Archive | February 2011

Bike-up fish ‘n chips

A fun day of biking into a public restroom and right up to the Ivar’s counter.

With our off-season CityPASS expiring soon, today seemed like a good day to take our one-hour Argosy harbor cruise. The sun was shining and we haven’t been on the gorgeous Elliott Bay Trail since before winter so we opted to take the bike rather than bus down. Plus the baby is still at that difficult-on-the-bus stage, but the bike’s a breeze.

After the fact, I discovered that Google Maps is finally again showing bike routing through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks. One has to walk his/her bike through the locks so the break is understandable, but it’s very inconvenient for those of us with awful senses of direction and equally awful memories who need to refer to a route map. I took a wrong turn each way and had to back track a bit, but I’ll save a map before our next trip…though who knows if that’ll help–I’ve a very strong ability to get lost.

One thing I love about the locks is the huge automated door to the always-empty restrooms so I can just wheel the kids right in for a well-timed bathroom break. It’s probably not cool to bring bikes in a bathroom, but considering all the other signage around, I’m considering the lack of a “No bikes in the restroom” sign an open invitation. Perhaps I need a new, less clunky lock so I wouldn’t be so tempted to leave my bike unlocked and unattended for quick breaks like this.

I had to leave (and I locked) the bike for two minutes to run in and pick up our cruise tickets, but it was so worth having the bike along because rather than settling for fish ‘n chips from Steamer’s Seafood Cafe like everyone else, we zoomed down a couple piers to Ivar’s Acres of Clams. And I just walked the bike right up to the order window with the kids trapped (I mean, safely and quietly contained) in their bike seats.

The only downside of the day was that it turned super cold (by Southern Californian living in Seattle standards) on the way home and the boys got numb extremities and blue lips. So next ride I’ll better prepare for afternoon weather and try harder not to get lost and it’ll be perfect.

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Unshoppping by bike

Better than shopping by bike, dropping off crap to sell by bike!

I still think riding uphill to the grocery store and then downhill back home with a full load (not that I’ve done a full grocery run by bike yet, mind you) is quite nice, but riding uphill with bags of baby clothing to drop off at the consignment shop and then riding home downhill with *only* the extra 70 pounds of kids/snacks/messenger bag is awesome.

On the way home I saw an Xtracycle parked at QFC–the only grocery store 100% uphill from home. I love my bike, but I gazed at it xtra longingly because I looked like a vagabond with bags of crap spilling out every possible spot. All that stuff would have been discreetly tucked away on an X.

In other exciting news, my kickstand is sporting new shoes! I don’t think they make it any easier to use…in fact it’s a little harder to get the kickstand to tuck in to the side, but they sure look good.

Whole Foods tilted bike rack fail

Today was super errand day. If I take the car out I try to combine trips, but usually just two trips because it’s a pain to get the kids in and out of their car seats multiple times–for me and for them. But errand running by bike is a different story. Today we made a record four stops: drug store, grocery store, bead store, bike shop. At Whole Foods I had the dumb idea to try to park on the tilted rack. The Bobike Maxi on the back makes my bike way too rear-heavy so it didn’t work out, but some day I’ll make it happen with a different bike. At least there’s plenty of normal flat bike parking at the Roosevelt Whole Foods. And it’s sheltered. I think this holds true for all Whole Foods in Seattle. There’s nothing I love more than covered bike parking.