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:
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.