Yesterday afternoon was one of my favorite events of Bike Month, Cascade Bicycle Club’s Ballard Bike Street Party. We headed over after school, the kids riding their own bikes through the Missing Link of the Burke-Gilman Trail. I’m not sure I’ll make that common practice without an extra adult, but things were calm enough at 4pm-ish this particular Thursday.
Our first stop was the kids’ bike rodeo, but the kids spent so much time at the adjacent bike decorating station (stickers, streamers, paper salmon, crayons!) that they didn’t get onto the course before the teeter totter broke…not catastrophically, just a crack in the plywood.
My four-year old was smitten with the Ride & Glide Professional BMX Stunt Team, but I couldn’t watch without cringing at each trick. (But no crashes! And just one nearly-didn’t-land-in-the-right-spot flip).
Here are Aldan and Juliette of bicycle clothing and accessory shop Hub and Bespoke outfitted as bike style authorities and issuing citations to appear in the annual street party fashion show. Yes, I got one! I should hope so since I was in a Seattle Channel TV spot about Hub and Bespoke and fashion. Har har, obviously neither Juliette nor I knew it would be about fashion when she asked/I agreed to come down during the filming…but the funny thing is, biking so often has much improved my manner of dress.
I don’t have a picture of my outfit from yesterday, but below is me on the cover of today’s Seattle’s Child magazine in my bike-friendly “uniform”: short-sleeved shirt, knee-length (give or take a few inches) skirt over leggings, flats. All from the Crown Hill Value Village thift store, now that I’m revealing all my secrets. HOWEVER, all my foul-weather over layers are from Hub and Bespoke: my Rainlegs rain chaps (that work fine with knee-length skirts with the middle buckles left fastened in front of rather than around my legs), merino wool ibex Striped Coppi Cap for cold days, and Clear Coated Rain Spats, though unless it’s really cold and raining hard I just let my shoes get rained on. As for the top, I’m currently sporting a too-big rain jacket I got for Mr. Family Ride, but I have eyes on either (ooh, or both?!) the Hub and Bespoke Women’s Riding Coat or Iva Jean Rain Cape (also sold at Hub and Bespoke). [The Seattle's Child article about the local family biking scene is terrific--read it!]
That photo was fittingly taken on Bike to Work Day, by the way. And in case you’re wondering why all the skirts? Well, I didn’t realize until getting the Big Dummy two years ago that all bikes don’t have chain guards. The old mamabike bike had one, as did the beach cruiser I used for commuting before that. I only wore shorts with my road bike and mountain bike so I didn’t notice the greasy chain. I doubt my middle school, high school, and college commuter bikes had chain guards, but I don’t recall getting pant legs dirty by or caught in a chain back then. So skirts over leggings are ideal.
But enough about fashion, back to the street party! At 5:45 we joined the kids’ bike parade down most of Ballard Avenue:
While I have to admit I didn’t see half the booths, other things there the kids and I loved were RainWise, Swift Industries, Pedalheads bike camps, The Hoot Hoots (my favorite local band, their second fave, after Caspar Babypants), Ian from Bicycle Benefits (who is running Bicycle Sundae, AN ICE-CREAM-THEMED ALLEYCAT with Seattle Bike Blog on Sunday), and the Woodland Park Zoo Cheetah Metah! He got one mile per hour faster once he lost the helmet.
Just before heading out we saw a guy cruise up on this enormous Coker Monster Cruiser with 36-inch wheels!