Colorado 2010 – Day 38

Manitou Springs: Party on wheels

Saturday June 12, 2010

The weather is poor – it’s a planned rest day but a good day not to be riding all the same. Cold and rainy. Mom and I check out the local museum, pick up my bike, look around downtown (the awesome book store that used to be near the Mountain Chalet is gone -frowny face -) and have a relaxing day. In the evening, we blow up a bunch of party balloons I bought in Falcon. We’re not celebrating anything, but I think that drivers, overall, give me more passing room when I’ve got the rear panniers on. Since my mom is going to carry my gear for me, I will really only need to carry tools, spare tube, warm gear and snacks. So how do I ride with full panniers to give the illusion of extra width without carrying a bunch of weight? Balloons. It is an experiment, but we’ll see what happens. We don’t know what the increases and decreases in altitude will do to them, so we have a lot of fun imagining the various scenarios. I inflate the balloons with my bike pump, mom ties them off. After loading the panniers, we think this just might work! It’s going to be a party on wheels.

Since drivers seem to give me more room when passing when I’ve got the panniers on, I’ve decided to keep riding with the rear panniers in the mountains. I’m filling them with balloons so they’ll look full but won’t have any weight. This worked well.

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