‘Tis the season to hone those cold-weather-kid-bundling skills and bike at night to see holiday lights! Olympic Manor is slide one of Red Tricycle’s 9 De-Lightful Neighborhood Light Displays and was the destination of December’s bonus Kidical Mass ride on Sunday, December 10th. Regular Kidical Mass rides occur on the first Sunday of each month.
We started gathering at Loyal Heights Community Center at 3:45 when it was still light out so I could get some pictures before it got too dark and blurry (here’s the full set of photos).
It was still a bit light out when we arrived to Olympic Manor, but that meant we could admire the view of the Puget Sound behind the houses. I had expected rain and dark skies; the sunny, but cold day messed with our timing.
My plan was to follow the route from last year’s Critical Lass ride to Olympic Manor, but I accidentally took us on the reverse route and then turned east a block early which resulted in a hellacious and busy hill. I stopped for a beat halfway up and several riders had to walk up. I think they all forgave me and hopefully they forgot about the hill a few blocks later, like I did. I also promised I have the best route picked out for next year. I do! It’ll be great!
But soon enough we were back on track. Sadly, the Flying Spaghetti Monster wasn’t lit yet. I don’t know if we were too early in the evening or if he hasn’t been strung with lights yet. Some neighbors were still setting up their displays as we rode through.
Heading to the after-party we saw a great light display at Bicycle Bob’s (the guy who lives across from Salmon Bay Park and sells used kid bikes). The peppermint wheels on the train spin and I’d imagine the “20.00” sign mean it’s for sale.
Then we discovered a train mural on the side of Grumpy D’s Coffee House, our end spot:
And my bike sported a train Christmas tree ornament we’d found in the morning. The lights are just cheapie Ikea battery-powered indoor lights. They held up OK in drizzle last year, but one can find safe outdoor battery-powered lights online, I hear.
There were a couple instances of cold kids here and there. My kids fared OK in snow pants, winter coats, thick mittens or gloves, and snow boots. One wore his balaclava (helps to refer to it as a “ninja mask” for reluctant wearers). Underneath they wore cotton socks, jeans, and sweatshirts. Ideally they’d wear wool socks and wool base layer, but we don’t own wool base layers and have outgrown last winter’s wool socks. I discovered their ski goggles don’t fit comfortably over bike helmets so I’ve got to search the basement for their snowboard helmets for future very cold rides. I didn’t take quite as much care with my outfit as the heavy bike keeps me warm enough and I’m often down to short sleeves and no gloves for my last hill on the way home in any weather. This day I wore fleece-lined tights and skirt, two pairs of cotton socks under boots (and my toes still froze–I need to find my road bike shoe shoe covers, I think they’ll work for regular shoes/pedals), snowboard jacket, and too-hot-for-most-seasons Bern helmet with Helmuff ear covers. My waterproof cycling gloves didn’t keep my fingers warm, but holey, fuzzy mittens did!
There were several families who didn’t make it out for the ride. Afternoon events are hard. I worried we’d have trouble leaving our warm home late in the day so I circumvented that risk by hitting the road at 10:30 a.m. This worked great because we stopped by G & O Family Cyclery and saw No Spandex Required receive her new Xtracycle EdgeRunner.
21 participants in the form of 9 parents and 12 kids upon 11 bikes: a Bullitt (Totcycle!), two Surly Big Dummys, a Kona MinUte, an Xtracycle, two regular bikes with rear kid seats, two solo adults, and two solo big kids.
This was our third (!) family/Kidical ride and we loved it! Really proud of all the youngsters for braving the cold. I’ll be buying some holiday lights for the next one.
And you didn’t mention the awful hill! Maybe people really have blocked the memory…phew. Thanks so much for coming all the way out to North Seattle yet again! My January plans will probably drag you to Ballard :)