The World’s Smallest Stage Race

This month’s Izilla Toys family picnic featured le Tour d’Izilla, The World’s Smallest Stage Race. The course was an oval track on the Wallingford Center patio, with Tour de France winners’ names written on chalk along the route. Naturally, the boys’ favorite was Maurice Garin, winner of the 1903 Tour who was disqualified in 1904 for catching a train (trains!) to avoid a difficult or boring stage. Jude from Izilla rotated heats (stages) of real bikes, balance bikes, scooters, big wheels, or combinations of vehicles depending on the available entrants. It was all very official-looking with huge banners, race numbers, and ribbons for everyone at the end of a stage.

We didn’t last until the end of the party so I’m not sure how it ended. Maybe there was a final heat with big prizes, but I think it was just stage after stage and ribbon after ribbon–and we came home with waaaaay too many ribbons. Even the little guy who never made it all the way around the course got a bunch of ribbons just for trying.

They had a tiny clown bike that I took for a practice spin around the course. It was hard! I had to set a foot down a couple times to keep from toppling over.

Our morning started with a ride to the doctor in her new office (even closer than before and now with covered bike parking!). Then we swung by the Troll. Until recently I didn’t realize it was possible for one to bike by the troll–one toting 60 pounds (weighed my passengers today) of extra weight, that is. Due to construction on 34th, we’ve been experimenting with various routes lately. Heading three blocks up 36th today was much harder than starting on 35th and scaling one steep block of Troll Ave last week.

I gotta say one of the coolest parts of today heading home from our big day at the Seattle Center and South Lake Union Park was while riding back through the South Lake Union parking lots and encountering a family of Dutch people: “Pas op voor de fiets!” I was tempted to stop and say “Dag” but we still had to squeeze in a visit to the exciting construction site on Stone Way and stop at Molly Moon for pre-race ice cream treats. My 60 pounds of passenger aren’t keen to talk to strangers to begin with and especially not when they know they’ve got construction and ice cream on the horizon.

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