Technically, Monday 12/31/2012 was the last day to get miles in for the Tarik Saleh Bike Club 100 mile challenge
. Had to work Monday so I racked up a grand total of 9 miles, my usual bike commute.
Saw this interesting sight downtown:
Now you know - parking is not allowed in the bike lane. This was part of the preparations for First Night Spokane and I think they were trying to clear the street of parked cars, not just block the bike lane.
With Monday's ride I was a little short of the goal, having ridden about 71 miles total since 12/24 so I extended the challenge another day. Tuesday I rode to the Rosauers on Francis Ave at the 5 Mile Shopping Plaza to get some steamer clams for dinner (Williams Seafood being closed on New Years Day). It's a little tricky to get to Rosauers by bike from our house. You have to cross Francis Ave, a busy 4 lane street/highway. There's a signal light at the intersection of Alberta Street and Francis, so I like to head north on Alberta St. and cross there. Sure, if you wanted to you could bike east on Francis a few blocks, go into the left lane, then go into the center turn lane and then turn into the shopping center. But that's kinda dicey.
|Just to confuse things, this is looking south on Alberta Street at the intersection with Francis.|
So I cross Francis and I take my normal summertime route - turn right on Houston and then pick my way through the side streets and a gas station parking lot to get to the plaza. This might help visualize it, if you squint a little bit:
Rosauers is just west of Ash St (ignore the green arrow).
Now, I may have been getting a little cocky and over confident riding my mountain bike around town the last few days without any studded tires. I've been thinking you can get by with a mountain bike in the winter if you're careful. But studs sure come in handy, especially going downhill on a sheet of ice. And Houston is a sheet of lumpy, bumpy ice and packed snow now. And downhill. Walking the bike on the sidewalk would've been the prudent thing to do. I head down Houston and think I'm doing pretty good. Halfway down I notice some kids with sleds watching me, I think in disbelief. At this point I get confused on my braking. In my experience it's not a good idea to use the back brake going downhill on ice. Or is it the front brake? Anyways the bike starts slipping and I manage to lay it down. I slide on my feet for a second or two before tumbling over. No breaks or blood. Hey, I'm getting better at this!
Note to self: go up to 5 Mile Rd next time.
At Rosauers, another bike is just leaving. I discover that my mountain bike and new U-lock aren't compatible with their bike rack thingy.
So I park it sideways
I just hate those people who take up two spots.
The store only has what look like Venus clams, and they are mostly heavy shell, little meat, not good tasting. Lobster tails are on sale, so I get a couple and some crab legs.
I hate riding on the sidewalk but I took it on the way home on Francis to Alberta. I'm guessing it was about 4 miles roundtrip so I'm going to call my total 75 miles. I'm thinking I met prat 3 of the challenge. It was fun, and it did get me out on the bike more than normal.