Friday, May 6, 2011

Rock to Rock, Year Three

Last weekend we participated in our third Rock to Rock ride, an annual event to raise money for local non-profits, many focused on environmental education. We had so much fun on the past rides, we convinced lots of friends to join us for this great event, riding across the city from West Rock to East Rock..

It was so inspiring to see the numbers of people who turned out for Rock to Rock. It was also very affirming to see so many families participating and yes, there were multiple cargo bikes!

As the ride takes over the city streets with police on motorcycles stopping car traffic at intersections, it felt so freeing to ride along, chatting with friends, watching C & S on their own bikes cruising along. As the boys pedaled happily, it highlighted the fact that they are extremely capable cyclists and the issue of my sons being unable to ride for transportation here in New Haven is not about the mileage-- all told, they rode 15 miles that day-- but it is clearly about a lack of bicycling infrastructure and far too many impatient car drivers in our midst. So we continue to haul them on our various cargo bike set-ups so we can get to school and go shopping and go off to music lessons, but darn, how I wish the older guys could ride on their own. But it's just not safe. Not yet, anyway.

Our friend Domingo Medina, a Yuba rider, joined us at Rock to Rock with his camera. He took loads of wonderful photos, many that I include here. But if you want to see all his snaps of this great bikey-ness (and not just of my crew), you should check them out here.

I didn't pull off making our own shirts this go-around, so each of us chose a bike-themed tee for the ride. Needless to say, this was no problem in our house as I seem to have a slight obsession (oxymoronic?) with finding or making bike t-shirts.

A group of friends gathered at our home and then we rode over to Common Ground together. Here we are setting up for the ride. There we so many riders, we waited for all to line up in front of us so we could ride in the back. You can't see it here but we started with two Xtracycles, one Madsen, one Dutch bakfiets, and two Yubas. We were joined later in the ride by two more Xtras and ran into another Yuba.

P rode with our friend J.

J's dad rode our bakiets with his two-year-old twins, Q & S. I rode the Xtra Radish with F on the back. We also towed F's bike with the front wheel strapped in our Freeloader bag. F really wanted to ride himself but the mileage was too much for him to complete the whole ride so we took it along for later....

We love having photos of S & C riding themselves.

It was great fun to run into this family on their Xtra. We had met C in the fall when he stopped us while riding home with the kids. He was moving to town and wanted to hear about other family bike riders. Well, they live here now and look at this awesome set-up! Welcome to New Haven.

This is one of my favorite shots Domingo captured, F and I cruising into Edgewood Park, trees a'bloom.

When we reached the final stretch of the route, F and I pulled over so we could take his bike out so he could finish the ride on his own. By the time we got him up and going, we were the very last riders, with only the two wonderful support volunteers cyclists behind us and the support vehicles. F pedaled furiously, commenting with amazement that this was the first time he ever rode on the street. He wobbled a bit and had to put his feet down. He was having a rough go starting off himself so a few times, I hopped off my bike, pushed down the kickstand, ran to him and gave him a push-off, and jumped back on the Xtra. He was determined though to get to the end of the ride by his own pedal-power and just kept riding. On the final block, he even got his very own police escort who cheered him along saying, "Come on, buddy. You can do it!"

He reached East Rock Park to great cheering as many of the volunteers lined the path, clapping and calling out. The police escorts kindly joined in. This was one proud little guy.


Jennifer said...

F knows how to do everything with style! Love him coming in with the police escort!

Andrea said...

Awesome! What a great event and what great milestones for you guys!

Charlotte said...

I LOVE THIS! Such great photos. Hope to see you guys soon!