Chance encounters on the bike train

For a day that started out exceptionally car heavy with two separate runs to the airport (first to return my visiting dad to Los Angeles and second to send Mr. Family Ride to Chicago for a week), the afternoon was bikier than I could have imagined.

I led the preschool bike train (me on the Big Dummy, a mountain bike with iBert baby seat and Weehoo iGo recumbent trailer bike, and a mountain bike with iBert baby seat and Burley Piccolo trailer bike) two miles to South Lake Union Park and kicked off a day of running into cargo bike friend after cargo bike friend.

Our first bike encounter was with Barbara of Eastlake Greenways and her new Kona MinUte (that everyone who test rides wants). She let me try her Yuba Padded Seat Soft Spot on for size. I’m happy to report that it fits on an Xtracycle FlightDeck in front of Yepp Peapod III…unless one’s front passenger insists on having the handle hole uncovered and available for wedging in a stuffed salmon.

When our train of nine people and eight wheels headed home from the park we happened upon Biking with Brad’s Big Dummy–sporting a new BionX electric assist. We found him inside eating ice cream, but I’m not too worried about him going soft considering he’s fresh off a 400K (250 miles!!) with the Seattle Randonneurs.

He joined the bike train (twelve people, ten wheels now) and I realized just three days with the motor has seriously affected him when he asked just half a block up Meridian how I could make my way up without e-assist. He was soon reminded how slow and stubborn I am, but I expect more e-pestering. I worry that balancing drop off times between a kindergarten and a preschool next year may drive me to needing an electric assist, but hopefully I can keep at it with my slow and steady (and most importantly, cheaper than motorized) pace.

The bike train split in two once we reached the Neighborhood Greenway, but not before we stopped for a victory picture having surmounted the hill.

I escorted Brad along the Greenway and we ran into Julie on her Madsen:

It’s not easy to convince myself to ride two extra blocks uphill to reach the Greenway, but I want to be one more bike presence. And if it increases the odds of running into a friend, that’s added incentive. I fully expect to hear an exciting bike-related tale from Brad about his trip back along the Greenway after our impromptu playdate.

Today’s miles: 8.2
May cumulative: 177.1 miles

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2 thoughts on “Chance encounters on the bike train

  1. I love encountering cargo bikes on the road even when we don’t know the people. I almost always at least ding the bell and wave. Even better when we actually know the people. Sometimes I feel like we (family bikers) are gaining momentum and our numbers are on the verge of growing exponentially. Other times I feel like part of an obscure fringe group on the verge of dying out. I surely see a lot more families in minivans and Subarus than on cargo bikes.

    I went to register the kid for Kindergarten yesterday. By chance it was right when school let out. Every on-street parking space for a block+ in all directions was occupied. Interestingly… there were signs all over that said “Friday is Bike/Walk day, please park at least one block away.” I thought something along the lines of “please consider walking or biking with your child to school” would have been more appropriate.

    • I’m seeing more and more families biking, but it’s hard to tell if it’s just a weather thing or a paradigm shift.

      I hope you’ll open a can of bike-to-school-day whup-a$$ next year and put a better sign in place :)

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