Houseguest with bike

A friend drove up from Oregon and brought her road bike along per my suggestion. Yesterday we took her on a tour of our favorite spots of late, starting with the Seattle Center. I think this wouldn’t be a favorite spot of mine if not for having the bike along, since it’s so big with so many spots of interest. We started out at the International Fountain, but it was a bit crowded so we zoomed over to the DuPen Fountain for a quick dip. The whole place was a bit crowded for comfort (I had checked for big events, but the website failed to mention Hispanic Seafair Festival, which was huge) so we grabbed food at the Center House and then returned to the DuPen for swimming and eating.

The boys got free wooden Seafair hydroplane boats and balloons. I’ve avoided balloons in the past, apologizing “We’re on the bike and can’t possibly transport it home.” But they got their tiny paws on yesterday’s balloons before I could intercept them. The little guy liberated his balloon within three minutes and the big guy didn’t want his tied to his wrist so we compromised by tying it to his helmet. I worked quite well! I left it long while we were walking around, but shortened the string before we rode off to our next destination.

Next up was South Lake Union Park where the big people chilled at the shady table while the little people frolicked in the spray park. We also ran up and down the grassy hills and floated the wooden hydroplanes in the model boat pond. We took the short and steep route home and naturally my seriously-have-never-met-anyone-in-better-shape friend had no trouble and kindly offered to trade bikes with me, but I waved her off and walked the worst half block. I should have thought to weigh her down with a trailer full of bricks to level the playing field.

After yesterday’s gorgeous day, today was cold and rainy. I wasn’t too cold, given my sixty pounds of bonus weight and baby fairing, but my poor friend was cold even in her sweater. Today we biked to Ballard for blunch (their term, not mine) at The High-Life which we decided upon yesterday, thinking we’d be able to dine al fresco–ha ha. But it was nice and warm inside, away from the drizzle. Then we took our bikes to Second Ascent New and Used Outdoor Gear so my friend could look into affordable rack and panniers to do some bicycle touring. Turns out her sweet little road bike is too cute and delicate to do any heavy hauling. My bike tried not to look smug as the mechanic broke the bad news.

We may have left Second Ascent empty handed, but my friend cleaned up at the farmers market. She had expected to carry a bunch of produce home in her new panniers, but I had room in my baskets. This time I had to walk a block and a half on the way home–not due to the groceries, but because all that time in the sun yesterday wiped me out. We took a nap as soon as my friend left for her big drive home.

It was a blast hosting a friend using just bikes. It’s a shame it’s not the norm for me, but I have a feeling this won’t be the last time we bike with a visiting buddy.

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