you find balance.

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