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:
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.
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.