After my inaugural Errundonnee last year and the realization that I could do more by running that I originally thought, I’ve further embraced transportation running and sought out new, err, opportunities. It has fit in quite well with training because, outside of a few key workouts per week, there’s a lot of benefit to simply putting in the miles. Another thing that I’ve learned in the last year is that a second run in a day can be less stressful than the same mileage crammed into one run. So all of a sudden the oft-dreaded two-a-day became the opportunistic double commute (with possible stops, of course). I’ve double-commuted a bit in the past, but I’ve tried to do more of it recently.
A year has rolled around, and this year’s rules unsurprisingly still have the ever-fun “You carried WHAT on your bike (or back)?!” category/control. I’ve been thinking about this one and looking forward to it. After my initial Errundonnee, I’ve felt a little pressure to, no, wait, that might disqualify me via rule 12. I’ve felt encouraged (yes, that’s it!) to come up with something good for this year.
Enter the failing upholstery on our gliding chair.
I might have sat on this one for a bit waiting for this day. I’d say no pun intended, but I’m already talking about running errands here so no one will believe me anyway.
The first lesson was kind of an obvious one except that it’s not the sort of thing anyone would ever think about. Upholstery shops, being light industrial, don’t tend to be in walkable (or runnable) locations. I’m going to do this with a stroller, so I won’t exactly be nimble. A trip to Redmond would be ok; I could use a few neighborhood streets, get past a rough stretch, and then have the 520 Trail, Sammamish River Trail, and Redmond Connector at my disposal. Alas, my first target turned out to “only” do woodwork. (Hmm… the possibilities…) Then I found three in Bellevue in the Northup/Bel-Red area. They wouldn’t work because, well, Bellevue. (See here or here though much is afoot (sorry!) so maybe someday.) Then I found addresses for three more in Redmond, but none existed. Finally, I found one:
The Cross Kirkland Corridor’s main problem is that, being an old rail line, it avoids most places (like downtown Kirkland), which turns out to be perfect for this kind of destination. I can get to the CKC via neighborhood streets and a ped/bike bridge over I-405. So now to figure out how to actually bring the chair. It turns out that it fit really well in both the single and double Bob strollers. The double seemed more stable, so I went with that:
Of course it was raining, so it also needed a cover:
The obvious question in all of this is why I would even do this. And I could blah blah like running more than biking blah blah don’t know how I’d attach it to any of our bikes blah blah could drive blah blah Errandonnee, but really here’s the answer. Who’s having the most fun here?
The run itself turned out to be surprisingly easy. I bungeed it to the stroller, but it settled into the seats so nicely that even that might not have been needed. The weight balance was really good; it took very little pressure to lift the front wheel for turning (the front wheel on jogging strollers generally locks straight forward for stability). In fact, it was easier than pushing the twins around both because of that and because it weighed less than them. The weight might have tipped backwards on an uphill, a problem we’ve cleverly solved by living on the top of a hill.
Four miles later, I was there (the chair is already inside). The return trip was lighter.
Possible categories: You carried WHAT, non-store errand (pretty clearly going to be the former)
Side note: The category is officially “You carried WHAT on your bike (or back)?!”, which I’m going to claim is an oversight of the tools available to transportation runners 🙂