Saturday, May 20, 2017

Cracus' First Bike Ride

Installed a rear carrier rack on the bike

Ever since I rode the bike on Bike to Work Day, I had been thinking about how I could ride the bicycle with Cracus.  I figured the easiest way to carry Cracus around on the bike would be putting him in his crate. He is familiar with his crate and is safe in there. I wouldn't have to worry about him jumping out of a box or a basket. His traveling crate is small enough to be strapped behind me on the bike.  I realized that I needed to get a rear carrier rack in order to strap the crate to the bike. After looking around online, I found Ventura universal rear rack. It was the only one I thought that could possibly work with my bike. I was lucky to find a youtube video  on how to install Ventura universal rack on a cruiser bike, which further confirmed that it would most likely work on my bike. I found it for sale on eBay for $16, which was super cheap compare to all the other rear racks.  It arrived in just a few days, and it didn't come with any hardware just like the one in the youtube video. I went through my collection of random screws and nuts, and luckily, I was able to mix and match and got the rack installed after several tries. It supposed to be able to hold 55 lbs. of weight. 

After getting a few bungee cords, I practiced strapping the crate securely then invited Cracus into his crate. He eagerly went in there and took his crate treats joyfully. I took the bike out on the street, walked over to Ohlone Greenway.  Cracus did not make a sound the entire time.  I hopped on the bike and rode down the trail. He never made any noise.  After riding a few blocks, I rode back home. It was hard to tell whether Cracus enjoyed it. I had to put the crate sideway, so Cracus was not able to get the effect of wind blowing on his face. I could tell he was hot being in the crate, so we ended his first bike ride. Next time we will go for a longer ride and stop somewhere interesting so he can also walk around.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Bike to Work Day

Today was the annual Bike to Work Day.  Many cities around San Francisco Bay Area participate in this annual event including City of El Cerrito. The City hosted an energizer station from 7 am to 9 am next to El Cerrito Plaza BART station to promote the event and the healthy lifestyle of bicycling as a way of transportation and exercise.  At the energizer station, city employees handed out goodie bags, snacks, drinks and provided bicycle maintenance tips. For the very first time in my life, I participated in this event. Many years ago I rescued a vintage bicycle from the apartment complex dumpster where I lived at the time.  It was covered in tape. I think it was done on purpose to discourage thieves. I removed most of the tape, replaced some parts, and a friend gave it a tune up. It turned out to be a beautiful bike.  I can't even tell which manufacturer made the bike. It has just one label that says "Lifetime Warranty call 1-800-USA-Bike for any question".  The bike is heavy compare to newer bikes. It also has coaster brakes instead of hand brakes.  While I like my unique bike a lot, I don't ride it often.  One of the reasons is that I don't want it to get stolen.

My bicycle complete with a wire basket

A few days ago, I decided that I would participate in the Bike to Work Day this year.  I got the bike out of the garage and hosed it down in the backyard.  I had not been on the bike for many years. I even did a trial ride of 4 blocks to work; however, I had to ride further this morning to get to the energizing station. I didn't see too many bicyclists on my way there at 7:15 a.m.  As I got closer, I saw many people and children with their bikes. It was like a party!   I had some drink samples of chicha morada and passion fruit from El Mono, the local Peruvian restaurant that I love.  I grabbed some snack and a Bike to Work canvas bag filled with goodies.  There was a lot of excitement, and I wished that I could stay longer.  I didn't want to be late to work so I started pedaling again along Ohlone Greenway.  When I got to work, I was 10 minutes early!