I suppose I am a sucker for some kinds of advertising (Redmond’s) as I found myself heading to Redmond with the big kids on Small Business Saturday.
It was a good test of our new gear for the cold as it was about 30 degrees out. Just a few weeks ago I had been at the Redmond REI investigating jackets and pants for rain and found a huge clearance deal on a Shower’s Pass Elite jack. With just a t-shirt and fleece under it, my torso was fine in the cold even going 15-20 mph down the hill. I had some trouble using the full zipper. It only seems to be intended for the neck, which was fine, but it’s long enough to make an awkward attempt at covering part of my face. I have a lightweight cap that fits under my helmet that took care of my ears. My gloves, on the other hand, did not block the wind, nor did my glove liners that are full of holes. Needless to say, my hands did not enjoy the ride.
The kids had fleece and rain layers, balaclavas, and new enormous heavy mittens.
The first lesson was that the mittens prevent them from making adjustments such as actually covering their faces with the balaclavas. Second, we’ll need to try a layer under the mittens as well. Third, wool socks but with only very light shoes was not enough for the wind. They complained about being cold all over, but getting the above three things fixed would go a long way.
Unfortunately, Redmond was not as enthusiastic about providing a way to actually bike there as they were about advertising it. Much of the bike lane on Old Redmond Road was covered with leaves and snow from the previous night. Taking the lane is never fun, but at least going downhill it’s over quickly. Coming back after dark was pretty terrible:
We waited for a break in traffic and charged up the hill. Luckily no one came before the bike lane went back to be “lightly covered” by leaves, which seemed the lesser of two evils at the time.
In Redmond we took the Redmond Connector Trail to the REI. It’s not entirely obvious how one is supposed to make the transition from trail to Redmond Town Center. I opted for the crosswalk to the RTC sidewalk. Note: car drivers do not expect you to use two crosswalks at the same intersection. Coincidentally we shopped for gloves and lights there. Then it was back on the Connector and Sammamish River Trail to Snapdoodle and Trader Joe’s, which was a great route except for the parking lot at the end.