Archive | September 2010

30DoB day 10: Lullaby Moon

The boys and I rode down to Gasworks Park for Lullaby Moon this evening. I forgot that “arriving early” for something in this city means an hour early, not just 20 minutes early. So by the time we go there, the place was packed. The entire face of kite hill was carpeted in people so we didn’t get the best spot, but it allowed for more running around room. Thank goodness we biked because Dan tried to meet us on his way home from work and couldn’t find parking anywhere nearby and had to give up.

I took the road bike and double trailer in case either or both kids wanted to fall asleep on the way home, but it turned out to be a mistake as Baby Rijder has decided he doesn’t like the trailer right now. Brandt tried to distract him with toys, snacks, and singing, but nothing did the trick. I think I’ll give him a whole month off and then try again.

30DoB day 9: Coffee run, Beer run

Nothing too exciting today. Did the family ride thing this afternoon and rode to QFC to get coffee. Baby Rijder got Dan a huge order of Senseo pods two Father’s Days ago and they’re finally all gone. Brandt was cool about carrying our grocery bag on the way home so I didn’t have to find a way to stow it on the bike–yay.

In the evening I rode to Uber Tavern to meet a friend for an hour. Such a foreign feeling, riding to a bar plus being the only human on my bike. I felt like me five years ago. Throw in the cold weather and I felt like me five years ago in the Netherlands.

30DoB day 8: Drive-through banking

Bike definitely trumps car when it comes to the ATM. This city has no drive-through ATMs (that I’ve seen, anyway). I’ve seen people leave their babies in the car at the ATM, but these guys would never go for that. This may prove to be my favorite moment of 30 Days of Biking. A friend happened to walk by during my withdrawal so I didn’t even have to ask a stranger to take my photo.

Money in hand, we checked out Sock Monster in Wallingford, which unfortunately no longer has the Addams Family pinball game. I knew I should have visited sooner! But the gal said rumor has it it’s been moved to Snooze Junction. For $20 I got three pairs of awesome knee high socks so I can bike warmly without having to wear long pants. I also scoped out the railings around the Wallingford Center and saw a couple places to park a bike and keep it dry in the rain. Finding dry parking spots is going to be my new hobby and will probably dictate where we go on grey days.

30DoB day 7: Errand bag

I had the bright idea to attach a backpack to the back of the Bobike Maxi so I could return library books and do some grocery shopping by bike. It got the job done, but it wasn’t pretty and it made the bike hard to manipulate while locking up. I might try attaching a smaller and cuter bag and see how it handles lighter loads.

30DoB day 6: Baby rain gear

While Dan and Brandt were at REI looking for big person bike rain gear (but didn’t make it past the play area), Baby Rijder and I took a spin around the lake. It was wet out, but we didn’t get rained on. It felt weird just riding for the sake of riding. I’m more of a transportation cyclist than a pleasure cyclist or exercise cyclist, I guess. I like riding, but I have to admit my main reason is so I don’t have to deal with looking for a parking spot and dealing with buckling kids into car seats.

Baby Rijder had fun on our little ride, but he was mostly in it to scope out the neighborhood dogs. He signed dog (patted his thigh) and barked at each one we saw. He chirped at a few ducks, too, and screeched when a bus drove by. So it was a quickie, but not a quiet-ie.

30DoB day 5: Blender bike

Bumbershoot was so fun yesterday that the boys and I went back today and bought a ticket at the door. I rode the blender bike in the VIB booth in case I didn’t get a chance to ride for real later, but now I feel bad for having given myself that out…because I didn’t ride my bike later. The blender bike was really hard! A passerby told me Baby Rijder looked like he was having a blast on my back, but it doesn’t really show in the picture she took.

We also spent a lot of time at the Cyclecide stuff and saw their performance this time. It was pretty crazy and every time someone crashed they all froze and yelled, “Is the bike OK?” No bikes were hurt in the performance, fortunately. I spoke cargo bikes with one of the performers and she told me about her Yuba which sounds just as cool as Xtracycle. I think I have a couple years to procrastinate on it before I upgrade to one or the other.

30DoB day 4: Cyclecide

Back to the Seattle Center today for Bumbershoot. I thought we wouldn’t have to worry about rain today, but it started drizzling as soon as we stepped out the door so we quickly shoved rain gear in with all our other junk. Thankfully the rain stopped after a few minutes and I’m glad I got my first [partial] rain ride under my belt this month. And thank goodness for the free bike gear storage provided by Clif Bar. We completely overpacked (extra kid outfits, swim suits, rain gear, toys, snacks, water, stroller, extra Ergo) knowing we could leave our crap safely behind and get to it if needed.

The VIB (Very Important Biker) section was great. Cyclists received free coffee, water, water bottles, cookies, Clif Bars, and could make smoothies with the blender bike. Our other favorite area was the Cyclecide heavy pedal bike rodeo stuff. Turns out the kids love tall bikes. And anyone could take a spin (“Fun first, safety third”) on the show bikes. I wasn’t about to try a tall bike, but I test drove the broom bike. It had a little propane tank attached to the frame so I think it might even shoot flames or sparks during the show.

We took Dexter home again. Dan thought the grade towards downtown was easier than Stone Way, my old nemesis. I’m not so sure about that, but I can always give it a try and turn back if it doesn’t work out. Speaking of Stone, that hill just gets harder every time. Granted, I had all that extra gear in the trailer today. By the time I finally reached the top Dan turned to me and said, “Does that thing have a triple crank on it? Oh, you do have a granny. Hmm. Well, I was thinking of getting you one if you didn’t already have it.” Harrumph. I knew we should have filled his messenger bag with bricks to slow him down a bit.

30DoB day 3: Space Needle

We normally take the bus to the Seattle Center, but it seemed like a good day to see what the bike ride is like. It’s not easy. The first 80% was familiar from our trip to the Center for Wooden Boats two months ago, but getting from the boats to the Space Needle was pretty sucky. Per Google Maps’ suggestion, we took Broad Street, but I wouldn’t call it a bike-friendly street and we stuck to the sidewalk to tunnel under Aurora.

At Bumbershoot Will Call a woman told me she thought taking Denny would be better. It’s great living in such a bikey city where one can turn to her neighbor in line and get bike advice. However, Denny Way wasn’t any better, but it did lead us to Dexter Avenue on which we noticed several commuting cyclists. It was a bit of a climb, but totally worth it. I think the hill might be a bit of a pain in the other direction, but it’s great for the way home. We’ll ride to Bumbershoot tomorrow, but otherwise I think we’ll stick to the bus for Space Needle visits outside 30 Days of Biking months.

30DoB day 2: Missed opportunity

Last night I wondered if I could make minimal use of the car during this month of extra cycling. I didn’t last long; I drove to the supermarket this morning. Leaving the store I saw a mom and daughter locking up a bike attached to our exact same double trailer (Bell Copilot Model A). That got me thinking that maybe it isn’t impossible to bike from Green Lake to the Greenwood Fred Meyer. I looked for a more bike-friendly route on the way home and happily noticed the cyclist “Green Lake this way” road sign on 83rd. Still not sure how to ferry to bulky stuff home.

Today’s bike ride was a 7-mile trip to the beach at Golden Gardens. We swung by the newly moved Dutch Bike Co on the way, but the boys didn’t want to go in, eager to get to the beach. It looks very nice from the outside so we’ll put it on the agenda for next week. I didn’t really want to show up there with my boring ol’ road bike and trailer anyway. I said hi to Fritz who didn’t recognize me which is proof that I should only roll in with the Bobikes.

The beach was big fun, but the amount of charred wood from bonfires mixed in with the sand made for a very dirty baby. The weather was excellent when we arrived so I convinced Dan to drive over and meet us after work. It started getting cold as soon as I hung up so we didn’t stay too much longer by the time he joined us. He drove the kids home and I rode with an empty trailer. Wow, what a difference! Hipsters and triathletes still blew by me on the Burke Gilman, but I was faster than normal and wonder if I might be able to hold my own by the time I ditch the trailer.

30 Days of Biking

Today marks the first day of 30 Days of Biking round two, an event in which [mostly Minnesotans] pledge to ride their bikes every day of the month. I’m excited to give it a go, though a camping trip and a possible San Diego excursion might prove challenging.

We decided to start small and just rode a mile and a half around Green Lake to PCC Natural Market to score a free piece of fruit for each kid and pick up the Live at KEXP CD. I ended up buying a few extra items and Brandt didn’t want to carry the grocery sack–he was too busy with his free banana in one hand and leafy branch in the other. The straps on my canvas bag weren’t long enough to hang over the windshield (not pretty, but it’s worked in the past) so I resorted to wearing the bag like a baby in my ring sling. I leave it slung over my shoulder while riding anyway so I figured I didn’t look much funnier than normal.

Blog entries are no fun without photographic evidence so I asked a stranger to please take a picture of us on the way home. Not excited about the prospect of approaching strangers every day, but I could stand being a bit more outgoing. Back on the path, I fielded a phone call from my friend in Florida–who was calling me from her beach cruiser. A bike-to-bike phone call! I pulled over to talk so people wouldn’t look at me funny. She was riding to her son’s preschool to pick him up quickly by bike rather than wait an hour and a half in the minivan pickup line. I’m seeing this school pickup solution more and more…and by “seeing this” I mean reading about it in friends’ Facebook statuses.

After a nap we headed back out for Brandt’s 30 Days of Balance Biking ride. We had noticed some awesome tree roots on the south side of the lake on our way home this morning and I promised Brandt we’d check them out. Warmed up on the roots, we crossed the street to the skatepark in Woodland Park to see if Brandt could handle any of the adjacent dirt bike jumps. He was able to make it up and down the smaller hills, but quickly lost interest in favor of making snow angels in a large pile of sand. Baby Rijder had a blast watching the skaters and eating rocks.