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!

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