Stanford Community Day - NOT
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On Sunday, April 15, we rode the Busycle to Stanford Community Day. The ride in was occasionally a workout and more often pure hilarious. We got off to a late start because almost half of our party of 13 beginning riders was late. We were in phone contact with the tardy guest as we waited but we still waited and waited, ugh. An hour later when we did get going, near disaster struck.
As you can see from the video, I was underneath the Busycle fixing the steering linkage not long after we had begun. We had gone no more than maybe the equivalent of two city blocks when the steering wheel turned but the Busycle did not. Yikes!!
However lucky for us, we had Roland Hsu and his wife, Julie on board. And as I clunked away for the next 10 or 15 minutes, re-affixing the steering bar, Roland, a professor from Stanford, kept the fun meter running at high with all the jokes he made about our predicament.
Our next challenge was the small hill that led up and over the train tracks. And there was strategy involved. Since the rail line is located at the other side of a stoplight controlled intersection, we had to time every thing just right. And even though the light was green when we got there, we made the decision to wait.
Because we would need a full light cycle, Faye got off and pushed the cross walk button as we waited for the light to turn red. When a short while later it turned green, I yelled, "Start pedaling". And everyone did. Fast and furious. And in second gear as first is a compound low from which we would not be able to get any speed.
As soon as we crossed the tracks, having crested the hill, we began to cheer. The noise makers, whistles, horn and bells then kicked in along with Karen Amon's daughter, Isabel, excitedly called out the words "Busycle. Busycle" over and over again on the Busycle megaphone. What fun!
Nor was the host of the television series, "Everyday Angels" easy to miss. Once we got on to Park Avenue, which is straight, I let her take over at the steering wheel. With her red cowboy hat, multi-colored down vest and tight fitting designer jeans, Catherine Debs looked every part the celebrity that she is.
We pedaled the flat route only slowing for a few gentle rises where the road passed over a couple of creeks. Few of us had known them to even exist before, and yet because we moved so very slow, Roland joked, "We're climbing Mount Park Avenue on the Busycle".
After stopping at Millie Stones, a supermarket on California Ave, at the 1.5 mile mark, to let people off as well as refresh themselves, we took off again. With one new rider. And one less celebrity and her friend, Catherine and Soquel had arranged for a ride to meet them at this point. Our new recruit was named Greg and he bought fresh firepower to our effort as we still had two miles to go.
But we made it. With a tired crew. And everyone at the Stanford Community Day event was excited to see us. Kids came rushing to get a closer look. And when my weary pedalers happily relinquished their seats to the spirited children and adults who climbed on, we were almost as immediately surrounded by white golf carts. First one, then two and as many as four wanted to know who were.
They wanted us to turn around but one of the vehicles that had "corralled us", didn't know we had a reverse gear and proceeded to block our way. Once we did get out of the main area, the same security guard who had happily received us, angrily ordered that we not block the side of the street. In no uncertain terms, he kept demanding that we retire to a parking lot (of which they were all full) while we regrouped and waited for our crew. With no way to move the Busycle with out pedalers, this once happy guard became more and more frustrated with us.
We finally left less Karen and her family. As it turned out, they were up in Hoover Tower surveying the area as we were busy getting bodies to help us pedal our machine off the campus. And we were not a full boat again until we reached Park Avenue where we finally started to pick up more riders than we left off.
We pedaled into my driveway almost the same way we left. With 14 noisy, happy Busyclists!
What a ride!!
Our Sunday pedalers broke a couple of stations. I am writing this a week later after surveying the damages. Someone fully destroyed an entire crank assembly. Here is what it looked like:
I also made a trip to the Wooden Bikes factory ( also called Boyland, for more info, click HERE) where Tom welded a crank together that had been broken the week before.
Tom also rummaged through his piles and found us three of the old school freewheels that we need for the other broken Busycle stations.
Also, while I was there, Matin of Grip Clip stopped in to say hi. The Grip Clip system that he invented worked flawlessly all winter long to keep our Busycle dry and secure through all the wind and rain of our wet season. And it keeps on doing a great job. His clips are truly revolutionary, well worth your taking a hard look at.
Lost and Found: Child's REI black sweater, size Large
Julie, Roland's wife
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