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.
Boring day today. Back is still messed up and it rained all day. After driving to the chiropractor in the evening, I took the Bianchi out for a two block out-and-back trip solo. I don’t think I undid my adjustment so hopefully things will be back to normal tomorrow, though I’m not sure we’ll do a much bigger ride given the weather. I should point out I didn’t do the “even just around the block” ride since that would have required climbing uphill. But four blocks counts, even if it is boring.
Woke up with a tweaked muscle in my back :( I spent the bulk of the day sulking and entertaining the rugrats at home while the weather got progressively worse. I really need to get out for a quick ride while the day is dry. We finally got out the door at 4pm, but only because I knew Top Chef Maria Hines was doing a cooking demo at the Wallingford farmers market. I figured it wouldn’t be too crowded given the weather, but was surprised to only see two people watching. Granted, she was only chopping vegetables at 4:15 so maybe people were waiting for the exciting stuff later on.
Anyhow, the highlight of the trip is that I discovered a covered bike rack across the street at the QFC. It’s so nice to get back to a bike with the seats still dry. I hadn’t been upstairs QFC since the remodel and the Starbucks has a lot of nice seating. Not sure how long the kids would hang out there happily, but it seems like a good rainy day stop.
We drove down to the fair in Puyallup this morning and stayed all day long. Worried that I’d be too busy feeding and bedtiming munchkins upon returning home, I tried to bribe a clown to let me ride her bike. Unfortunately, she was a law-abiding clown and said her clown insurance wouldn’t allow for it. Instead I traded scone money to a parking lot guy who let me tool around on his mountain bike. He was very sweet and said I made his day, which is funny because he made my day!
I made my first attempt to reach Phinney Ridge today. I went a mile out of the way in hopes of finding a flat enough route, but I still had to walk half a block. I rode up 83rd, which would be my same route to Greenwood. I’m hoping I can explore a bit and find an even flatter way.
I’m loving the baskets even more today! I discovered I can safely fit my messenger bag (who am I kidding? It’s a diaper bag pretending to be cool by calling itself an “urban sling”) sideways on one side and fill the other side with toys, snacks, ring sling, and bike lock. I saw an Xtracycle parked at the Greenwood library as I huffed and puffed my way by. I have a feeling they were there by choice and not just on two wheels for the sake of 30 Days of Biking like myself. Those Xtracycle riders are pretty badass.
Best day today! We drove the bikes over to Marymoor to participate in the Orange Bike Parade, an event organized by the Hansje Brinker Guild to benefit Seattle Children’s Hospital. I knew it was a Dutch event, but I had no idea there were so many Dutch people in Seattle! Tons of Nederlanders with Dutch-speaking kids. It was so so cool. To make things even more authentic, it was grey and misty (but fortunately no real rain) and the six-mile ride followed the Sammamish River which looks a lot like a canal.
My bike decorations were pretty basic, but I did earn some street cred with the kids by mounting a Nijntje on the front. I am going to be on the lookout for orange pants for the whole family and orange decorations so we can really do it up next year. I got a couple compliments on my bike, but it was pointed out that it’s an Italian bike. The Dutch bike seats helped make up for that. Love it!
We hit he road before 9am to go to Five Trees Park (which I now know is really called Bergen Place Park) for the first stop of the Seattle Bicycle Music Festival, a bike-powered shindig. On the way there we saw some guys setting up a stage along the Burke Gilman so I asked one of the roadies what was going on. It was for the Fremont LoveFest, a music festival not powered by bikes so therefore far inferior to BMP.
We ran into Totcycle at BMP and all went to Dutch Bike Co for healthier snacks after the kids had eaten their fill of the free donut holes. The bike shop is so cool! I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to make it over there–I’m the worst self-proclaimed World’s Biggest Fan. I talked to Fritz about attaching baskets to my bike and after some measuring and head scratching, he found a solution! But the boys were too tired to hang out any longer for an install so I put the baskets and new rear rack on hold hoping to return later in the day.
Later turned out to be sooner: Baby Rijder fell asleep on the way up Stone–not a fun hill to begin with, and even less fun with a baby head resting on one’s forearm–and didn’t want to nap more once we got home. So I left Brandt home to play with Dan and after a short rest, headed back to the shop with BR. I am soooo excited about my new baskets! I can’t wait to test them out with picnic stuff.
This was the first time I had the pleasure of riding up Stone twice in one day. Baby Rijder fell asleep on the ride up again! But this time he stayed asleep when we got home so that was nice. He got pretty tired out horsing around in the Bakfiets while waiting for my bike. And one more time: yay baskets!