Ballard Family Greenway Ride

My fellow ALI grad, Shannon, set up a Family Ride on the someday-to-be Ballard Greenway in conjunction with Walk.Bike.Schools and Ballard Greenways…and Julian declared it a Kidical Mass ride, too! Forty people, big and small, showed up for the three-and-a-half mile east-west trip.

Photo courtesy Seattle Neighborhood Greenways

The ride was slow-paced enough that I let my five-year old ride solo on his pedal bike. His first time on the open road!

There were a few kids riding on bigger bikes and we got a bit behind at times, but he had a great time and was able to make it uphill on all but one block. He can stand on the pedals on flat ground, but hasn’t gotten the hang of utilizing that skill for climbing hills yet.

Our ride leader, Cascade Bicycle Club’s Robin Randels, was fittingly costumed as a queen bee–here she is at one turn-around points:

And Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Cathy Tuttle was the sweeper–complete with broom!–dressed as a witch:

It wasn’t a costume ride per se, but would have been an excellent day to unveil a decorated bike. I picked up an empty bike box yesterday, but was too tired to turn it into something last night.

This was my first close look at Totcycle’s new BULLITT cargo bike with Blaq Design cargo canopy and BionX electric assist. And a Burley Piccolo trailer bike on the back to really show off. It’s so awesome! I test rode it after the ride and almost gave up (that linkage steering as described so well by Hum of the City is hard to get used to!), but finally got the hang of it. Did I mention how awesome it is? It’s awesome!

I should point out that it’s hard to keep empty space empty. It’s nice riding around with just one kid and one kid bike (the lighter one!) on board, but the brothers were minorly clashing in the Madsen bucket in front of us–no big deal, the little one was pretending to eat the big one, but we’ve been there a million times, so I offered my free seat to the the eat-ee.

After the ride I let both boys ride their bikes to Ballard Coffee Works (train table!) for the post party and then through Ballard Farmers Market, but put both kids back on board for the ride through The Missing Link. I let just the big kid loose once we got to the Burke-Gilman Trail. The three-year old was upset at having to remain a passenger and didn’t buy my argument that his balance bike wasn’t trail-ready, but he didn’t fret for long because the chain fell off the kiddie pedal bike on both sides. That was a first for me and I couldn’t wrestle it back on. Luckily, this happened a half-block past Rosebud Custom Bicycle Builds…but they were closed. I’ve only carried 16-inch (and bigger) bikes by dragging a wheel out the back, but I was able to fit the whole bike into the FreeLoader bag–good to know! So we got it fixed a mile and a half down the trail, at Recycled Cycles. The mechanic said it was an unusual thing to have happen and moved the back wheel back a bit to prevent it from happening again.

The kids were eager to ride so we rode up the sidewalk of Stone Way and then experimented with a kid-friendly route home by turning right before 45th on Allen Place. First off, we discovered the Slide to Nowhere/sui-slide I just read about on Wallyhood. Curious and exciting!

And then we cut through Lincoln High School (which I think a lot of bicyclers do) and discovered a wonderful asphalt expanse, complete with speed humps that are fun to ride both over and along. If you live anywhere near Lincoln High, it’s worth biking around during non-school times.

2 thoughts on “Ballard Family Greenway Ride

  1. Pingback: Bike News Roundup: Biking through the hurricane | Seattle Bike Blog

  2. Pingback: Spokespeople » Spokespeople Rides: Bridges, Libraries & maybe a Brew in Fremont Sat Nov 3 2pm

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