Archive | November 2012

Family group ride along Westlake to South Lake Union

I wasn’t going to bother recapping yesterday’s Family Bike Ride to Holiday Lights at Lake Union Park so soon after the very similar Thanksgiving Family Group Ride, but it was just so picturesque out there today!

We convened at Gas Works Park again: three Surly Big Dummies (including another new Xtracycle Hooptie!), one Madsen bucket bike, one BULLITT, one regular bike plus rear kid seat, and one regular bike. And Barbara met us with her Kona MinUte later at the festival. Lots of family bikes!

We took a bit of a round-about route to be extra family-friendly. I might consider letting my five-year old pedal the sidewalk of the non-trail portions of this route, but today both kids rode on the FlightDeck:

The bike counter was fairly low due to the holiday: we were numbers 342-348 at 12:45.

The Holiday Lights Festival was great. We sailed model boats in the pond, decorated boat-shaped cookies in The Center for Wooden Boats, made our own wooden boats, boat fruit from the Farm Boat, and made cards and necklaces aboard the Virginia V.

The Wheelha.us family left early to pick up a Christmas tree. And then swung back through the park so we could all admire it in the Madsen’s bucket. Amazing!

It was very cold by the time we headed home–“Even my hair is cold!” conditions, according to my three-year old. I tried to put a spare shirt over his helmet for a makeshift balaclava, but he didn’t like it, with or without mouth and nose coverage. I still think it’s a pretty snazzy solution–classier than the time I stuck his feet in a shopping bag to keep them warm, anyway.

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Thanksgiving Family Group Ride

22 people on 11 bikes (including a family we met and absorbed along the way) took part in a wonderful Seattle Family Biking Thanksgiving Day ride yesterday. I’m really impressed by the power of a Facebook group to bring people together for events and facilitate the sharing of information. If you’re in Seattle, our group is here. One slight problem: there’s no admin so I think you need to be friends with someone already in the group to be added. I’m trying to fix that, but in the meantime, contact me and we’ll find one another on Facebook so I can add you.

Any member can initiate an event and this was Barbara’s brilliant idea. We met at Gas Works Park: three Surly Big Dummies, one Kona MinUte, two bikes + trailer bikes, one bakfiets, one BULLITT, one bike with rear kid seat, and two regular bikes.

We traveled clockwise around Lake Union and took a route that didn’t include any riding on horrid Eastlake, but that meant a steep half-block hill at Hamlin (marked with point B on the map below):

Some riders needed to walk a bit; I made it up the hill, but felt ready to take a nap afterwards. Fortunately, our play structure pitstop was less than a flat mile away, at the little nameless park at the southeast tip of the lake.

There was playing, resting, bike test riding, and Xtracycle Hooptie admiring. This one is Tom and Jenn’s and at the wider setting fits around the Yepp kid seat.

Here it is in action:

So fun!

If just seeing photos doesn’t make you want one, watch this adorable video by Shane MacRhodes of Eugene:


 

And there was kid swapping! I traded my 39-pounder to Jennifer of Loop-Frame Love/Ballard Greenways so he could try the Burley Piccolo trailercycle. I just got my hands on a Burley Piccolo without realizing I don’t have a bike to put it on. It connects to a rear rack and is therefore more stable than seat-post-connecting trailer bike models, but that means it the adult bike needs brazons. I had no idea my road bike wasn’t equipped for this. Nor my mountain bike. Nor my beach cruiser. And my old mamabike still has a rear seat taking up that spot. So I need another bike! :)

Note: it didn’t rain at all yesterday–that’s just residual wet street. It was warm and dry enough to stay outside all day long–47 degrees F when I checked around 3pm. We even saw the sun for a few minutes.

We lost a couple riders to naps and lunch plans along the way, but many of us made it to stop two: Starbucks on Westlake.

And then we got to stop three: the Seattle Bike Counter.

Kids love the bike counter. Numbers! Bright dots to count!

But today I discovered it’s also a good stop to throw gloves off the bridge while one’s parent is distracted. Here’s Barbara retrieving my toddler’s discarded gloves from the Burke-Gilman Trail. This is after she already generously went down to fetch a shoe. And he had yet to throw gloves into the street.

Really, this is a hug (well, “Hug walk!”) and not restraining the tiny terror.

We hung out for a while and saw a couple curious things, like a counted jogging stroller and an uncounted bike when two crossed in opposite directions on the same side.

At one point we were all standing in a line when a man on a road bike went by so we spontaneously applauded him. He seemed to like it. Family bikers get applauded here and there, but regular cyclists miss out on this.

And one last thing! Sometimes you just don’t want the party to end (or don’t want to return home to a frantic Thanksgiving kitchen too early) so Barbara stopped by our garage with us to fetch kid bikes. I hate to give up cargo, but I let her carry the Kinderbike mini balance bike–she only needed one bungee cord to fit it to the side of her MinUte, but noted it was heavier than her usual wooden Skuut balance bike.

The kids bike paraded around Wallingford Playfield for over an hour and I have a feeling I’m going to have to make time for a kid group ride after every family bike group ride now.

Happy Thanksgiving!

p.s. I had so much fun, we’re doing it again tomorrow! Family Bike Ride to Holiday Lights at Lake Union Park: Gas Works Park at noon.

Seattle Cranksgiving 2012

Cranksgiving 2012: Seattle’s bike-powered food drive & scavenger hunt was awesome! We participated two years ago (last year it conflicted with a Kidical Mass ride) and it was great to see how much the ride has grown. It’s hard to tell how many people stay away when the weather is less than ideal, of course, but even in the rain, cold, and wind, there were over 40 riders.

Here’s the manifest:

and I think the fact that I still have it means I wasn’t DFL, but rather DNF (Did Not Finish. You’ll have to Google the other TLA.) Or maybe I’m off the hook since someone else from my team turned in a manifest before I arrived well after 3pm. Obviously, I don’t really know how alleycats work. I’ll study up before I do another one.

Here’s my team: Team Family Ride, The Transportation Nag and friend, Barbara and son on her Kona MinUte, and half of team Wheelha.us (the other half met up en route after a toddler birthday party–multitasking!).

Then we all split up and I never saw any of them again.

I rode with Barbara and Neal of Alleycat Life who I don’t think I get to count as a teammate since he was documenting the ride–though he also filled his baskets with donations at each stop.

I was so happy the ride didn’t start on Capitol Hill this year and I didn’t want to hit the grocery stores up there. Skipping a couple stops was a good plan, but in retrospect, I should have only hit Pike Place Market and Uwajimaya before taking the light rail down to the checkin. But we headed north (and uphill) to the University District Farmers Market (for an exciting 10-pound squash and lots of oohs and aahs over the cargo bikes) and Rising Sun Produce.

Barbara had to take off after our first two stops, but I happily took her donations (Yay WideLoader shelf!) and Neal and I headed south to Pike Place Market. That orange spokecard is for Cranksgiving:

Photo courtesy Alleycat Life

I took the obligatory picture with Rachel the Pig, but didn’t buy anything as I spent our visit thawing out the kids. We started out on the wrong foot when I didn’t put the kids in full rain gear to better show their Seattle Neighborhood Greenways costumes and let them cavort in the puddles with their snow boots (snowproof, but not waterproof). I almost packed an extra set of boots for the kids, but didn’t want to sacrifice the cargo space so the three-year old spent two hours with wet feet. I put him in dry socks and wrapped his feet with my rain jacket and that seemed to do the trick. And the five-year old had plunged his snow gloves (also not waterproof) into a puddle so he got my cotton gloves (better than nothing). Fortunately, hauling such a heavy load keeps me warm enough that I don’t need jacket and gloves most of the time.

Someday I should try riding up and over Beacon Hill, but today we took the light rail south to Columbia City where we found a couple other cheaters (though there’s nothing printed about going multi-modal in the rules) and then we all got lost (uphill–wah!) on the way to the checkin/weigh station. We saw lots of participants on their way back from the park, headed to the food bank, but by the time we found the picnic shelter, everyone was gone. But the Rainier Valley Food Bank was still open so we unofficially dropped off our haul. I wish I’d taken a better cargo picture–I had a very big bag of potatoes, a bag of apples, the big squash, and a bunch of other smaller stuff.

And we made it to Full Tilt Ice Cream in time for the raffle and winners…although we had to huddle in the back away from the door so I didn’t actually hear who won–can’t wait to read the details on Seattle Bike Blog.

It pays to have the slowest bike in the fleet when the videographer is on his pretty, but slow vintage bike. We got to be the stars of the show!

Then I cheated again and called home for a pickup for the boys. They wanted to ride home with me but I was worried about them being too cold on the way home. Everyone: remind me to pack extra boots next time! I think the three-year old’s wails that he wanted to come with me were proof that he was too tired to deal. Poor little guy. In the time it took me to get home (cheating on the light rail again) they got home, cleaned up and changed, had a couple of meltdowns, and sat down to eat.

I made one small detour on the way home–I ran into Jake and his daughter on his Big Dummy getting off the light rail. I didn’t even realize they were on the ride until we got to Full Tilt–that’s how many participants there were! His chain broke as we headed towards Dexter and since I tend to know where the closest bike shop is at any given time (since I can’t fix anything myself), I called Wrench Bicycle Workshop at 5:55 and Greg said he’d happily be there until we arrived, even past 6pm closing time. I don’t think I could propel my bike in this manner, but Jake made it the whole way there by skating along with his right foot on the left pedal. He had hoped to run his BionX e-assist to scoot him along, but it sputtered out despite having some charge left. I love the idea of electric assist making cargo bikes (and even regular bikes) more accessible, but they certainly seem to be finicky.

So 22.6 miles later, that was that! 5.5 of those miles were kid free so they don’t count as much.

I think I’d love to set up a family-bike-oriented alleycat (alleykitten?). Who’s in? But not until it’s warmer.

Cyclocross for mom and kids again

A year after our first foray into cyclocross, we’re back at it: MFG Woodland Park GP! Having the Big Dummy made this time easier–no car involved to transport kid bikes. The maracas are their “cowbells”, by the way.

Even so, I ended up making two trips to bring the kid bikes in the end. The three-year old has been a bit shy about racing and was adamant I not bring his bike along, insisting he wouldn’t change his mind and he definitely wouldn’t want to ride around just for fun between races. Guess what: he changed his mind. I don’t have a cyclocross bike (yet? yet!), but I think I could have hauled both kid bikes and my cyclocross bike there.

I didn’t have to race on the Big Dummy–FOCUS bikes provided demo bikes, just bring pedals.

Three weeks ago I raced in the MFG Magnuson Park GP and arrived by mountain bike (to race with in case I couldn’t score a demo bike) with empty trailer (so I could bring the little kid home early to host a preschool potluck which Mr. Family Ride, big kid, and car arrived and stayed later). At the time I was struck by how many people said, “What a great idea!” to my trailer. A lot of racers drive to cyclocross events and spend a lot of time looking for parking and some have to bike a bit of a ways in from their parking spots. I think there was a run on Craigslist trailers after my example. But mtb + trailer day was nothing compared to arriving with the cargo bike. We were met with cheers upon arrival–twice, on account of our second arrival after fetching the balance bike.

There were other cargo- and family bikes there, too. I spotted a cycletruck while I raced. Probably not the best practice to slow down and look over one’s shoulder to check out bikes in the middle of the race, but oh well. And the Big Dummy with custom kid setup I first saw at Fremont Solstice (better picture of custom kid stuff at the bottom of this post) was there:

And a Kona MinUte with one kid on the back, and a tandem with kidback for the little stoker. But best of all was Alyssa’s Xtracycled Breezer. I didn’t even notice it at first. We were watching the race five feet from this gorgeous rig and our two five-year olds befriended one another over their common age and common interest in sharks. Kismet. [Alyssa, contact me! Facebook won’t let me friend or message you.]

Here’s their sweet homegrown kid seating with hinge for bigger deck or separated kids:

She brought her “couch” in her first run to the races (she had to go home to fetch kid bikes, too). I LOVE BIG CARGO LIKE THIS!

And showed me her preferred method for towing her 20-inch kiddie bike, strap behind the wheel, with bungee for extra support:

The races were great. The grown up racing is really hard! But it’s really fun. I think I would like it more if I practiced beforehand. But in my book, the FREE!!! kiddie race is where it’s at. Every cyclocross race has one, I think. This is it for the MFG season and nearby races, but the Seattle Cyclocross Series has two more races. Things didn’t go quite according to plan for us today, though. Right before race start, the three-year old needed to hit the bathroom. A very kind woman let us cut in front of her when she heard me ask him, “Do you think you can hold it a couple minutes?” but even so, we was in there long enough that we missed the bulk of the race. He tends to freeze and drop his bike if someone makes eye contact with him at the start so it wasn’t too big a deal. And a friend got the five-year old started so he was able to do his first cyclocross race on pedals! Two laps! These are much smaller laps than we big folks do, by the way.

Don’t feel bad for him, the little dude got to do a lot of riding around. Also, he’s not pouting in the photo above–I think he’s remedying a runny nose (eww). But it’s still my favorite picture of the day. Proof balance bike was used and nice shot of some of the booths. It’s quite the party there with stuff to sample and stuff to buy–of both the food and bicycle variety (including caffeinated gummies from Clif–brilliant!):

I saw a couple women wearing insulated skirts that zip up the sides. I talked to one woman who said it’s not specifically for biking, but she’s able to ride her bike with the sides unzipped a much as possible. Hers is a Skhoop and she got it at REI. She told me about the cross-country skiing version that’s “like a mullet” which would be useful to wear backwards on a bike in the rain. Or I could just buy some rain pants that fit. Or do more cyclocross so I shrink down and fit in my current rain pants.

I feel I haven’t adequately described the scene…my limited exposure to it, anyway. Cyclocross (watching, riding, and bringing the kids) is AWESOME. Everyone there seemed to be in a good mood, and not only because of the guy passing out cups of beer to racers (yes, during the race). We stood near a downhill corner for a while and saw A LOT of crashes, but I only noticed a few people at the medical booth with impressive scrapes. Fun! I’ll admit I felt like a bit of an outsider, not being affiliated with one of the teams, but I saw friends there, was invited to leave gear and hang out in team tents, and made new friends. I’m determined to do some practicing before racing again and hopefully complete all the laps…though I’ve been assured it’s just fine to run out of time and end up a lap down. Today was extra special because Tyler Farrar, local boy gone big, was racing. I saw him ride by and saw the picture of him my friend took with her phone, but did not get the opportunity to tell him he was in the presence of his biggest fan.

One damper on the day to report: heading home along sharrowed N 45th Street, the handlebars of the balance bike in my left FreeLoader bag bumped against an enormous truck. The driver stopped his truck and started honking and angrily gesturing at me. I stopped, too, but a bit in front of him by now. I’m not sure what he wanted, but he really didn’t want to pull up next to me. He kept honking and waving his arms around while I smiled and gestured at him to move up next to me. Finally he pulled up alongside me so he could say I was too wide for the road (he was right! I hadn’t packed things in well–the balance bike was hanging out to the side, on the outside of two bags of gear when I should have tucked it under them). While I couldn’t go into the whole “I agree I shouldn’t be sharing the road with you; I should have safe, protected areas to ride” thing, so instead I tried to tell him that I didn’t see a scratch on his truck, but would he like to pull over so we could look at it together? But he just wanted to yell about “you people.” He finally pulled away, only to stop next to my friend, Kevin, who had stopped several car lengths up to wait for me. More yelling! I rode up tried again to offer to look for a scratch with him to give him something to focus on other than yelling, but of course that went nowhere. Blech. The kids were unphased, thank goodness, but I’m still bothered by the whole thing. It’s ironic that we were two blocks away from the Neighborhood Greenway, but if I go downhill Stone to get to the start of the Greenway, I can’t make it up the first hill of the Greenway. 45th Street is a slight incline at this point and while I would happily take the lane and wait in the line of cars on flat and downhill sections, I’m just too slow at this part of the road and I can easily imagine how a horn-happy older man in an oversized truck would react to a bike crawling along at a few miles an hour in front of him. So I don’t know what the immediate answer is. I’m planning to attend the last of the three Seattle Bicycle Master Plan Update Public Meetings on Tuesday and I hope to see promises of changes that will happen soon, but that won’t help me tomorrow and next week. However, I do know I’ll take care to pack up the bike more carefully. So hey, I have learned something.

Messing with the bike counter

We’ve conducted a few tests of the Seattle Bike Counter and have to conclude it’s magical–just as I initially thought. First up was the seven-pound Kinderbike Mini balance bike with ten-inch wheels. It counted!

That double diamond is the sensor.

While we were conducting our test, a friend walked by with two three-year olds in a double jogging trailer. The bike counter ignored them. Brilliant!

Last weekend the monthly Spokespeople ride took us to the bike counter where it counted a wooden Skuut balance bike. That device knows its stuff!

On Wednesday we took Engine Engine Engine (normal bike + trailer bike + trailer) to see what the counter thought of it. It’s a lot of bike and a lot of wheels so I thought we might count as two.

The counter hesitated after we crossed the sensor, maybe because it wasn’t sure what to do, but probably to give me time to picture it thinking, “Really? You thought you could confuse me? Pah-leese.” And then it tallied us as one.

I think my testing of the bike counter is done, but there are things I’m curious about:

  • Full-sized trike with the two wheels in front
  • Full-sized trike with the two wheels in back
  • Recumbent trike
  • Minibike
  • Swingbike with rear wheel swung out to the side
  • Unicycle

Testing complete, our day took a turn for the less awesome. First, the imaginary reprimand from the bike counter and then Engine Engine Engine decided to teach me a lesson after having apparently read my mind this morning when I realized just what a pain it is to lug around. Ironically (stay tuned for that irony), I thought I’d be better off using the Big Dummy to drag the trailer (empty) and leave it at preschool for the day so after kindergarten dropoff I could go home and swap for the road bike to use during my kid-free time.

The preschool part of the morning went well: I remembered to take the kindergartener’s backpack out of the trailer this time. I even had a better plan than last time and wore my big Tom Bihn Super Ego messenger bag so I could put his whole backpack in with my stuff.

Disaster struck at the elementary school when I couldn’t budge the pin that holds the trail-a-bike connected to my bike. Mr. Family Ride has no trouble getting the thing off and on, but apparently I’m too impatient to make sure I’ve got the two parts lined up. The school bike racks are not as full as they used to be, by the way:

I think the fourth graders had bike lessons earlier in the year that yielded full racks.

I had plans on Capitol Hill and it probably would have been easiest to take the passenger-less trail-a-bike up with me, but I went home to swap bikes. I considered taking Mr. Family Ride’s bike since I really didn’t want to have to go into the house and change shoes (my road bike has clipless pedals), but he insists the double trailer with its old style hitch doesn’t work with his disc brakes. He’s out of town, by the way, so I entertained the idea to the point of pulling his bike out of the garage and almost pulling away from the house on it. While I’m curious if hauling Engine Engine Engine without the second conductor would be easier than with him, today wasn’t the day to find out. So in the end, I took the Big Dummy up the hill.

Had I been on my road bike, I would have gone along 10th, but on the heavy bike I prefer biking through Eastlake. Here’s the Melrose Promenade, covered in fall foliage. There are a lot of clogged up bike lanes and trails these days. Careful, folks, leaves can be slippery!

Then I got to see what it’s like to drag the empty trailer uphill. I’ve moved it a couple times with the Big Dummy, but only on flat ground. I took the steepest route home to adequately test things and it was only slightly harder than with no trailer. Good to know. I can continue to bring full-sized pillows on bike camping trips. A day full of experiments!

The three-year old was eager to ride with his new bunny basket so I tossed the five-year old’s bike on board the Big Dummy and the little guy and I rode separately to kindergarten pickup. This was also a good way to prevent disappointment at not getting to pedal the trail-a-bike home.

Hey look below, an R74 campaign sign! If you need fenders and can find a sign, see the Kent’s Bike Blog DIY fenders and panniers tutorial. I think I’ve seen more links to this lately than election stuff (OK, not really).

Two of the four blocks are too steep for the kid to pedal, but he still likes going by small bike. I don’t know why the little guy is doing the zombie slump–I’m the one who pedaled uphill all day! This is a new technique–when he’s tired, he slumps over his handlebars and lurches along and sighs. I gotta admit, I feel like doing that sometimes, too.

Musical bikes

In the past I’ve done a bit of kid-swapping when biking with friends to keep siblings from pestering one another, but today was a real day of musical bikes.

Ride one:
For starters, I took my two kids on the Big Dummy to Julie’s house where we we learned to play Go Fish and deploy a lightsaber.

Ride two:
After a while we made tracks for the flagship REI indoor play area. Julie offered anyone who wanted a ride in her Madsen and of course all four kids jumped at the chance.

That awesome cover is new and details will be up on Wheelha.us soon. Also fairly new is the Madsen’s BionX electric assist so I didn’t feel bad giving her my 75 pounds of cargo. She let me carry her little bag so I could feel like I was doing something, too. Proof that I needn’t have worried is right here on Eastlake Avenue:

That’s the fully loaded Madsen waaaay in the distance.

But before the hills, I led us to this Smart Car I’ve been eying from the Burke-Gilman Trail for a while. It’s just so fun to take pictures of bikes holding two or more people next to a car that only holds two people. I call this “Who’s smart now, little car?”

Ride three:
I think the four kids got along fine in the bucket…though I wasn’t close enough much of the time to see for myself. But my two were ready to be apart from one another by the time we left, so I took my three-year old back and the other three kids stayed in the bucket for a trek to our mutual bike shop, Ride Bicycles. Julie hasn’t put the zippers on her weather shield yet so the kids were able to move the clear panel around which they found very fun–divider between the big kids and little kid, or between the two big kids. I liked that I could receive blown kisses through the gap.

Ride four:
After the shop I took my little kid and Julie’s big kid so both sets of brothers could sit separately for the short ride to Pizza Pi Vegan Pizzeria. The only wrinkle was that my new passenger hadn’t dressed for the weather. His t-shirt and sandals were just fine under the weather shield and REI’s indoor bike parking, but we hadn’t counted on exposure to the elements. Fortunately, the intermittent drizzle was on a break and we even saw some patches of blue sky. Also, we were on our way to pizza. P-I-Z-Z-A!

Ride five:
Finally back to my regular two passengers for the ride home. It was great following a friend so familiar with the area. First she led us on the most gradual route from the bike shop to the pizza place, but even better was the route from U-District home to Wallingford. I know NE 47th Street is a future University Greenway, but don’t usually use it since I’m often on the wrong side of the street or it’s out of the way. It was perfect for today’s trip and saved us six blocks of busy NE 45th Street (where we would have been stuck on the sidewalk walk).

Happy Halloween 2012!

Behold the last year (perhaps) my kids will allow me to costume them as bike infrastructure: Seattle Neighborhood Greenways!

Those are traffic circles on their helmets:

This is after last year’s bike box and bike lane guy and two years ago old-school sharrow.

The posters on their backs (thanks, Cathy!) really helped–people asked what they were dressed as and they simply turned around and showed their wings/cape. For most people that was enough, but I also did some explaining about people- and bike-friendly streets and lauding of Seattle’s amazing grassroots Neighborhood Greenways organization.

I made the little guy’s jumpsuit from the Slanket I originally thought was so awesome (picture of him in it at the bottom of this post), but he rarely wore. Hooray for a new use for it. I think I had enough fabric to make both kids’ outfits, but I’m not very crafty (previous costumes were all staples and glue–this was my first foray into sewing), so I took the easy way out with the big kid when I found three-sizes-too-big pants and shirt and just did a little haphazard taking in. The extra sleeve became two treat bags and I’ll hang onto the remaining fabric for a future project (yeah, right–I think I’m all crafted out).

The stenciled-on sharrows on their legs were a bit sloppy, but certainly recognizable. Those black strips on the left are roads with dogs, bikes, and motorcycles sharing the road (I couldn’t find little pedestrians and cars and was too lazy to create my own). I affixed them to the sleeves with velcro so I could remove them in case we had to don jackets or rain gear.

We’ve been very lucky with the weather the last two years, but today started out very rainy. We met friends in the afternoon at Flying Apron Gluten-free, Vegan Bakery and Cafe in Fremont where the businesses started their trick-or-treating at 3pm, but I was scared to put the kids into their costumes. Should have gone for water-proof fabric paint! I also opted not to decorate the bike which makes me very sad. My first Halloween with a cargo bike and I didn’t make the most of it.

So we skipped showing off the costumes at Hub and Bespoke and getting special chocolate at Theo’s and biked back to Wallingford to suit up inside the Wallingford Center for indoor trick-or-treating. I’m all for house-to-house neighborhood trick-or-treating, but for little kids, it’s nice to be able to start at 3 or 4 by hitting up participating businesses–especially in the case of the Wallingford Center where it’s all indoors and dry! Last year we started in the Fremont neighborhood and I discovered so many cute little shops.

And as luck would have it, the rain let up after an hour, just as we’d exhausted the Wallingford Center, so we migrated outside to work our way up and down 45th Avenue where more local businesses were participating. It was particularly nice to go into the Kids on 45th consignment shop so I could show my five-year old where we picked up his green shirt and pants and Archie McPhee where I got the plastic figures for their on-arm roads. (While I’m naming business that contributed to the costumes, I had no idea until a few days ago that there’s an art supply store just eight blocks from me–Artist & Craftsman Supply in U-District. I got the white paint and little apple trees for the traffic circles there. We’ll be back. Often.)

I’m very very embarrassed to admit that my little Greenways didn’t trick-or-treat along the real Greenway! We made our way a few blocks south from 45th, in search of my kindergartener’s teacher’s house and ended up working our way east towards home on 42nd, rather than 44th. Inexcusable! But the costumes survived the evening so hopefully they can wear them again while they still fit.

Happy Halloween!