I was able to get the kids and myself dressed, fed, and on the bike by 8:25 this morning. I was aiming for 8:15 so we rode quickly to Ballard Commons Park for Kidical Mass. I had really wanted to take the Bianchi/Bobikes, but I wanted the kiddos to have a chance to nap on the trail so it was good that I chose function over style and took the Specialized and double trailer. As always, there were lots of Xtracycles, but also a new cargo bike: the Bullitt Bluebird ’71. I also discovered a new fashion trend: shorts with long socks. Totally makes sense in cold weather. Though perhaps they were dressed up for the Tour de Fat parade. I’ll have to keep an eye out to see if it’s really a thing.
Tour de Fat wasn’t quite under way by the time we arrived at Gasworks, but I had to push on to Magnuson Park for a baby birthday party so I couldn’t stick around for the parade. Dan met us at the party with the car and I almost took the easy way out, but instead had him drive Brandt home while Baby Rijder and I went by bike. I thought we’d hit the Tour de Fat if he was still awake, but he conked out pretty quickly. It looked like quite the party from the trail so we’ll have to attend the whole thing next year. The ride was much easier towing just 20 pounds of kid in the trailer, but Baby Rijder tilted over sideways in his sleep and woke up unable to right himself and very angry. Next time I’ll have to wedge a bag next to him.
I’d been thinking about removing the wind screen for the summer, but it came in handy for our trip to the wading pool today. I haven’t yet found the perfect setup, but I was able to cart a lot of stuff: picnic blanket and canvas bag of snacks hung over the wind screen, Brandt carried two big toys, backpack crammed full of swim stuff, and ring sling to toss Baby Rijder in draped over my shoulder.
The FSA Grand Prix is at the velodrome this weekend. Dan’s stuck in Vegas for the weekend so he’s missing it, but I thought the boys would find it interesting. Not so. Brandt lasted about five minutes before he wanted to play on the train play structure by the track. Granted, the morning stuff was pretty boring so hopefully next year we can come at 7pm when the big races occur.
We drove over, but I’m wondering if I could manage the ride over. It’d be great to ride over on a Friday and check out the races…especially on Kiddie Kilo day. Maybe once Brandt is reliable on his balance bike he can even participate.
Baby Rijder wanted to spend his first birthday afternoon at the wading pool. Dan was working from home today and snapped a camera phone picture of us from the window. I crammed all our stuff in a messenger bag and Brandt said it wasn’t in his way…but now that I’m looking at the picture it looks pretty tight back there. He held his two pool toys and, of course, dropped one on the way. Thank goodness I wore flip flops because I was able to circle back and pick it up with my toes :)
Tonight was Cyclefest “the biggest Tour de France-inspired festival on the West Coast” at Magnuson Park. The airing of the queen stage didn’t start until 9:15pm and I wasn’t sure we’d last until then, but I had high hopes of Brandt taking a huge nap and wanting to hang out late. Naturally, the nap wasn’t to be–even with swimming in the morning. We headed over anyway with plans to just stay a couple hours and check out the kiddie stuff at the BikeMania portion of the event. Surpise, surprise: both babies fell asleep in the trailer on the way over which made for a tired and grumpy Brandt when he woke up after less than an hour’s nap. It was really a shame because the bounce house was tiger shaped and he wanted nothing to do with it.
Brandt played some of the bike-themed kiddie carnival games and once Dan joined us after work, he cheered up considerably and had a blast watching the BMX riders do ramp tricks. Walking by the bike racks we saw a very intersting fixie with two chains, one on each side. I Googled it and turns out it’s for if one chain breaks the rider is not left without a way to slow down. Seems a bit excessive to me, but I guess it’s cooler than hooking up a brake.
It’s nice to be home! I was feeling worn out and hadn’t even planned to leave the house today, but to be slightly productive I called Dutch Bike Co. to see if they could install my new Bobike maxi. A very friendly contractor answered the phone and informed me they’re in the process of moving shop, but Fritz, the owner, would call me back anyway. Fritz said to come on over to the to-be-new shop and he’d take a look. Such service! So we headed over with Baby Rijder taking his first ride in the Bobike mini and Brandt in the single trailer with the Bobike maxi crammed in the storage area behind him.
Fritz took a break from the construction and hooked us up. Needless to say, Dutch Bike Co. is our new favorite shop. I can’t wait to visit the shop when they reopen next week. And apparently they sell Bobike products so if I need anything else I won’t have to order online. Somehow the conversation turned to helmets and he mentioned they’d soon be carrying Bern helmets. I have to say the Bern Berkeley white g flower helmet is the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I’ve been wanting a new helmet, but I’m not sure I’m hip enough for this one.
The ride home was great. And it’ll be even better once I get my back tire pumped up. Fritz warned me that I’m putting a lot of weight on the back (presumably because of the new bike seat and not because he thinks my butt is too big for my bike) so I need to keep an eye on my tire pressure. Baby Rijder decided he didn’t like my left hand on the handlebar and kept prying it off and Brandt thought it was fun to grab at my underwear from his new seat, but other than that it was great. I’m not sure where I’ll put all our crap once we lose the trailer so I think this city bike will be for little trips and the road bike with double trailer will be for beach trips. The Bobike maxi precludes sticking panniers on the back (just on this particular bike), but maybe there’s another solution out there.
We’re on San Juan Island for a few days with visiting Minnesotan friends. Today we took a scenic bike ride from Friday Harbor to Roche Harbor. When we were looking at the map with the bike rental guy, I mistook “flattest route” for “flat route.” It was a tough ride! Next time I think we’ll just drive or take the island bus, but it was a good experience (now that it’s over). Half way there we met Mona the dromedary. She is super friendly and ate apples from passersby. Baby Rijder snoozed through the whole encounter, but the other boys had a blast. And camel is the new squirrel. I can get Brandt to stop whatever he’s doing and look at the camera by saying, “Oh, there’s a camel right behind me!” Heh.
I pulled Brandt and a four-year old in the trailer behind me and they had a great time together, but were a heavy load. Dan joined the rest of us later in Roche Harbor both because he was done working and wanted to hang out and also because we ladies needed a ride home. Dan’s ex-messenger bud was happy to ride back and took the biggest kid with him so the rest of us would fit in the car. I hear Lopez Island is the flattest of the San Juans (there’s that word “flattest” again) so perhaps we’ll try that one next time.
Riding the bike to Gasworks today was definitely the way to go. People arriving by car and on foot were in a huge line waiting to get their bags examined before they could enter the park, but bikes rode right into the special bike rack area with our own bag check. I took both boys in the double trailer. Baby Rijder is getting more comfortable in it, but he occassionally tugs at the helmet and it’s best when he snacks.
We took an exciting new bike route over the Fremont Bridge down to South Lake Union for the Wooden Boat Festival. As much as Brandt loves tug boats, he does not like tug boats that honk their horns loudly every fifteen minutes so the boat show was not the success I had expected it to be. He did find one little boat he liked, Compadre, and went aboard a few times. Eventually the tug boat horn blowing got to be too much so we headed inside the building where the boys played in the kiddie play area.
Done with the big boats, we headed farther east along the lake for lunch at I Love Sushi. It’s so nice over there! Totally felt like San Diego’s Shelter Island. We dined outside right on the marina and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out at the little playground and watching the tall ships stage a fight from a safe distance.
Part of the ride seemed a little sketchy since it went through a series of parking lots. I think this is the same route for getting downtown which is a ride we need to make one of these days. I’d also like to ride to the Water Taxi and get over to West Seattle.