Ride in the Rain with Kidical Mass

Sunday, November 29, 2015
10:30 a.m. (ride at 11:00 a.m.)
MiiR Flagship
Facebook event


Whether or not you registered for the Ride in the Rain Challenge with Cascade Bicycle Club, pull on your rain gear and take a 7.5-mile spin with the family!

Since I’m not leading our regular Thanksgiving morning ride around Lake Union this year (but please, someone else, lead one if you’re up for it!), we’ll do a similar ride…except we’ll start and finish out of the rain so just the actual riding is in the rain, not the waiting. You’re welcome!

Meet at the MiiR Flagship (3400 Stone Way N, Suite 4, Seattle WA, 98103–in the Brooks building, entrance on Stone Way). Come at 10:30 (or earlier!) if you want coffee, snacks (including Mighty-O Donuts), and/or potties, because we’ll start the safety briefing and bike going-over at 11.

We’ll ride clockwise around Lake Union, and last year’s Thanksgiving map has details and photos. There’s one steep climb. We’ll stop a block before that and give everyone a warning and space ourselves out. It’s rideable, especially if you build up speed in advance. And, of course, it’s fine to walk up!

If the rain is light and kids are in need of getting wiggles out, we’ll stop at the playground at Waterway 5/by Daniel’s Broiler. But this isn’t a planned stop this year–only if the weather and wiggliness of wee ones dictates.


We’ll take the obligatory five laps around the model boat test pond in Lake Union Park and if anyone needs to use the potty, the MOHAI Compass Cafe will be open.


And then we’ll finish up at the Fremont Brewing Urban Beer Garden (which is right across the street from our start point). There are pretzels and apples, but if you want to stay for lunch, you can order it in from a book of menus or bring food with. It’d be nice to hang out for a bit and compare rainy riding stories and talk strategies for bundling up (especially bundling up non-pedaling kids) as the weather gets colder.

Note: Saturday November 28th is Greet the Season at Lake Union Park so some of us might have back-to-back Lake Union Park days.

This is a Cascade Bicycle Club Free Group Ride and all participants are required to wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver.

More about Kidical Mass Seattle.

Halloween Kidical Mass (and #bikethevote)

OK, here’s the deal: Halloween is on a Saturday! Obvs this means costumed Kidical Mass! And hitting some neighborhood business trick-or-treat events. And voting (as in #bikethevote, not a costume contest–everyone’s a winner when it comes to biking in costume!).

Saturday, October 31st, 1:30 p.m.
Greenwood Library
(8016 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103)
Facebook event page
Costumes not required, voting not required

Start your day as early as noon for the 2015 Hunger Goblin/Phinneywood trick-or-treat event that benefits the VOAWW Food Bank. All businesses with Hunger Goblin flyers in the windows will have treats for kids, as well our buddies at G&O Family Cyclery who didn’t have a flyer last I checked. Bring $2 or a can of food to donate at one of the VOAWW boxes along Phinney and Greenwood Avenues and receive an awesome Hunger Goblin sticker!

So trick or treat for an hour and a half and then convene in front of the Greenwood Library at 1:30 for THE COSTUME RIDE.

We’ll parade 2.8 miles from the Greenwood Library to the Ballard Library and those of us who have ballots will drop them in the ballot box for an awesome, costumed, photo op!

Then we’ll continue the parade into Fremont for Trick or Treat in Fremont, the biggest neighborhood business event, with over 150 places participating! It runs 3-6.

Note: Sunset will be 5:53 p.m. in case you want to time things to arrive home for trick-or-treating in your own ‘hood at “go” time (which I imagine will be 6:00 p.m.). We live in Wallingford and I hope we can make it to the Wallingford Center before 5pm for their Wallingford Center Halloween Trick or Treat which is also having a food drive, to support FamilyWorks.

Here’s our route (except no jog off the 58th Ave Greenway at 15th as suggested by Google Maps–we stick to the Greenway there and back, woo hoo Greenway!). It’s a one-way, 5.8-mile ride, but if you need to get back to the start point or any other spot, please check in for route advice or for assistance in finding other families heading your same way. Personally, I’d take 6th Ave NW (a proposed Greenway) back up, were I to head back to Greenwood. NW 75th Street is the first street I’d dare take towards the east to crest the ridge.

Costumes are not mandatory! Please come ride, even if you don’t dress up.

Here’s some information from Cascade Bicycle Club about the Move Seattle Levy, Proposition 1:

If Seattle is going to reduce traffic fatalities and build out its bikeway network, it needs to pass the Move Seattle Levy on the ballot this Fall.

Cascade strongly supports the levy. Cascade and our Connect Ballard team would like to see the funding for Ballard Bridge maintenance, seismic retrofits and long-term replacement study to be retargeted to near-term solutions for the safety of people walking and biking across the bridge. In addition, Cascade supports an increase and prioritization of Safe Routes to School funding for schools where more than 50 percent of the students are in the free and reduced lunch program.

This is a Cascade Bicycle Club Free Group Ride and all participants are required to wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver.

Kidical Mass to Swansons Hay Maze

[First of all, if your kids don’t have their hearts set on a hay maze like mine, attend the Celebration of Life for Jerry Baker at 1pm in Magnuson Park.]

But here’s what we’re doing on Saturday…
Saturday, October 17, 2015
1:00 p.m.
Flying Bike Cooperative Brewery
(8570 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103)
1.6 miles to Swansons
And back

Flying Bike is conveniently located a block away from G&O Family Cyclery which opens at 10am if you need bike stuff or train table time before the ride.

[update: I tested the route and will add pictures if I have a chance, but for starters, this is the route there and this is the route back.]

We’ll take a nice, slow, mostly-uphillish-1.6-mile ride to Swansons Nursery Hay Maze. I’ll do a route test before the ride, but just looking at Google Maps, this is what I’m thinking (and it certainly won’t take anywhere near as low as 12 minutes!):

  1. West on 87th
  2. North on 12th
  3. West on 90th
  4. North on Mary to cross Holman with the stoplight
  5. West on 95th
  6. North just a bit on busy 15th

I know many of you are more familiar with this area than I (we’ve only biked to Swansons a few times) so if the other side of the graveyard is more interesting–or if it’d be safer to stay on Mary longer and hit Swansons from the north–please let me know.

Psst…I happen to have insider information on the theme of this year’s holiday model train. Ask me at Flying Bike and I’ll tell you. It’s a good one! Maybe we’ll repeat this ride in six weeks for the Swansons Reindeer Festival if there’s any interest.

#coffeeoutside: For Her

Thursday 10 a.m., Green Lake Park picnic table closest to Duck Island: 47.680563, -122.341339 (this week–time and place my vary next week)

Photo courtesy Maritess Zurbano

Photo courtesy Maritess Zurbano

Apologies in advance for causing confusion talking about #coffeeoutside during #coffeeneuring.

Coffeeneuring is a seven-week challenge during which one must get coffee from seven different coffee shops, by bike, and document it. New last year (I think) saw the addition of the “Coffee Shop Without Walls” rule which means one can #coffeeoutside during #coffeeneuring.

Coffeeoutside is making coffee outside, by bike, documentation optional.

Watch this cool video by The Path Less Pedaled for a taste. And look, there’s my friend Kelley! And Shawn of Urban Adventure League!

#CoffeeOutside – PathLessPedaled.com from Russ Roca on Vimeo.

I have no idea where #coffeeoutside originated. Feel free to tell me in the comments. I think Rob of Ocean Air Cycles was an early adopter. Most people think of him as a bike builder, but I think of him as the family biker with the world’s coolest-looking Burley Piccolo trailer bike. I particularly love his photos because he’s in Ventura, neighbor to my hometown Santa Barbara.

My own #coffeeoutside journey started with #coffeeoutside with Critical Lass last January. Twenty foolhardy women shivered at the beach with me while we ate snacks and made coffee.

#coffeeoutside with Critical Lass

Critical Lass #coffeeoutside

More #coffeeoutside happened during our many camping trips this summer. After three years of just one bike camping trip each summer, I made it out six times this year–as well as a four-day camp for Spring Break.

And now we launch #coffeeoutside: For Her. Two weeks ago three friends and I dropped our kids off at school and met by bike at a nearby playground picnic table for a lovely morning of coffee and snacks. I’m not very good at the whole self care thing, but *this* was *that*! I see what all the fuss is about now. So fun.

Last week there were just two of us. Still fun, on a pier in Green Lake.

#coffeeoutside on Green Lake last week

I did a bunch of recon this morning and have chosen this week’s spot–a picnic table west of the Green Lake Bathhouse. So join us on Thursday! I’ll probably only bother to advertise future #coffeeoutside events on my Instagram since that’s what jdgesus does for his Wednesday 7am Madrona Park #coffeeoutside (I made it to that one once; it was fun!) Bring a coffee cup and if you have coffee-making stuff and coffee, bring that, too. But I’ll have my stove and lotsa coffee if you just want to roll up with a cup. And I’ll probably even have extra cups just in case. And no, you don’t have to be a mom and have just dropped your kids off at school. You don’t even have to identify as female. Nor arrive by bike. We wouldn’t dream of turning anyone away.

#coffeeoutside location

Meet here:

#coffeeoutside spot

This won’t work as well once the weather turns so I also checked out the seven picnic shelters in Woodland Park (this stuff is all just “notes to self” for future reference, btw). Shelter 7 is the cutest by far, but there’s no running water and lots of broken glass.

Shelter 7

Shelter 2 is the best of the bunch and I think will become our regular spot. I had previously decided what makes a perfect #coffeeoutside spot is 1) running water, 2) shelter in case of rain, 3a) alongside water or 3b) gorgeous view…which usually means up a big hill. But after seeing our picnic shelter pickings, I’m adding 3c) amongst trees. This week’s spot is a short walk or ride to the Bathhouse Theater for water so it’s not ideal, but with the nice weather we’ve been having, I want to sit in the sun by the lake. I’ll try to recruit Thursday’s attendees to overthink this all with me and find the bestest future spot possible.

Shelter 2

Woodland Park

30 Days of Biking September 2015 recap

September was a quiet #30daysofbiking month, but good practice for the real deal next April. I had more instances of just riding up and down the street in front of my house than in any previous round of 30 Days of Biking, but any little bit of riding counts and it’s pretty fun to creatively squeeze a bike ride at the end of the day.

We had a pretty fun month:

  • We’re dogsitting and took our borrowed doggie to the Labor Day Cargo Bike Ride. She’s used to riding in a bike basket and running alongside a bike so she had fun and we’re having a blast having a dog in the house again after losing Bettie a year ago.
  • We took part in Kidical Massive, all the Kidical Masses leading a family bike on the same day (September 19th) and it was huge: 221 participants at our ride during Ballard Summer Parkways!
  • And I ended the month by kicking off a fun project…

It is a well-known fact that I love carrying bikes with my bike, be it multiple bikes or other cargo bikes. My Xtracycle FreeLoader bags make it easy to bag-and-drag (front wheel in the cargo bike, rear wheel trailing behind), and this even works with a bike in each bag, but it’s time to up my game. If I put a 20-inch wheel or bigger in my right-hand bag, it often pinches my rear derailleur cable, making it so I can’t shift. I have a triple on the front so it’s not that big a deal, but biking is more fun when I can shift freely. And now that the kids are on 24- and 20-inch bikes, that means if I’m carrying both of their bikes, I’m prone to the pinch. And also: that bigger bike with the 24-inch wheel takes up so much room that my bigger kid has to sit side saddle. It works OK, but it’s easier to carry the kids when their weight is more evenly distributed. And also-also: both kids now have quick-release wheels on the front so that opens up some possibilities…

So on the last day of 30 Days of Biking, I bagged-and-dragged for what may possibly be the last time! I stuck my Surly Straggler on the Surly Big Dummy and pedaled down to drop the Big Dummy off to Haulin’ Colin’ for a two-bike fork-mount tow hitch. I can’t wait!!


Now if you’re into online biking challenges and are sad that you have to wait until April for the next one, don’t despair! Today marks the start of the Coffeeneuring Challenge. My friend Marley and I kicked it off at the very first opportunity: we set out right at midnight, rode our bikes to Seattle University, chose a nice spot by the fountain, and made #coffeeoutside. I hope we were the first coffeeneurers in our time zone to get to it. I think my coffeeneuring theme shall be “Coffeeneuring with friends” so please let me know if you’d like to coffeeneur in tandem.


Seattle Kidical MASSIVE recap

Kidical MASSIVE–all the Kidical Masses on the same day!!!–was a HUGE success! I don’t know if there will be a tally or estimate of participants at kidicalmass.org, but there were about 50 different rides around the world!

Checking out the various cities is most easily done at the #kidicalMASSive twitter hashtag.

I think our Seattle ride may have had THE MOST PARTICIPANTS OF THEM ALL with 221! Of course we were also the only ride that coincided with an Open Streets event–Ballard Summer Parkways–so Seattle Kidical Mass can’t take full credit for the amazing turnout.

We even got to kick off the whole Summer Parkways event! Seattle City Councilmember Sally Bagshaw spoke onstage first, and then I had a couple minutes to tell the story of Seattle Kidical Mass (birthed in Ballard six years prior) and laud the changes I’ve witnessed to the streets in the area since then, making it safer for people of all ages and abilities to bike here. Then I wove my way through the throng of kids eager to ride their bikes and off we went!

I didn’t take many photos during the event because there were lots of photographers around, as well as videographers for the Less Car More Go cargo bike documentary.

Here’s a nice photo from Greenwood/Phinney Neighborhood Greenways:

And I got a great one as we waited at a red light:


Hopefully more photos will pop up soon.

We started the day with an hour of bike decorating before Summer Parkways officially launched.


And since the previous weekend saw Seattle’s very-first Summer Parkways in the Central District, I inherited Central Seattle Greenways’ leftover bike decorating supplies, along with this awesome sign:


I was able to add to my pipe cleaner stash (great for helmet antennas!) and CSG advised me to order more pinwheels, which was terrific advice. I will have to add those to my regular repertoire.

We biked 2.3 miles, covering just part of the 7-mile street closure, starting at Salmon Bay Park and ending at Ballard Commons Park and the Sustainable Ballard Festival. Some families continued exploring Summer Streets, but we stayed at the festival so I could set out the bike decorating supplies again while the kids rode skateboard and scooter in the skate bowl (they’ve gone multimodal–we have to bring bikes, skate, and scoot everywhere now), watched the Bubble Man, and spun every prize wheel at the many booths.

Meanwhile, I got to do a quick interview for Less Car More Go, as Kidical MASSIVE will be featured at the end of the documentary. I can’t wait for it to come out!


Upcoming: Kidical Massive Seattle Ride!


Saturday, September 19, 2015
Salmon Bay Park
(2000 NW Sloop Pl, Seattle, WA 98117)
Bike decorating starting at 10:00 a.m.
Ride at 11:00 a.m.
Facebook event

Come be a part of history:

Kidical Massive
Kidical Massive is ALL THE KIDICAL MASSes at once: “The biggest global family bike ride EVER!! Join us as THOUSANDS of families around the country go for a bike ride together. We’ll be showing that Kids are Traffic Too and that cities that plan for family biking are more livable, sustainable, profitable, and FUN! Make a ride in your community happen; register your community and start planning your event.”

Kidical Mass was born in Eugene, Oregon in April 2008 and the birth of Seattle’s Kidical Mass was May 15, 2009–from Ballard Summer Streets. Full circle, y’all!

Ballard Summer Parkways
Ballard Summer Parkways is an Open Streets event with seven car-free miles of music and activities.
Here’s the overall event map:


UPDATED SIMPLER ROUTE (but I’m leaving the original details below because riding 67th is cool): East along 70th from Salmon Bay Park, right on 17th, left on 58th, U-turn at 6th, back west along 58th to Ballard Commons Park. Boom.

We’ll follow the blue line south from Salmon Bay Park, including the two-block jog east along 67th that cuts through Salmon Bay School, which I remember thinking was so cool and sneaky when we rode it as part of Seattle’s second-ever Kidical Mass in June of 2009. Then we’ll follow the NW 58th St Greenway (I used to call this “The Ballard Greenway” but now that there are two Neighborhood Greenways in Ballard, I’ll have to clarify with a street name!) all the way east to 6th (since it’s the sixth anniversary of Kidical Mass in Seattle)…but if the kids aren’t feeling it and don’t want to do the last uphill-ish block, it’s cool if we turn around at 7th (since it’s the seventh anniversary of Kidical Mass proper). Then we’ll head back west along the 58th St Greenway to Ballard Commons Park for the Sustainable Ballard Festival.

We’ll officially end at Ballard Commons Park, but continue to explore Summer Parkways–we’ll only have covered part of the whole event with our ride.
Or if you’re in need of doughnuts, I have a feeling a lot of us will backtrack along 58th to 17th to head south a couple blocks to the brand new Mighty-O Donuts. They accept Bicycle Benefits! And then we’ll most likely migrate a bit farther south to kid-friendly Peddler Brewing which has indoor and outdoor seating so it will be fun in any weather.

But wait, there’s more! At 4:30, head over to the nearby Summer Social for Familybike Seattle (you’ll need to be a member of the Seattle Family Biking Facebook group to see the details of this event).

Arrrrrggg!! SO MUCH FUN I CAN’T WAIT! Oh yeah, it’s also International Talk Like a Pirate Day and some of our fellow Kidical Masses are rolling with a pirate theme. Please feel free to come as pirates if that’s what floats your boat.