All the way to Alki

Why ride 7 miles when you can ride 18? I wanted to watch the Seafair Parade of Ships come in from Alki and invited Andy and his Xtracycle along…and discovered how much tougher he is than I. I mentioned I always cut 5 miles off the trip by catching the water taxi, but Andy was eager to check out the West Seattle Bridge Trail. I have to admit I was curious to see how doable the route is, having only taken part of it once in the other direction. Plus, I wanted to see the new Alaskan Way Bike Trail.

We met at the Ballard Locks and made our way south with a couple snack- and blackberry picking breaks along the way. The Alaskan Way Bike Trail was very nice, but kind of short considering all the excitement over it. I’m sure I’d be much more appreciative had I been using the alternate route day in and day out. The bridge was a bit of a climb, but I’m not going to complain because the five-year old on her teeny single speed did just fine.

I suggested we change things up and take the water taxi home–for the kids’ sake, of course, because kids love water taxis. They did love it, and we saw a swarm of jellyfish along the boarding dock which was very exciting.

We also avoided the lengthy trip through the locks and took the short and steep trip up Broad Street. I had to walk a block, but it was worth the time savings. We swung through South Lake Union Park, but my rear kid had fallen asleep by this point so we just rode by (or through in Andy’s case) the spray park and around the model boat pond and headed up Westlake. I had bungeed the green truck that accompanies us everywhere too far to the side of the bike and banged it the wooden post at the top of Westlake, knocking a wheel off. Doh! The truck sustained some undercarriage damage in the collision so I didn’t stop to retrieve the lost wheel, but we’ll go back soon and clean up our mess…and likely have a replacement truck by then.

We bid our friends goodbye in Fremont and took 34th to Densmore. Densmore isn’t the steepest route, but I was pretty worn out and the big kid had woken up, so rather than slog the last few blocks home we stopped at the Wallingford wading pool. But we eventually made it home: 8.5 miles home, but 18 miles there. Phew!

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