Bike to School Day was Wednesday and I celebrated by leading my first bike train and writing about it for the League of American Bicyclists. I hope I adequately conveyed how exhilarating yet chaotic the event turned out. I had a blast…and have many ideas for how to make things go more smoothly next year.
The kids did a ton of biking which isn’t usual for a weekday–normally Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays are preschool days and I carry the kids two miles to preschool where I drop one off and then race right back to our neighborhood to drop the other one off at our elementary school. Thursdays and Fridays we walk or take separate bikes to bring the first grader to school, but it’s only two blocks from home. I wasn’t sure they’d want to ride their own bikes a mile uphill for our pre-bike-train doughnut stop, but we left early enough and they were game! And we may have even gotten there faster than me carrying all the kids, bikes, and stuff.
And that meant I could put our Mighty-O Donuts on my FlightDeck. Sweeter passengers than normal, har har.
Here’s an urban traffic jam we hit on the way to the bike train meetup park. I didn’t want to take to the sidewalk to skirt around the garbage truck because the kids already have a thing for snaking back and forth from street to sidewalk via driveways and I’m trying to convince them to stick to the streets with me where we’re safer.
I think the gorgeous weather had a lot to do with the huge number of participants, but these are Seattleites after all so they probably would have come regardless.
Here’s our horde of 91, ready for a 0.8-mile ride to school:
My preschooler was eager to keep pedaling so he biked the 2.5 miles to preschool and then back later in the day. I only had to vary our route a little bit to add more time on the Burke-Gilman Trail and avoid the door zone bike lane on 34th between Stone Way and Fremont.
He suggested a detour up Gas Works Park Kite Hill on our way home. It’s one of my favorite spots, too. I’m able to bike up the back side, but the switchbacks on the front are too tight for me to negotiate…him, too, it turns out–he insisted on going up the front to race me to the top. “It’s not a race!” I called, like I holler at least 100 time a day.
Happy Bike to School Day, Happy Bike to School Month, and IT’S NOT A RACE!