Saturday, February 5, 2011

Alpharetta Greenway

What's up with all this rain? It wasn't supposed to rain much, but I guess nobody told that to the sky. Today the weather was fine, but all dirt was mud. The kids and I were going to do some trail work at Bull/Jake, but it was cancelled. Some adventuring was in order, but like I said... mud. The paved Greenway seemed like the best option.

 Kids on the Greenway

Unfortunately it wasn't entirely immune to the weather. Big Creek was high, the wetlands were wet and there were a few flooded patches of the Greenway itself.

 The Great Flood

That one was so deep that you couldn't pedal through it without dunking your feet. I had a great plan though. I'd follow Iz into it, then when the water got too deep to pedal, she could lift her feet and I'd push her until it got shallow enough. I'd ratchet if I could, but it didn't really matter to me if I got my feet wet. Then I'd circle back and repeat with the Gerch. Great idea, right? I thought so. It didn't go so smoothly with Iz. She had this instinct to grab her brakes when it got deep. She let them go, but it slowed her down so much, she got all wobbly and I couldn't push her. She had to pedal and got her feet wet. I did too. It went way better with Sophie. Her feet stayed dry.

At the time, it was maybe 50 degrees, and after a few miles, those wet feet were cold feet.

We stopped at Rock Mill Park for a bathroom break.

 Rock Mill Park

The bathrooms were heated and we lingered for a few minutes to let our feet warm up.

On the way to Big Creek Park, we passed a guy riding a bike with a windshield and sort of a capsule around it. It looked heavy, but I'm guessing it kept him warm and out of the wind. The temp was dropping. It might have been nice dragging that capsule around.

We rode through 3 more big puddles, but they were shallow. The kids had fun doing that.

I was wearing fleece tights downstairs, but only a T-shirt and my REI jacket up top, and no shoe covers either. I was just a little colder than I was comfortable being. Ordinarily, I'd just work harder and warm up, but that wasn't an option today. The kids seemed comfortable though, other than Iz's wet feet starting to get cold. They were layered up better than I was.

At Big Creek Park, we had a little donut break.

 Donut Break

Little Chocolate Donuts. Snack of champions. I'd been carrying them around for weeks, maybe months. I just happened to have them in my heavy-ass camelback, which I also just happened to be carrying, today out of habit rather than necessity. While digging them out of my heavy-ass camelback, it occurred to me that it was so heavy because it was filled full of gear, including a fleece jacket-jersey thing, a windbreaker and a fleece cap. Jackpot. Why hadn't I realized it earlier? Maybe because I didn't even realize I was carrying the camelback until the kids asked about snacks. I never wear it on the road.

On the way back we saw a medium sized buck, right at the edge of the road. It gave us a good long look and wandered off to join 3 others - a doe and two teenagers.


(very center of the photo)

We watched them for like 5 minutes. They waded into the water, drank, and ate leaves and bark off of the trees. One of the young ones, standing knee deep in the water peed and drank at the same time. "He's drinking his own pee!"

We also passed a guy riding a unicycle, with what looked like about a 32 inch wheel. It's ironic because we'd been talking about unicycles earlier that day.

The temp was still dropping, and we were getting pretty miserable. At Rock Mill, we warmed up in the bathrooms again, just enough to get back.

On the upside, the Great Flood had become the Great Puddle, and the kids were able to ride through it without getting wet.

 The Great Puddle

Great Puddles aside, it was a pretty good day. The kids really have their bikes figured out. I advised Sophie on how to pedal over the top of hills to carry speed, but that's it. The weather was lame, but the kids seem to be pretty hard these days. We suffered a little, but we suffered together. Still... Six more weeks of winter. I'm looking forward to the warmth.

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