Gone are the signs proclaiming “U-locks only–they’re watching you RIGHT NOW” (or something like that) at the Flagship REI, replaced by “ADDITIONAL BIKE PARKING INSIDE!” I appreciate that exclamation point! It’s very exciting!
I didn’t go by customer service to ask how long the indoor rack has been around because I didn’t want to get caught in the receiving-the-animal-footprints-hidden-around-the-store-scavenger-hunt-pamphlet-time-suck, but a nearby worker told me it’s been around a few months.
I was probably a little too excited about the indoor rack and left our helmets and jackets on the bike. They stayed put, but it’s probably not a good idea to leave unlocked items, even with no scary warning signs. Plus, REI is a perfectly acceptable place to lug large quantities of gear around.
I don’t usually go to REI to shop, I go for the awesome play area and the adjacent World Wrapps.
I wanted to try on Smartwool arm warmers so I eventually herded the kids down to the bike department. I couldn’t really tell the difference between S/M and L/XL (neither could the boys), but they look and feel nice. However, after seeing the SockGuy bike chain arm warmers on Back Alley Bike Repair’s Ben last week, I really want some of those.
We discovered some other cool stuff in the bike department. And I discovered I can take pictures of everything and not feel the need to spend any money.
There were lots of exciting kiddie helmets:
A Timbuk2 bag with cool bikey pattern:
Po Campo bags. I had no idea they were available to the masses!
And a rack for both men and women of casual cycling wear by Club Ride.
A week ago in the windowless Children’s Museum I complained about not being able to see outside and gauge the weather conditions, but today I realized those big REI windows area a mixed blessing. We watched the rain start falling…and keep falling…and we kept playing while waiting to see if it stopped.
In terms of getting to REI, I’ve never taken the same route twice. I meant to study the map and memorize a route over from South Lake Union, but forgot to do so and winged it. Naturally, that meant I had to stop and check the map on my phone. So still working on a favorite route over.
I came home on Eastlake since it spreads out the climb home the best, but my ideal route towards REI probably won’t include it. So back to the drawing board. And I’ll hopefully experiment again while it’s still 20% off season.
I did make an interesting discovery while crossing the University Bridge. It was commute time so there were a lot of bikes on the road and each biker that passed me seemed to get a little extra pep in his/her pedaling. Only one turned and said the obligatory “You’ve got quite the load there!” but I think they were all thinking along those lines…It’s miserable and rainy out, but at least I don’t have to lug all that weight around. Yay me! I feel like I should have noticed this phenomenon sooner, but apparently it takes six overtakers in quick succession to teach me a lesson.
Looks like REI is catching on to the everyday transportation riding idea! I was going to use my dividend coupon to buy new rain pants, but the other stuff looks more tempting…
Maybe you need to get memberships for each member of the family to get more coupons! I haven’t done that myself, but I hear many do. I just wish there was an easier way to get onto northbound Eastlake upon leaving the store–that intersection is confusing and crowded. More experimenting (and shopping) to do, I guess.
LOL, that’s clever! Yes, Mr. Jen could use a membership…
I’d certainly like an easier bicycle route to REI. Have to admit that I’ve never tried it – I end up looking at the map, getting confused and thinking….well, maybe next time.