A bike crash, sort of

It’s Spring Break from school and preschool this week and therefore the perfect time to schedule appointments that take a long time to reach by bike. The only thing on today’s agenda was a follow-up chiropractic appointment after the rain pants + slide incident on our abbreviated day. But first, we grabbed a bunch of stuff from the old house by bike.


Having discovered how much I like the 39th Avenue Northeast Greenway on the way home from the Memorial Walk, I was eager to try it in the uphill direction. We backtracked our previous route to 70th and stopped at Grateful Bread Bakery & Cafe on our way. 70th is a bit steep (and busy) to climb so next time I’ll try 68th, as suggested by the NE Seattle Greenways map.

NE Greenway

After lunching and tiring of the cafe’s play area, we headed north on 35th, thinking we’d visit a small park by the chiropractor. We impulsively stopped at the abandoned-for-the-off-season Hunter Tree Lot. It was great run-around spot and we were all smitten by the wood/bike wheel contraptions [benches? tree delivery hand trucks?]. I basked in the sun–the day was great when the sun wasn’t behind clouds–while the kids collected dandelions and chased butterflies.

Hunter Tree Lot

Hunter Tree Lot

And we saved a bit of time to explore Penguin Park, our original pre-appointment destination. It’s a hidden gem! I thought it was an empty lot neighbors had adopted and turned into a park, but I read it’s an “undeveloped SDOT right-of-way.”

Penguin Park

Then crack-crack-crack, the kid looks great, and along to Meadowbrook Pond since it’s on the way to the Burke-Gilman Trail.

Meadowbrook Pond

I walked the bike as the kids led us on a hike. Unfortunately, they led us down seven steps which was no fun for me, but the plethora of trails meant we could circle back around and I didn’t have to carry the bike back up.

Stairs on the hike

We stopped for dinner halfway home, at U-Village. Coming from the east I enter the shopping center by Counterbalance bikes and I used to leave at the southwest corner, but the parking garage construction (because more cars and more parking is exactly what this place needs) has made that street temporarily one way into the center and the sidewalk’s been removed. So I brave the stop-sign-ignoring cars (Two today! What’s your hurry?!) and take the exit to 25th and then use the sidewalk to head north and connect with the Burke-Gilman Trail. Our light turned green as we arrived to Blakeley and the trail, but so many bike commuters were going in either direction that we stopped 10 feet shy of the corner and just as I was saying to the kids, “We might need to wait for the next light cycle to cross…” an eastbound bicyclist lost control, turned right towards us, and bumped into my front wheel. He was riding with a friend who raced up and apologized, “He lost control! His wheel got stuck in the rut!” It was pretty uneventful on our end. We tipped over into the thick grass where I helped my front kid crawl out from under the bike so I could lift the remaining kid and bike. The kids weren’t phased in the least. I guess it’s a good thing I’ve dropped the bike here and there…not lately, but apparently often enough to condition them not to get scared by being suddenly horizontal. I didn’t stick around to see if the guy was OK since he had his friend along. I figured it must have been his first day of the year back out on the bike and he hadn’t relearned his clipless pedals yet. There’s a good chance crashing into my steel beast mangled his little bike, so I hope both bike and rider are OK and not discouraged.

Today’s miles: 15.2
April miles: 213.1

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