Didn’t get around to doing a proper ride today so I raced around the block tonight.
Today was sunny as well as special: World Car Free Day. We started out with a ride to the Space Needle. I’m still trying to figure out the best route there. Next time I think I’ll see if I can manage the hill up Dexter, but then we’ll miss out on the view of Lake Union. Today we trespassed through an open gate to watch the Seattle Queen paddle boat fueling up. Good stuff.
To mix things up a bit, we hopped on the Monorail. It was really easy with the bike and the elevator at the Westlake Center is right by the Monorail stop and pretty big–we fit with a family with stroller–so even easier than the Light Rail. From Westlake we rode down Pine to Pike Place Market and then down to the Waterfront. I’m starting to like riding around downtown.
I was feeling pretty proud of myself finding my way home along the Elliott Bay Trail–I tend to blindly follow the leader when I’m riding in a group. I found my way to the locks, but by following the bike signs I ended up on an incredibly (for me) steep hill. The good part is that we found the wooden bridge that crosses over the train tracks this way, but I think it’ll be our only time taking that route.
Tonight we rode to Luminata, the Autumnal Equinox Lantern Parade put on by the Fremont Arts Council. I expected to see a lot of bikes there, but there were only two of us. Granted, I was planning to walk over, but I hadn’t gotten my ride in yet. I remember the other guy from last year: he had neon flowers all over the place. The Bianchi was a bit fancied up with four lanterns and two night lights adorning her.
I had to walk the half block up 83rd on the way to Phinney again. I’ve decided to call my extra long route the “scenic route” rather than the “flattest route.” I don’t want it to have the word “flat” in it anywhere until I can pedal my way up that hill. I’m not sure ten weeks of kiddie music class is enough to get me there. Later in the day we had to take the car out and I noticed 84th looks less steep than 83rd. Of course that’s less steep from the moving car so we’ll have to see how it seems come Monday on the bike.
21.6 miles today! Maybe not much to a normal person, but it was plenty for me. We started out with a ride to the Westlake Light Rail Station to catch the train. It worked very well, two elevator trips and all. Then just a short ride from the Mt. Baker station to the meeting point for the Kidical Mass ride and we were ready to go. The South Seattle crew was so cool and we saw several MADSENs with motors for all those South Seattle hills. We all rode to Full Tilt Ice Cream in Columbia City, during which we got heavily rained on twice, but mostly had sunny skies.
I followed Totcycle and another rider to Ballard via the Light Rail and the Elliott Bay Trail through the Locks. I can’t believe I hadn’t heard of the EBT before–it was beautiful! Brandt was smitten by it, too, since it runs alongside train tracks. Definitely worth the extra mileage. And apparently a slightly different route would have taken us over a very exciting loud wooden bridge.
Part of me wanted to take advantage of today’s surprising weather with a big bike ride, but we opted to head back to The Great Wallingford Wurst Festival. Some young hipsters arrived too late to find an available street sign to lock up to and in their infinite hipness found a much better solution. There’s even room for three more less hip hipsters to fit underneath their elevated bikes.
Today was PARK(ing) Day–several metered parking spots were transformed into temporary public parks. We rode to the Ballard Library to check out the Feet First park, but it was a bit disappointing. However, the destination gave me an opportunity to look for covered parking spots…but I found none.
I wish we’d be bolder and travelled all the way downtown because the other ones sounded really cool:
Anything goes in these tiny green spaces. Come and see how Cascade Bicycle Club has decked out our space at side of Union Street between 2nd Ave and 3rd Ave. Then make your way around to the parking spots taken over by Cascade Land Conservancy, Transportation Choices Coalition, Feet First, Streets For All Seattle and Zip Car, all are within a few blocks of our space. You might stumble upon bocce ball, mini-golf, croquet, and delicious coffee drinks.
We were very lucky with the weather today so after a nap we headed back out to the annual sausage party…or as it’s properly called, The Great Wallingford Wurst Festival. No bike racks at the church, but we found an available street sign beneath a tree. It started raining after a couple hours so we didn’t stick around long enough to see the Great Sausage Wizard (not sure if that’s his real title) who knighted Brandt with his golden sausage on a stick last year. So glad we biked instead of walked–getting rained on for five minutes on the way home is so much better than 20.