The last day of March was glorious–sunny and summery and full of bike riding and friends. But while April started out cloudy and cool, April means 30 Days of Biking and is therefore the best month of the year. You’ve heard me say this before: I love 30 Days of Biking! It’s what changed me into an everyday bicyclist. It’s a great way to be tricked into seeing just what’s possible by bike. Some repeat participants have goals above and beyond simply biking each day, such as go farther. I’m tempted to up the ante, too. I’ll try to go farther, for one. Also, lately I’ve been using our car once per week so staying out of the car all month would also be nice. I’m not making it an official declaration just yet, but I probably will after a bit of mulling. And certainly oodles of new adventures and cargo-carrying feats are in order.
On to today’s biking…
Only one kid goes to school on Mondays so our day started out slowly, with a four-block ride to our local elementary school (and four blocks back, natch). Afer a bit of hanging out at home, we rallied and biked over to Ballard to pick up Pedaler’s Fair flyers at Swift Industries because I like distributing flyers. And since we were so close, we stopped in at Dutch Bike Co to get the skinny on their new shop (and eat pastries). Alas, there will not be coffee on site with the bikes at the new place, but the beer garden makes up for that. The address is on Leary which made me a little leery (ha), but it’s at the corner of teeny NW 48th Street, the cross street by Dutch Bike Co’s current (and future cafe-only) location. Yes, there will be two parts to DBC: cafe in the Kolstrand Building and bikes/beer in the new spot.
After fetching the kindergartener, we biked to Northeast Seattle for the memorial walk a week after a horrible car crash involving four pedestrians, killing two. We walked in the streets with a police escort, making a long stop at the intersection of the collision. It was lovely and heartbreaking and Mayor McGinn attended and later announced some safety improvements for the area.
I don’t often make it up to the northeast because it’s all uphill. Today, while zig zagging our way uphill, kids arguing (“It’s a puppy!” “No, it’s a doggie!”), and me whining at them, we found ourselves in front of Chez Car Free Days. What luck! Nothing like witnesses to end an argument. Anne led us the rest of the way to the walk, graciously waiting at the crest of each hill while I caught my breath.
I asked for route advice heading home, because neighborhood friends will always have better route advice than Google maps. Except they all wanted to send me uphill. Until it was discovered I hadn’t yet seen the new 39th Ave NE neighborhood greenway. Of course I want to go out of the way (and it wasn’t even very far out of the way) to go all downhill rather than uphill!
The greenway was easy to spot from 70th thanks to multiple signs and the new pedestrian crossing median islands.
And the greenway itself was glorious and full of bikes! In the seven blocks I traveled, I saw six oncoming bicyclers–the first one so distracted by the cherry blossoms, he was riding on the wrong side of the quiet street and nearly hit me head-on. Talk about a sign of a bike-dominated street, right?! The other bikers all kept to the right and I was particularly happy to see a dad pulling a trailer and a mom with a front baby seat. We saw one pedestrian walking in the safe street, but numerous others on the sidewalk. Also on the sidewalk I saw a girl riding a kick scooter and a cat being walked on a leash, both on the Neighborhood Greenway Checklist in my mind. Here’s the south end of the greenway, where it meets up with the Burke-Gilman Trail. The whole length of it is covered with these two-way sharrows. Wouldn’t it be nice if the only place we saw sharrows were on safe, quiet greenways? (That’s assuming the current sharrowed streets all turned into bike lanes and cycletracks).
The kids were inspired by all the walking (I have to admit the bike makes us all a bit lazy in terms of walking) and my five-year old insisted on walking past his school on our way home. He thought it’d be great exercise and make the hill easier for me. How could I resist? He didn’t want to get back on the bike once things flattened out, though, and I didn’t want to travel the remaining three blocks at a snail’s pace. Fortunately I talked him back on because I had places to bike and people to see!
I left the kids with Mr. Family Ride and made a rare solo night outing to attend the year’s first Menstrual Monday ladies ride (First Monday of every month, meet at the International Fountain at 6:30 and ride at 7:00). Nine of us biked from the Seattle Center to Loretta’s Northwesterner in South Park. It was a nice, flat 9.7 miles which included rescuing a drunk guy on crutches with a bag of beer cans who had fallen in the middle of the street. Menstrual Monday to the rescue!
Here’s my parking spot. Because it’s not often I can lift my rig to park sideways, but also because there was nowhere else to park.
Loretta’s has a converted Airstream trailer on the back patio where we hung out for drinks, food, and music before heading back north. Fun times!
Daily miles: 43.9
April miles: 43.9