Unless you like waiting in line for an hour or more, biking is the only way to get to Seattle’s Family 4th at Gas Works Park. Next year I’ll take pictures of the long lines–they’re frightening. This year they added a second regular entrance, but when we rolled up at start time, long lines stretched in both directions. Fortunately, there’s also a special bike parking entrance with its own bag check and absolutely no line. Here are the bike racks at 12:15. The green tent at the edge of the field is a bike tune-up station provided by Gregg’s Cycles.
Arriving early not only means scoring a parking spot at the end of the bike rack, it also means no lines for the free bounce houses! So that’s what we did for quite a while. I talked to a dad who biked down with his daughter. He lives only 4 blocks away and didn’t know about the bike entrance ahead of time. Happy surprise for him. His friends had walked down and immediately turned back to fetch their bikes.
Also no line for free face spray painting. Patriotic lion:
This lovely family went so far as to move from Bothell to Ballard so they could utilize the bike parking entrance. OK, perhaps that’s not why they moved, but it sure worked to their advantage today. They tell me this is the very last bakfiets to be sold by Dutch Bike Co. Very sad, but I can understand Seattle might not have the best topography for these bikes. I’ll have to stop in and make sure they’re keeping their rental bakfietsen. They’re extremely fun to ride if you can stick to level ground.
Next year we’ll stay out late enough for fireworks, but this year we opted to go home for later-than-normal-but-not-too-crazy-late bedtime. It’s fun to watch the park gradually transform from normal weekend crowd to wall-to-wall people, but if feels a bit of a let down to head home while people are still steadily streaming in. Last year we tried to ride the wake of a pedicab along the Burke-Gilman Trail for eight blocks before taking the short-and-steep route home, but this year I knew better and we charged straight up Meridian.
Finally, if you have a toddler, but no kickstand, try this:
Today’s miles: 3.9
July cumulative: 47.9 miles