Bike vs. car vs. feet

We met some friends at Cascade Playground this morning and braved the cold for a while before agreeing to meet at the REI play area four blocks away. The walker with one kid in stroller left slightly before me with two kids on the bike and the driver with one kid in the car. The walker arrived first, then me, and last the driver. If the distance was slightly greater, I think I would have won. Also, I was the only one who thought it was a race.

At the bike rack I noticed that the bike parked next to me still had its rear light on. I felt uncomfortable at the thought of touching someone else’s bike, but also obligated to save the light’s battery. I looked around nervously and quickly turned it off while the kids shouted “Mama! What are you doing?”/”Mama! Uh arr oooooey?” and reached hungrily at other parked bikes. Is that cool or should I have just left the light on? I have a feeling the answer to this question might be different in standoffish Seattle than in other cities.

I was approached at the play area by an REI employee who asked if my two-year old wore a size 2T and did he want to be an REI fit model. I asked what it entailed and she said we’d go to the headquarters in Kent (18 miles south of Seattle) where he’d play around in clothing to make sure it fit as it should. At the mention of Kent I knew I wasn’t interested and explained that we bike everywhere so it wasn’t feasible. Then she said, “Oh, did I mention it pays? $120.” I’m embarrassed to admit I immediately changed my tune: “Oh, well we have a car! We just don’t use it often. Sign him up!” So on our way out–which was two hours later than I’d planned to leave since I was too wimpy to ride home in the unexpected drizzle–we stopped by the third-party talent scouts for measuring. Apparently his modelling career is not a done deal, but the measurers seemed pleased with his numbers and whispered to each other, “Ooh, I think he’ll be great” so we’re just waiting for the call now. $120 could buy a lot of bike lights. Or part of one really bright one.

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6 thoughts on “Bike vs. car vs. feet

  1. I think turning off the light was a good deed, but I’d feel awkward doing it. I guess I’ve been in Seattle at least that long!

    Very cool about the fit model gig!

    • Ha, love the “race”. Can’t imagine driving from Cascade to REI…

      Also: Really? Of course, turn the bike light off! Not only are you saving battery life, you might very well save *their* life! Be bold.

  2. REI headquarters is rideable, but it’s a haul. I go by it on my bike commute from Ballard to Des Moines.

    Their campus is not far from the Interurban trail. That last stretch would be a sidewalk and crosswalk affair, though, because it’s a big ol’ wide fast street. The route is basically waterfront to West Seattle, , then the Green River and Interurban trail (which are both pretty nice).

    The is largely roads in industrial area. So, trucks! trains! But… it might be possible to skip it by taking the 150 to Tukwila and then jumping on the Interurban trail.

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