Archive | November 2010

No new bike for me

Ten days after the deadline for the contest to win a new PUBLIC Bike, the results are in and I’m flabbergasted that I didn’t win. I guess it’s a good thing because I really don’t need another city bike; I shouldn’t be greedy. But my 200-word-or-less entry for a 90-minute local ride was super-awesome. Here it is:

The copilots on our tour of Seattle will be my one- and three-year-old sons, in their Bobike mini and maxi bike seats, so be prepared to hear “Wow, you’ve really got your hands full!” many times and enjoy a route designed to include trains and boats.

We’ll meet at the sundial in historic Gas Works Park and start our day by taking perspective shots of each other squishing the Space Needle. Then we’ll ride west along the Burke Gilman Trail to my favorite bike shop (and your test ride partner), Dutch Bike Co where we’ll grab coffee and snacks.

Next we’ll head through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. It’s a bit of a pain because we’ll have to walk our bikes, but while doing so we’ll get to watch ships pass through and probably see a few jumping salmon, too.

We’ll cycle south, flanking the train tracks (trains!) to the gorgeous Elliott Bay Trail, which will take us along the scenic Seattle Waterfront. We’ll catch the King County Water Taxi at Pier 50 and head over to West Seattle. In West Seattle we’ll ride west along the beach to Alki for a relaxing beer at the beach.

Snow ride

There is so much snow today–both on the ground and falling from above. I deemed it way too slippery to take the bike or even walk to music class on Phinney Ridge today, but my three-year old really wanted to go for a bike ride. I took them out for a little spin–just enough for him to get cold and start complaining. I hope he’ll remember his discomfort and never request a ride in the snow again. The bike slid a little bit, on a patch of ice hidden under a pile of snow, but it was while we were standing [almost] still at a light. So we didn’t fall down, but just got a good warning for how tricky riding in the snow can be.


We rode to Cal Anderson Park in Capitol Hill to take part in the Cranksgiving bicycle ride this morning. I checked the “terrain” box on Google Maps and it didn’t look too hilly, but I had to push the bike the last four blocks. I should know better than to ride to any neighborhood with “Hill” in its name. I also never want to ride somewhere when the route crosses a street named Summit–especially if Summit isn’t even the top of the hill! I had considered biking to the University District and putting the bike on the bus (for the first time), but it looked like that would have taken twice as long.

But anyhow, we made it to the park and met up with 30 other riders to shop at a variety of grocery stores for non-perishables for the Rainier Valley Food Bank. I’m embarrassed to say we only hit two grocery stores and took the Light Rail Train to get to the finish line, but it still counts. Heading home (via the Light Rail) from the finish line, the boys got incredibly cold–Brandt started shivering and Baby Rijder hibernated (aka took a nap) so I called home for a pickup. Totcycle had the right idea clothing his two kids in snow suits today. But at least we finally made it to Uwajimaya and got invited to be part of a family fashion show come Bike Expo time. I knew these new boots would pay off! I’ve never owned boots before, but this is a classy city so I’ve stepped up my footwear.

Kiddie cyclocross

It’s race day! I recently found out all area cyclocross races have a free kiddie event so we walked over to the MFG Woodland Park Grand Prix this morning. We went a bit early to watch the real racers. A friend almost convinced me to try cyclocross with her six years ago and back then I seriously considered it before deciding I’m too wimpy. It was so fun to watch I had second thoughts about avoiding it myself, but those second thoughts were while I was watching a downhill portion of the course. Later we stood near an uphill section and I’m back to my orginal assessment.

The race was awesome. It was kids 9 and under so there were a lot of riders (maybe 50?), but it was segregated with big kids on geared bikes at the front riding two laps and everyone else in the back doing just one. There weren’t any barriers to lift their bikes over, but there were a couple muddy patches the kids walked their bikes through. Near the finish line Brandt laid his bike down and I wasn’t sure why. It sounded like he said he wanted to pee and go home, but after talking to him later, it turns out he was just tired and needed a quick rest.

Despite having to coax Brandt out from under his warm stroller blanket before the race and his almost abandoning during the race, he wouldn’t get off the bike once the race was over. He rode around the expo area for a while and then all the way home, with a side jaunt through the bike jump hills by the skatepark. A couple of the mounds are low enough for a tiny rider and once he’s got his confidence back with hills, I think he could manage some of the medium ones, too.

I can’t wait for next cyclocross season!