UW Self-Service Bike Stations with Spokespeople

This month’s Spokespeople ride was awesome! For starters the kids were the perfect amount of hungry and complacently tired so they quietly sat and snacked most of the time and I could actually pay attention and learn a thing or two. We rode to the self-service bike stations on campus which I’d been meaning to check out. The two of the three we went by were sheltered from the rain and are full of tools someone only slightly more competant than myself would know how to use.

Bob Edmiston was there with his e-bike, but not the same e-bike we saw last time and featured in this wonderful article: UW staffer zeros out daily commute costs, carbon footprint. I asked him what happened to the old bike and he said his wife took it for herself. I love it!

Scanning the assembled crowd, I noticed Robin of Phinney/Greenwood Greenways was sporting a le Tour de France vest, Cathy of Spokespeople and Wallingford Greenways pulled on the longest, sparkliest gloves I’ve ever seen, and Juliette from Hub and Bespoke is the most stylish of all the stylish Seattle bike riders, even with no pup in her wicker dog basket. Talk about a fashion show. But seriously, I was quite smitten with the clipless shoes on one of the guys. They look less “runnery” in person than on the Pearl Izumi site and he said they’re very comfortable to walk around in, and the metal part can be covered with a plastic plate for long-term comfort. I think for truly stylish clipless shoes, you have to make ’em yourself, but I can’t help but keep an eye out for a turnkey shoe. Not that I’m planning to go clipless on the mamabike. Or replace my 10-year-old Shimano SPD mountain bike shoes since I don’t have occasion to use them often on my road or mountain bikes. I’m not a shoe hoarder, but for some reason I just can’t let go my search for cute SPDs.

Before the ride, I rode the boys and their balance bikes down to Gas Works Park where I thought they’d bomb down some big hills, but they just hit the puddles and sand pit.

While down there I zip tied on the little guy’s replacement 99-cent thrift store basket (which he promptly filled with wet sand, so it probably won’t last too long) and attached his horn. I know you’re wondering why I brought along a Swiss Army Knife when I’ve got a cargo bike that can carry a full-sized screwdriver. I dunno. I brought full-sized scissors…which were extraneous given the Swiss Army Knife.

We swung by home before the group ride to drop off one of the balance bikes. We didn’t end up using the other balance bike on the ride, but it was cool to demonstrate to the riders how much cargo a longtail can accommodate. I took Meridian uphill from Gas Works this time. I’ll have to compare grades, but I think it might be an easier climb than Densmore. But even better, the first several blocks are at the edge of the dropoff and it’s buoying to glance to the right at the end of each block and see how much farther above the water one’s climbed.

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