The photo above is our maiden voyage on Tess2 on Saturday, May 29. It was a 32 mile ETC club ride with 6 other tandems and a learning curve on using the electronic shifting. So happy to be riding again and the weather and route were spectacular. Mt. Rainier views around every corner and 75 degrees. Thirty two miles was a bit aggressive given we hadn’t been on a tandem in six months and our battery hadn’t yet arrived!
This page is about how we picked up Tess2 in Houston, by way of Boston. Every year the PPMI Parkinson’s Study Sheila participates in flies us to Boston. We always try to pair it with a cycling trip and/or family visit. This time it was paired with picking up our replacement tandem from House of Tandems in Houston, Texas. We also rented a van and drove to Austin to see our friend Stacey and managed to get rear-ended on the way home. Click on images to see them larger and others in the group.
First Stop - Boston
We flew to Boston for Sheila’s annual volunteer commitment to the PPMI Parkinson’s Study. This includes all the cognitive, balance, etc done on Wednesday but we had to stay for the Lumbar Puncture this afternoon. Hence the Red Sox game on Thursday.
On the walk over to Fenway we found the oldest continuously operating Victory Garden. The basin is shaped like a catcher’s mitt in an area of town called the fens.
Nothing much planned for Friday so after the procedure and lunch we took a sunny but brisk walk to Boston Commons where we stumbled on an early Earth Day event. We were drawn by the sound of the marching band. I was intrigued by the massive sculpture in the middle of the crowd. It seemed like disembodied arms until we walked around it and discovered the story. Called The Embrace it is based on a photo of MLK and Coretta embracing. This sculpture had so many different looks. From one angle, it could have been a pregnant woman holding her belly. Another look suggested a runner massaging their leg, With the information on the sign, we could see the arms of MLK and Coretta in an embrace. Check out the Embrace Boston website for more details.
On to Texas: Houston & Austin
Originally we were to leave Boston early Thursday morning. Due to the Friday afternoon Lumbar Puncture we ended up not arriving at House of Tandems to meet Tess2 until after lunchtime on Saturday! It was an amazing 80 degrees. We had a brief introduction from Ric and Marcia and a short ride around the block. They had an issue with the Shimano Steps Computer failing and they weren’t sure if they’d be able to find one over a weekend. But they’d try.
Meanwhile we were off in our rental van to drive 3 hours to Austin. The plan had been to ride with another tandem couple we know who live in Austin but sadly they had to cancel at the last minute. We had a fabulous kale salad with our longtime friend Stacey and a lovely visit all evening. In the morning after smoothies we decided we wouldn’t ride given the temperature and rain. We didn’t have our Seattle rain gear with us. Just as we were about to set off for the Farmer’s Market together we got a text that Marcia had located the needed computer and could we be there by 3. It was nearly noon. So we said a quick goodbye to Stacey and headed out. About two hours into the ride there was stop and go traffic and while we were stopped the person behind us failed to! Yes, we were rear-ended. No one was seriously hurt. However the back of the rental van was squished. And we both are still thinking we have some whiplash two weeks later. Fortunately she stopped and her insurance will cover everything. That delayed our return by at least 30 minutes.
Once we were back to Houston Ric was all set to install the computer. We left Tess with them and headed off to our WarmShowers hosts Pete and Gina. The first night they had two cyclists from Ontario Canada and Gina fixed spaghetti for everyone. In the morning they rode off. And we drove back to House of Tandems where we did one more swing around the block to be sure the new computer worked correctly. Then Ric and Spencer packed Tess2 into the two suitcases, Spencer learning as he went. That night we fixed massaged kale salad for Pete & Gina and left bright and early to return the van and catch our flight home. All in all an exhausting week for us both, compounded by the stress of being rear-ended AND some security dramas going on back home. Yes, more bicycles were stolen. But that’s another story.