Burke-Gilman Trail reopening shindig

This afternoon I bundled the boys into snow gear and we headed 10.9 miles east along the Burke-Gilman Trail for the reopening celebration. We generally head west on the BGT so it’s a treat to see the more woodsy terrain on [a very small portion of] the Lake Washington Loop.

But woodsy means more tree roots buckling the trail so thus the repaving project. The trees make for great scenery, and the view of Lake Washington is breathtaking and much of today’s route was alongside the water.

I’ve only been this far on the trail once, when we rode to Kenmore a year and a half ago, so I don’t remember the condition of the trail, but it’s terrific now. The asphalt is wide and perfectly smooth with gravel shoulders for accent color (or possibly rainwater runoff).

I didn’t think it’d be wise to have the kids stand around outside in the cold weather after sitting on the bike for an hour so we arrived an hour early and overshot the party site by a half mile to thaw out at the Town Center at Lake Forest Park. We’ll have to come back in better weather and visit Honey Bear Bakery, but today’s visit was just to Ross to replace my scratched sunglasses and the little guy’s summer sandals (I lost one last week). Odd shopping list considering today’s weather, although the sun did come out a couple times today–you can even see shadows cast by the bikes at the shopping center’s bike rack.

I was very intrigued by the rear shock on the bike next to me on the rack.

We got back to the celebration site a minute late and the speeches had already started. The crowd parted to let us through–and applauded. It was very odd, but the boys loved it and we made our way through the surprisingly big crowd (given the weather and time of day, that is) to the back of the pack. The guy holding the EQUAL RIGHTS FOR BICYCLISTS sign turned it around halfway through the event to show the ONE BICYCLIST = ONE MOTORIST side. Here’s the seattlepi’s coverage of the event. We appear in photo 5.

The event lasted 20 minutes instead of the advertised 90. Good thing since snow started falling ten minutes into the speakers. I was unfortunately too busy with the kids to pay full attention, but I did notice a very nice raincoat on one of the audience members. I’m still using Mr. Family Ride’s Endura Luminite Jacket for heavy rain, but some day I’d like my own waterproof jacket.

The ribbon cutting was exciting. We love those big scissors and it signified that it was time to flee the snowfall. I’m looking forward to appreciating the new trail in the summer. A friend recently discovered the Park at Bothell Landing which we can reach by Burke-Gilman Trail and new-to-us Sammamish River Trail. But that’s for a 30-mile day in the future.

The ride home was slower going. Cascade Ambassador Brian and crew caught up with us and I hung on for a couple minutes to chat, but quickly admitted defeat and let them get on with their brisk ride back to civilization.

It was colder on the way home and I had to give up my coat to my four-year old. To break up the ride we stopped at U-Village for dinner (and thawing out) at boom noodle. This was the first time I’ve actually parked at a bike rack at U-Village. I usually tuck the bike under the overhang next to the outdoor play area, but it wasn’t raining when we arrived so I covered my saddle and parked responsibly.

It wasn’t raining when we left the restaurant, either, so I let the kids run around the play area a bit to warm up before the remainder of our trip (mostly because I didn’t want to have to give up my coat again). It started raining after five minutes so I hustled the kids onto the bike and we hit the road. Just as I was thinking, “At least it’s just raining and it’s coming down straight” the snow and wind picked up again. The big kid was warm enough to let me keep my coat and the little kid was asleep by this point. Spring can’t come soon enough!

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