Lake City by pedal power alone

I had written off Lake City as too hilly and too dangerous to get to by bike, but I proved myself wrong today. Wednesday is usually our car day because we have twenty minutes to get from Lower Queen Anne to Lake City, but the five-year old stayed home from preschool so I took advantage of our extra open time and set out for a ten-mile adventure. Last year I biked to Wedgwood during the Burke-Gilman Trail closure so part of the trip was familiar…but not familiar enough for me to catch the left toward NE 94th St. I realized my mistake when we reached Matthews Beach. Here’s what the turn-off looks like for future reference:

The steepest climb is up 94th away from the trail. I had to get out of the saddle, but I don’t remember having to walk it last time on the city bike so I declare it bikeable by all. There’s more climbing, too. The 35th Ave NE portion is a particularly unpleasant slog uphill. I think the best part is cresting the hill of NE 120th St and seeing the big green Vision Quest [Fitness Club] sign. I felt like Matthew Modine jogging into eighties-America’s heart.

We went out early to have time to visit Kaffeeklatsch coffeehouse. I thought their custom bike rack would have been moved to the street by now, but it was still on the sidewalk. The barista said it’s getting bolted down next week, but she didn’t know if it’s permanent spot will be on the sidewalk or street. My bike’s too long for its current location so I hope it moves into street corral position.

Then it was a quick–and flat!–ride to Olympic Hills Elementary for class…after some bike rack aerobics. I’ve put both bike rack pictures on Hum of the City’s new Kids on Bike Racks Flickr group. Add yours, too!

Our route home was slightly different and included this little gem of a cut-through:

I think that was Hiram Place NE cutting through 26th Avenue NE. We also discovered Virgil Flaim Park for next time. It’s tiny, but it’s a playground at the top of all the hills. Sometimes a park halfway up the hill is good, but I think this trek requires a park at the top of the hill. Also, despite the address given on the City’s site, it’s really at NE 123rd Street and Hiram Place NE. Since we were headed downhill we stopped to explore a bit farther along, at Meadowbrook Pond. Such a beautiful spot! We’d cut through just the edge of the park on our way north, but we rode into the center and walked around the raised walkways and trails on our way home.

Again, the steepest hill of the route was in getting back to the Burke-Gilman Trail, this time climbing 45th Avenue NE over Thornton Creek.

As we rounded the last curve, I saw a helicopter looming over Roosevelt so I opted not to go directly home. A friend texted me about today’s shootings while we were at Kaffeeklatsch so I followed the news at our various stops, but so far hadn’t read of a resolution. I’ve always meant to bike the two gravel paths from the Burke-Gilman Trail to Drumheller Fountain so that’s just what we did.

As usual, I had several days worth of snacks packed so we were able to have a picnic and hang out until I read the streets were safe.

Today’s miles: 20.9
May cumulative: 392 miles

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5 thoughts on “Lake City by pedal power alone

  1. Good gravy, so glad you all are safe. I knew nothing of what happened and just read it. All I can think is, no one would shoot me for my bike as a get-away vehicle, right? So, so sad. Again, glad you’re all safe!

    • Good point: bikes get stolen, but not bike-jacked. Very scary situation and kept everyone (everyone we’d been planning to convene with, that is) home from our first neighborhood farmers market of the season, waiting for news. So, so sad, indeed :(

      I just realized that had we driven the car, we would have taken our usual route right by Cafe Racer on the way home.

  2. I find that my bike is too long for the racks everywhere. I just pull up further and park at one end. Not sure what I’ll do if I ever have to park at one that’s really crowded.

    • Me too! I only fit on the ends of racks or else just park free-standing locked to myself. Fortunately (?) the Capitol Hill neighborhood where four to six bikes cluster on every small bike rack is too steep for me to reach.

  3. Thanks for the mention of Kids on Bike Racks! I suppose I should mention it as well at some point… I don’t know what happened but I’m glad you’re all okay.

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