Avoiding the Missing Link

Today we crossed the ship canal and back in order to avoid the Missing Link. Actually, that wasn’t my original intention–we’d originally planned to visit Alki Beach in West Seattle, but changed the plan for Golden Gardens Beach instead. But we still wanted to see the superyacht parked at Pier 91 so we went out of our way…and then more out of our way to hit a bakery by the Olympic Sculpture Park and watch the trains for a bit. I should have realized Sunday is the wrong day to check out superyacht because it was dwarfed by the cruise ships. We’ll go again on a different day. And hopefully it’ll have a helicopter or two on the landing pads to complete the look.


We biked 15.6 miles instead of 6.7, but looking at the map, a more direct detour only adds one mile. There is the matter of having to walk through the Locks and it’s not quite as flat a route, but it’s scenic, includes the bike counter, and avoids the Missing Link.

Avoiding the Missing Link route

I haven’t previously gone out of my way to avoid the Missing Link, but I can’t imagine my kids riding solo along it. And like most people, I hate the Missing Link. Every few trips through, I see a bicyclist felled by the train tracks. It’s awful and upsetting. Even on non-crash-witnessing days I think of all the injured people and tear up. Maybe I should consider intentionally avoiding that stretch, eh?

But back to the good stuff!

Heading back north from superyacht I realized Sprocketts Recycled Bicycles is really close to the trail! I thought it was deep in Magnolia, but it’s just a couple buildings down from where the bike route emerges from the train yard. We’d been meaning to stop in and see if there’s a dog, as implied by the logo.

Sprocketts Recycled Bicycles

There is indeed a shop dog! Her name is Mama and she’s the sweetest dog in the world.

Mama at Sprocketts

The bikes are pretty sweet, too. I especially liked the Brooklyn Cruisers–pretty city bikes with internally-geared hubs. The Brooklyn Cruisers are new, as are many of the bikes, but the shop also has a great selection of used bikes.

And then, beach! There were a ton of people out. I’m sure those visiting by car had a bear of a time finding parking.

Beach! Golden Gardens

We took our regular route on the way home and saw evidence of upcoming changes to the Missing Link! (I also saw a guy pedaling in between the train tracks, but he stayed upright…though I didn’t stop to watch his exit at the curve.) The dotted lines mark something totally new: advisory bike lanes. I’m curious what the spray painted icon will become–it looks different than the regular short-hand sharrow.

Advisory bike lanes coming to the Missing Link

And there are a lot of speed humps coming!

Speed humps coming to the Missing Link

This is really going to be something!

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