Bike to School Day 2013

We had a very successful Bike to School Day! I’m not aware of a bike train to our school and would love to organize one soon, but right now it’s all we can do to get out the door on time. Also, we live so close to school we’d want to ride away from school (uphill, gah) to gather our train. Today we headed out early and encountered two families riding their bikes to school so we joined them for an impromptu bike train. Previous separate bike trips were ridden on the sidewalk, but this morning we were able to ride in the street. It was great!

First [impromptu] bike train

Lots of kids showed up on bike–so many that I ran out of red and blue Bike to School Day rubber bracelets. Cascade Bicycle Club gave me 100 of them and we counted 115 bikes, but I suspect there were quite a few kids on bikes we missed–many parents bring bikes away after dropoff and I only made note of two of these. I promised the very upset non-bracelet-receivers I’d get more bracelets before pickup.

Some of the 115 Bike to School Day bikes

Heading south we saw the beginning of construction of the new curb ramps and crosswalk to help Burke-Gilman Trail users across Pacific Street. I know a lot of people who consider a crosswalk on a street like this a safety hazard, creating a false sense of security for pedestrians and bicyclists (more on Marking and Signing Crosswalks from Safe Routes to School). I’m eager to see if the motorists traveling 50 mph (I think the speed limit is 30 mph, but they certainly seem to move faster) will stop more readily for schoolkids waiting to cross the street here.

New bigger curb ramp for soon-to-be crosswalk

Normally, I drop my preschooler off first on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, but since I was the bracelet-hander-outter, he went to school late today. I released him to ride on his own through the bike counter (#1897) and across the Fremont Bridge so he got quite a bit of biking to school in.

Bike to Preschool Day, too

Heading home from picking up 30 more bracelets–which I also ran out of, creating more tears!–I detoured from my usual route to avoid the crosswalk-installation mess and discovered a real traffic calming fixture–a new traffic circle at 41st and Sunnyside. The neighbors will take care of the landscaping so I’ll check back in a bit for flowers.

New Wallingford traffic circle

After school we went in search of a new kid bike helmet. The kids rode all the way to Recycled Cycles–it took forever. Normally we’d be on the Burke-Gilman Trail here, but there’s a long-term closure during the Burke-Gilman Trail UW makeover. This stretch of road is half one-way for cars and half two-way for bikes. I like it.

Biking after Bike to School Day

We struck out on blue kid helmet at Recycled Cycles, so back we went. Here’s the above street in the other direction. I had talked the little guy onto my bike so we moved a little more quickly now. And much more quickly than all the cars stuck at the five-way stop.

More biking after Bike to School Day

At Gregg’s we found the perfect helmet. I think it looks teal and pink, but he says it’s blue so we’re good. Now we all have Giros.

New helmet, traffic circle boat

I doubt the decorators of the new traffic circle will be inspired by the Tangletown traffic circle boat, but we adore it. Its accessories seem to change every time we swing by–last week there was an oil painting propped on its windshield.

To wrap up on the Bike to School stuff, the resources I utilized were Walk to School Day and Bike to School Day and locally: Cascade Bicycle Club Bike to School and Walk.Bike.Schools!.

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