Most of our weekday family biking is done without ride buddies. You can tell from day 20 how exciting it is to have company, especially when unexpected. This morning Ellie swung by to borrow some family biking equipment (Burley Piccolo trailer bike, balance bike, kid bike helmet) to display at Adobe’s Green Transportation Fair. That’s a Kona Ute longtail cargo bike with LionTail’s Sparrow System electric assist. I was a bit worried about making her late to work (chronic problem of mine: apologizing for slowing down ride buddies), but we got to ride with Ellie half the way to preschool–woohoo bike buddy #1!
Next I dropped off my second kid and realized Julie of Wheelha.us was heading the same way as me…except she needed to stop by Mighty-O Donuts on the way. Naturally I didn’t mind the extra stop. Bike buddy #2! (And #3 and #4 if I count the kids in the Bullitt.)
We made two discoveries on the way over, one good, one bad. The good: a new Little Free Library at Latona and 51st.
The bad: the speed bumps on NE 56th Street are gone! Maybe they had to go temporarily so the pitted road can be repaved? And maybe they’ll come back as full-street speed bumps rather than the less effective triple humps? Hoping to hear more about this change soon.
I was headed to a coffee shop with wi-fi and Julie was headed to G&O Family Cyclery so I was excited to show her my new favorite route to Greenwood (see day 16, though up Latona). She’d used this route once before, but on the day of a regatta at Green Lake where cars idled in the bike lane and she’s boycotted it ever since. Today was a regular day and I think she liked it!
I popped into G&O when I was done wi-fi-ing next door, but I didn’t get enough bike-shop-hang-out time so I left to fetch my preschooler and headed right back up. I don’t usually hit Greenwood from North Lower Queen Anne, but when I do, I go up Fremont Avenue because any other route is way out of the way. Plus the light at the five-way intersection half-way up is always red, providing a little rest break. It’s not a hill I’d want to climb daily, but it’s OK every once in a while. And today something interesting happened I captured on Instagram:
Frame 1: This fixie guy was waiting at a bus stop at the bottom of Fremont Ave and was apparently inspired to ride up after me+kid pedaled by (1/4)
Frame 2: OMG I think he’s gonna die (2/4)
Frame 3: Oh thank goodness he’s catching the bus, poor guy (3/4)
Frame 4: And finally he catches up! Take care, guy! (4/4)
G&O was preparing for a photoshoot for Momentum Magazine. Julie and I couldn’t stay long enough to play customers in the background, but our friend Maritess should be visible in some of the pictures! But we were there for the prep work–Davey and Tyler wanted to move a bunch of bike boxes off the showroom floor for the shoot and our kids insisted on helping out. They insisted on helping out with Every. Single. Bike. Box. and we were pretty late in leaving to pick up our oldests from elementary school. But hey, bike buddy #2 again! It was an exhilarating race across town and…WE JUST MADE IT! There’s no penalty for being late to pickup and our teacher assured us she’s happy to wait outside with the kids for late parents, but I’ve yet to be late.
Today’s miles: 18.8 miles
April cumulative: 345.6 miles
Bikes ridden: 1
April cumulative: 7
April cumulative: 16
Nice picture! Thanks again for loaning your stuff. It was so fun having a ride buddy, too, and slow ride buddies are my favorite. Sometimes I run into Racer Dude Officemates along the Lake Washington Loop or the B-G and that’s not as fun. I can go fast now with the e-assist but it’s nice to have a reason to pedal along and say, “I don’t need to get to work as fast as I can.” (Which, don’t worry, there’s almost no such thing as being late to your job as a software developer.)
As for my e-assist system, it’s actually cooler than a Hilltopper! It’s Liontail Cycles’ excellent Sparrow system (http://www.liontails.com/?p=1317) with an upgraded battery (http://www.liontails.com/?p=1263). Henry is awesome and the system has served me well so far.
Oops! Thanks for reminding me–I will correct up above. I want to be able to pass along e-assist information to people on the street better.
Yeah, there’s a lot I don’t know about the e-assist options out there; I should educate myself because people ask me a lot! (As I’m sure you know, being a rolling target for comments yourself.)
I know you played with the mamachari a bit, but if you’re curious about an assisted longtail you’re welcome to borrow mine for a day for “research” (or a week if it coincides with my vacation in May). It’s set up for one stoker; seats aren’t an option without a deck swap though.
Ooh, thanks! Next time I see you I’d love to check it out.