Snow Day with Hum of the City

Three days before our super snowy day, Hum of the City was in town from San Francisco. She blogged about the visit–Return to Seattle: Snow day!–but didn’t include any pictures of our fair city so I’ve taken it upon myself to provide a supplemental post.

I figured it’d be fun to ride a mile from her hotel to the #BikeLove Party in Nord Alley to mix some bike stuff into the work trip. I should have thought to offer ferrying her there on my FlightDeck, but I’m not a very practiced adult toter so I went the bike rental route instead. My first idea was to grab a Timbuk2 “bike share” bike which seemed appropriate given the store’s proximity and their #BikeLove Party sponsor status…but I worried about the first come, first served availability of their small fleet. So instead the four-year old and I set out for Counterbalance Bicycles because I thought their rentals were Breezer Uptowns, Hum of the City’s kid toting bike of choice when we first met. Plus the kids’ new bikes (to be blogged about soon) needed new-bike tweaking–derailleur adjustment on the big one, rubbing fender fix on the little one–so I was happy to hit a bike shop. It was dry, but very cold, when we set out–the four year old is in balaclava (“ninja mask”), ski goggles, snow boots, and ever-present oversized snowboard-jacket-cum-straitjacket:

Setting out with bikes for more bike

I was in my warmer Bern helmet with helmuffs, but my cheeks turned red from the cold within minutes:

Cold ride

We dropped off the bikes and headed, unencumbered, to University Village for lunch. There we discovered frozen fountains:

Frozen fountain at U-Village

Counterbalance replaced the rental fleet with Civia Twin City bikes, but I was still able to provide Hum of the City with a step-through frame and these new bikes have more gears (though Breezer Uptowns come in an eight-gear variety, too). The handlebars seemed very wide and I, uh, may have caught them on the chain link fence of the Burke-Gilman Trail detour. I wish I’d thought to take the bike for a little spin myself, but I just dragged it around. As is my way, I hadn’t thought through carrying three bikes plus one kid without the Xtracycle WideLoader…though naturally I was excited about the challenge. Fortunately (or maybe unfortunately for my cargo cred), my son wanted to ride his own bike so we set out separately.

Leaving Counterbalance Bicycles with a rental bike

We encountered one icy patch on the Burke-Gilman Trail, but it’s been dry enough that slippery streets weren’t a worry.

Ice on the trail

Carrying the bike downtown was fun. At an intersection in South Lake Union, a woman crossing the street said she’d seen me from the bus on Eastlake and what on earth was I up to?

We happy houred at the hotel for a bit so by the time we got to the #BikeLove Party it seemed to be winding down. Apparently the food disappeared in a flash; biking and love make people hungry. But I got to introduce Hum of the City to a bunch of people she’s only seen in pixel form before. And on the way back, we got SNOWED ON!

Biking in light snow with Hum of the City

For some reason, I figured Hum of the City had more snow experience than myself (since most people do), but we were perfectly paired in our excitement over a handful of snowflakes and quickly agreed that any amount of snow falling upon us counted as “biking in the snow.”

Biking in light snow with Hum of the City

I took the Civia back home with me, though had the weather been warmer, it would have stayed at the hotel overnight to be used for a three-mile waterfront pedal to our lunch date the following day. I’ll have to bring Hum of the City to the Elliott Bay Trail on her next visit because she missed a most beautiful ride.

Elliott Bay Trail

In heading to Fuji Bakery to meet Hum of the City and Jen of Loop-Frame Love and Ballard Greenways, we took the Amgen Helix Pedestrian Bridge. I’d only been over once before with the small mamabike and that was a tight fit in the elevator, but I was able to get the Big Dummy in–the trick was wheeling into the elevator backwards. And heading back over we fit three adults, one four-year old, kid bike, and Big Dummy.

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