With a high of 46 and slight chance of rain, today seemed like a good day to bike 8.5 miles to a birthday party at Highland Ice Arena, just off the Interurban Trail in Shoreline. The only hard part of the journey was climbing to Phinney to catch the trail, making the trip take more like an hour fifteen instead of Google maps’ estimated 56 minutes.
Much of the trail is road-based sharrows, but two intersections had nifty no-through-traffic arrows to cut down car use. Unfortunately, cars ignored the arrows and drove straight through the intersections both times.
The trail portions were great and there’s even art on the trail. There are four sets of these flip book panels, which probably look animated to the faster trail users.
A set of bridges carries bike and pedestrians safely over 155th and then Aurora.
The ice skating place was right across the street from the trail. It looks like a wide sidewalk in the photo, but this is the trail. From Google maps, I don’t think it extends too far past this before being broken up by road again, but I’d like to explore it more once the weather warms up and I’m on the lookout for more near-to-trail destinations.
I wasn’t surprised that there’s no bike rack at the ice rink so I made use of a pole right by the front door. Lack of bike racks usually means even more convenient bike parking in my book. It would have been even better if there was a curb cut to get onto the sidewalk, but it was easy enough to walk the bike over the curb once the big kid hopped off.
We left for home at five and it took about an hour. There was a bit of light for the unfamiliar part of the trip home, but there are no lights on the trail so I’m happy we didn’t leave any later. Exploring will be so much more fun when the days stretch longer and get warmer. Also, the four-year old started dozing off close to home. That’s not something I’ve had to worry about before since he’s ensconced in his Bobike maxi on the old bike. I kept him awake by pointing out phantom squirrels and asking train-related questions. I think he’d probably stay sitting up for a short nap (based on a story I heard at the first Kidical Mass we attended), but I’m not ready to test that theory.
One other bit of bikey excitement today: in the morning we went to Ride Bicycles to get my front wheel stabilizer. It’s a very strong Civia Loring Basket Fork Spring 58mm held in place with a Problem Solvers dual cable Backstop 1-1/2″ cable with slots. Apparently this isn’t the usual use for the backstop, but my tube is so big it took some investigating on Edward’s part to find something to clamp around it. So now my wheel and basket won’t automatically flop to the side every time I take my hands off the handlebars. Safer basket cargo and prettier pictures. I also got a blue Jellibell because I apparently have a bell-buying problem of late. I think this one will go on the kid handlebars and I’ll get the black time clock bell. Not sure where the kitty cat will end up. Maybe I can claim it for my beach cruiser…but only after I find it a tiny shower cap to protect it from rain.
For someone who just said she hasn’t pumped up her own tires in forever, you sure seem to know a lot more about bikes than I do. I feel like I have to look up the gear you’re talking about every-other post! Thanks for helping me learn.
Heh, I typed it word-for-word from the receipt and Googled it as well :) I’m just trying to talk the talk. I would like to memorize some of my parts for when people have questions out and about.
Interesting thing about those bridges in Shoreline… If you look at the objects molded into the concrete, mostly seashell and rock shapes, you’ll find unique one-or-two-of-a-kind items here and there… a shoe, a bottle, seahorse, and some others that I don’t remember. My kids loved to find the odd-balls. Next time you’re up that way, stop and have a look.
How fun! It’s impressive how much art and attractive signage line this trail. I guess I don’t need a destination now–the bridges can be our destination :)