I rode Chilly Hilly Sunday, but I took my road bike and no kids so it’s not worth blogging about. However, I will point out it was quite different from Bike Camping and Bike for Pie weekend in that we got to Fay Bainbridge in about two minutes whereas it took ten hours with kids and camping gear (both figures are slightly exaggerated). Oh, and it was a hoot to see a long line for the mens restroom aboard the ferry and no line for the ladies. Now, the day before Chilly Hilly, we went on an old mamabike excursion that had its fair share of chills and hills…
This trip was made possible by putting a new, longer stem on the Bianchi Milano, giving the front kid ample knee room. It’s a shame that it’s matte black rather than shiny and has a big Specialized “S” on it, but I shouldn’t complain for $5. Thanks Recycled Cycles! They’ve got a bunch of used stems in the bin if you’re due for a change. This is actually my second expansion–did the same thing for kid #1 a couple of years ago–but with an inch of new room, we’re set until we outgrow this setup completely.
The first leg of our journey took us to Bike Works in Columbia City for the southside Kidical Mass ride. I never realized before today just how easy it is to get to Bike Works. Not easy in the non-strenuous or speedy way, but the route is very straightforward. From North Seattle, one just follows the well-marked Lake Washington Loop–I’m a sucker for a route with lots of signage, plus the twisty-turning parts through Montlake remind me of navigating Baja La Jolla in San Diego–and then rides up through Genessee Park, bikes one block along Alaska, crosses Rainier at the light, and then cuts through Columbia Park.
Kidical Mass rode to the Columbia City Little Free Library (South Lucile Street at 46th Ave South) where we checked out a few books so we’ll get to enjoy the ride down here again soon when we return them.
Then went multi-modal (which you may have guessed from the fact that we’re on the small bike) and took the light rail and a bus to a birthday party at the Highland Park Improvement Club–a great space with a fun dance party facilitated by Gildenfire Dance.
This was our first time stopping at the Tukwila International Boulevard Station where we were wowed by the public art.
Here’s our adventurous route home that was all new stuff at the beginning:
It started with a steep downhill ride along Highland Park Way SW. I didn’t feel comfortable on the sharrowed four-lane road so I stuck to the asphalt sidewalk.
But then we got on the Duwamish Trail which was really nice. Much of it was my kind of scenic–away from the road with a view of the water–and the rest was the boys’ cup of tea–train tracks, containers, and forklifts.
Nearing the West Seattle Bridge, the trail crossed the street and became Duwamish Route and picked up a bike speed limit. Certainly not as great as a bike-specific trail, but a nice compromise–and well-marked!
The best part of the whole day was when we saw a freight train from the West Seattle Bridge.
I somehow missed the turn onto East Marginal Way, but that meant we got to discover the Spokane Street Viaduct artwork. Better appreciated at walking speed so we didn’t read all the cement posts, but here’s a nice one (some of the historical tidbits were a bit gruesome):
Passing through South Lake Union, we saw the new bike racks in front of soon-to-be Via6, the new bike-centric apartment building where Velo Bike Shop will relocate. It’d be nice if those orange cones marked off future cycletrack or on-street bike corals, but I think they’re just protecting the construction zone. This city isn’t ready to be that bike-centric just yet, unfortunately.
The kids were cold and exhausted by the time we got home from our nine-hour day, but what a Chilly Hilly eve of a day it was!