Kent by bike and bus

Yesterday’s rain washed away most of the snow so I felt safe to take the Milano out for a bike + bus trip 25 miles to Kent. Previously I would have thought a half hour drive with free parking was much better than a two-hour multimodal adventure, but I was so impressed by the ShoWare Center’s Getting There page’s mention of bike parking. Also, Mr. Family Ride had to work all day so adding a few hours of adventurous travel to our day helped get us out of the house for a longer period of time. I was also feeling extra bikey for having been featured on Velo Mom for Family Friday yesterday.

There was still snow to dodge, mostly in the bike lane/door zone. The roads were littered with bits and pieces of broken snow chains, but it was the most rideable it’s been in days. Fortunately no rain fell, but I put rain suits on the boys to shield them from the wind. I chose the University Street transit tunnel as our bike destination because I knew it’d be dry and it’s exciting to watch light rail trains go by. It was a little confusing finding the entrance to tunnel. I asked a pedestrian who looked liked he’d just gotten off a bus and he thought we had to go three blocks north, but we found an elevator inside Benaroya Hall. If there are also stairs to the tunnel, I have no idea where they are.

On the bus I realized I’d left my bike lock at home on the handlebars of my mountain bike. I searched online for sporting goods stores near the venue and the bus passed an REI, but I decided to see if I could talk them into valet parking my bike. I was in luck and the box office directed me around the corner to the group entrance where a staffer let me lean my bike against the wall. She even gave me a claim check for it. She wisely suggested I leave our helmets, too, so I only had to carry twice as much gear (instead of three times as much) as all the car-conveyed families.

When the show (Phineas & Ferb Live, if you were wondering) was over we were greeted with sun!

And we took a peek at the Interurban Trail a block from the ShoWare. I’d love to explore it one day. Preferably one day when it isn’t hugged by snow.

On the way home we took the bus to Convention Place Station to get close to Eastlake and minimize our hill climbing on the way home. I was a bit sad that I didn’t get to experience the full ShoWare bike parking experience, but figured I’d do some research for future shows and take a look at the bike rack closest to the Paramount since we didn’t use it during our visit in November. It’s exposed to the elements and doesn’t seem particularly secure–visible from the street and too far from the buses for their presence to deter theft.

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