December Kidical Mass to Seattle Center Winterfest

Despite unusually strong winds, our merry band of 15–seven adults and eight kids on seven bikes–made it to the Seattle Center the long way around. I wish I’d thought to ask the dad on the Bullitt how the wind treated his weather canopy. I was relieved today’s kids were all passengers because those gusts could have swept light little riders away!

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

Our ride was 7.8 miles. I take a three-mile route when it’s just the kids and me, but I wouldn’t want to lead a group on it. And today’s ride coincided with the Seattle Marathon so this was the way to avoid the street closures, too. Once the Mercer West project is completed we can ride a cycletrack under Aurora and take a more direct route, but the picture I took of Mercer yesterday shows only the two eastbound car lanes are ready.

Mercer, for now

The blue line below shows today’s route. The orange segment shows a slightly less kid-friendly route I use for Critical Lass rides and would have worked fine for today with all the kids as passengers, but I figured I’d still show off the as-pleasant-as-possible route. The green segment shows our return route (and route most people on regular bikes would take in the outbound route, too).

The Google map doesn’t show the bike trail within Fishermen’s Terminal so I Strava’ed that segment–it runs parallel to 21st Ave West, but down within the terminal.

Fishermen's Terminal bike trail

We paused to check out a couple trains along the way–blue engine along the Ship Canal Trail:

Blue engine on the Ship Canal Trail

And trains carrying airplanes (!!) in the Magnolia train yard:

Snack stop in the Magnolia train yard

Between those two trains we rode along our one big street of the day, Gilman Ave W (turning into 20th Ave W at the Boxcar Ale House), but there were surprisingly few cars parked along it today so the bike lane alongside parking lane felt like a dreamy wider-than-necessary bike lane:

Gilman Ave. W with no parked cars

Then we reached the Elliott Bay Trail, which I think is the most beautiful bike trail in the world, but today meant BIG WIND. Waves usually don’t break on these rocks!

Windy waves in Myrtle Edwards Park

And the view to our right of a white cap and the stolen Victoria Clipper being towed back to shore while followed by a police boat.

Victoria Clipper on her joy ride

Then we started our climb to Lower Queen Anne with the West Thomas Street Overpass where our group shot at the top of the page was taken. And five blocks later we reached the Space Needle and International Fountain.

International Fountain and Space Needle

We spent 90 minutes inside the Armory checking out the Winterfest model train and eating lunch.

Seattle Center Winterfest

I didn’t notice much extra foot traffic due to the marathon, but there were lots of pedicabs making the rounds outside. I was quite taken by this detachable pedicab trailer:

Detachable pedicab trailer

He liked my bike, too, and in swapping bike bios I uncovered a couple cool things on his rig, like the Sunlite dual-cable brake lever so he controls the bike’s brakes with one hand and can detach the pedicab’s separate brake from the other side when he takes the trailer off. I’ve seen this lever before when looking at components for adaptive cycling and I think they might also be popular for tandem bikes. And the moss green ball on his handlebars is an adorable Trek Time Watch.

Dual-cable brake lever and Trek Time Watch

By the time we headed home the wind had lessened a bit and we saw a bit of blue sky! And, yes, I rode through the middle of that puddle.

Return trip with blue skies

Our next ride is in a week: Kidical Mass rides to Olympic Manor holiday lights on Sunday, December 8th – meet at Loyal Heights Community Center at 3:45 p.m.

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