Embracing Neighborhood Greenways

Riding home tonight was the first time I left the excitement of 45th for a quieter parallel street. I love that we’re on the road to Neighborhood Greenways, but I’m having trouble with the idea of giving up my cycle along my neighborhood’s main drag. In case greenways are new to you, here’s the definition from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways:

Neighborhood Greenways are dedicated residential streets, often paralleling an arterial, with low traffic volume and traffic speeds. Neighborhood Greenways are mapped to be an extended connection between parks, schools, libraries and neighborhood businesses, while providing a quieter, slower paced place where bicycles, pedestrians and neighbors’ safety are all given priority.

Granted, I’d already gone 9 of my 11 blocks and the decision to move over a block was partially based on not wanting to wait for a light to turn green, but also on the woman in the SUV talking on her cell phone who screeched to a halt next to me, almost running the red light. But I’ve been meaning to force myself to get used to riding on more quiet streets. We’re not often out after dark these days, but we’d had a bikey dinner date with a friend and her two kids who came by Madsen bucket bike. She had a much worse experience on her way home–a motorist nearly hit her while she walked her very lit-up bike through an intersection. So yeah, definitely time to embrace Neighborhood Greenways.

Earlier in the day, the travel was all good, though. I climbed Fremont Avenue again, this time just with the lighter kid. I was feeling pretty accomplished until I saw a guy on a bakfiets cruise by in the other direction. I believe this is the same bakfiets I usually see parked at Streambox on Westlake so this guy goes up and down this hill every day.

My destination was the Phinney Market Pub & Eatery, which has the greatest double-decker train table. I’ve biked by in the evening and seen the place packed, but it’s been fairly slow the few times I’ve visited in the morning.

Ryan of Go Means Go met me there so I could give him the awesome bikey tie I scored at the bins on Sunday. I’ve heard of Cycle Cap Tuesday, but apparently there is also Tie Tuesday so the timing was perfect. Mostly he listened to me whine about having to roll up my pant leg until Edward comes up with chain guard solution, but we also talked about other bike, Seattle, and train stuff.

I was a little disappointed Ryan didn’t put a Go Means Go sticker on the bike rack outside Phinney Market (I’d even taken a “before” picture of the rack, but he’s out of stickers!), but he’s printing more soon. Here’s a picture of him and his Raleigh looking tiny compared to my massive bike.

Apparently Ryan is thinking about a cargo bike for himself. He thinks he wants a bakfiets, but this is based on having dragged trailers around and wanting his cargo in front of him. I extolled the virtues of the Big Dummy, of course. Not sure how effective my “two kids, two balance bikes, and five hours worth of snacks!” was. I’m not sure what that correlates to in his world.

His regular-sized bike has a great rack, though, so he can carry more cargo than the average Joe. It’s got a nice bell as well. I’m still on the lookout for he right bell for my bike, but I don’t know how gold will go with my pink/black theme. Plus, imagine how annoying for everyone to have to hear me chirp, “It’s the same bell Go Means Go has!”

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