Bus rack, balance bikes, and baseball

Our day started out pretty exciting: while momentarily parked by New Secret Train Tracks (not to be confused with secret train tracks), I met another Surly Big Dummy rider. He lives on Bainbridge Island so, naturally, I had to ask if he’s riding Bike for Pie this summer (he is!). He was en route to Recycled Cycles to try on clipless bike shoes. I’m too klutzy for them on the family bike myself, but I love ’em on my road and mountain bikes. I almost swung by Recycled Cycles on my way home six hours later to investigate and see if they’d share his shopping results with me…but I thought that’d be weird. Yo, Adrian, did you get new shoes and pedals??

Our next stop was Union Station to check out the new bus bike rack. The bike slots are longer and wider, but I didn’t ask if I could put the Big Dummy on it–mostly because I don’t think I can lift it, since I can barely lift the Milano. I’ve heard long tails fit existing bus bike racks, but aren’t allowed. Perhaps these new bigger racks will be different.

I borrowed the demo bike and gave it a try. It’s nice. The new racks have no release button on the front wheel clamp so it’s easier to use. And the slots for the inner two bikes both have the front wheel closer to the curb so they’re safer for loading. I asked the SDOT rep and the bus driver if they happened to know any light rail stationshad ramp access, hoping I could get the long bike down there since it doesn’t fit in an elevator. Not only is there no non-elevator/non-stair access, oversized bikes aren’t allowed on the light rail train (so said the SDOT worker and bus driver…I can’t find this info online). Grr, I was hoping to take a trip down to Bike Works and check out a nearby taco truck in a school bus I just read about. Looks like we’ll do our multi-modal trek with the old mamabike again.

I had the balance bikes along today in hopes we’d make it up to UW for the cherry blossoms, but we stopped for a long kiddie ride at Occidental Park instead. So rather than chase falling cherry blossoms, the kids zoomed around after pigeons.

I didn’t want to deal with locking up all three bikes to take the kids somewhere for a bathroom break so we paid a visit to Back Alley Bike Repair where they kindly let me roll my laden rig inside and use their facilities. We timed it perfectly–Biking for Baseball was visiting the Bicycle Alliance of Washington across the hall. They’re riding all over the country taking in baseball games and coaching kids. They’ve only just started their big tour, but I predict they’ll stay as friendly and energetic the whole way. And they gave us some great stickers–meet up with them if you can!

Heading home along the Elliott Bay Trail, I stopped when I saw a trio of cyclists taking pictures of one another to offer snapping a shot of all three together. They were visiting from New York and had rented bikes from Seattle Cycling Tours for a two hour jaunt through the locks and back via the Ship Canal Trail. Mind you, I didn’t get all this information in the one encounter. I ran into them checking their map a couple times and tried to force advice and directions on them. They were running short on time and may not have done the whole circuit, but at least they got to see a very cool visiting Norfolk Southern engine at the train yard (well, we thought it was very cool, at least). And that wasn’t all the train excitement: the blue train engine had moved from its usual spot. I thought it was just for show, but it must move those frozen fish box cars around. And some guys (not the real Pothole Rangers, but heroes in their own right, I’m sure) were patching holes along some train track nearby. A far cry from cherry blossoms, but big fun for the kiddos.

Today’s miles: 15.7 miles
April cumulative: 152.8 miles

2 thoughts on “Bus rack, balance bikes, and baseball

  1. The Biking for Baseball group sounds great! Sadly, it looks like we missed our chance to see them and they are no where near our area.

    Great concept though and their logo is great!

    • I saw mention of them on Seattle Bike Blog’s twitter stream, but I’m never organized enough to blog stuff ahead of time :( It was just a happy occurrence we bumped into them! I’m motivated to go to our first Mariner’s game this season.

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