Archive | October 2014

Pumpkins by bike 2014

Are you lucky enough to have a pumpkin patch within biking distance? I’m not aware of one in Seattle this year.

OK, that’s not entirely true–I just discovered Swanson’s Nursery has a Fall Festival Saturday and Sunday 10-2 with:

Tractor Rides • Veggie Car Races • Autumn Mobile Art Project • Leaf Rubbings • Pumpkin Putt-Putt Miniature Golf • Straw Maze Madness. Tickets will be on sale for races, games, and art projects to raise money for Child Haven.

The Ballard Kiwanis club will sell hotdogs, beverages, and desserts from 10am–2pm • Cupcake Royale will sell special fall cupcakes & traditional baby cakes from noon–4pm • Sweet Wheels Ice Cream Truck from noon–4pm.

Last year Northwest Seaport had pumpkins on one of the ships at Lake Union Park which is a little easier to get to for us, but looks like it’s not on this year.

So yesterday we visited the underground parking lot pumpkin patch at the Roosevelt Whole Foods:


I was a bit disappointed these were the biggest pumpkins to be had. I could have fit slightly larger ones on board.



Earlier in the day, while the kids were at school, I swung by the Ballard Fred Meyer and saw some truly enormous pumpkins. They had their weights and diameters displayed…diameter I guess to make sure it could fit through the car door to drive home? Lots of them over 100 pounds. I don’t think I could manage the two-block uphill climb home from the Burke-Gilman Trail were I to get a pumpkin at the Ballard Fred Meyer, but I bet the Greenwood Fred Meyer has a selection of obscenely large pumpkins, too. Because the terrain on the ride home definitely dictates the weight of the pumpkin(s) I’ll haul!

Happy fall and I hope you’ve had some pumpkin-on-bike fun, too!


Oh, and learn from my mistake: I meant to stick two pumpkins on the street side and one on the sidewalk side. You know, to better impress the people driving alongside us.

Kidical Mass through Mad Campus recap

I’ve been doing most of my Kidical Mass posting over at Familybike Seattle, but today was sunny and beautiful so I have to do some picture posting here, too. (And full Flickr set is here.)

20 people came out to explore Mad Campus at University of Washington and I discovered there’s nothing better than a long bike rack for a group shot–kids climbed the rack and parents stood behind them. Photo taken with the TimerCam app by my iPhone wedged in my helmet vent, by the way. This is one of my least crooked results.

We gathered at installation number one, Sentinel, which worked fairly well, but in hindsight, hanging out at a non-climbable piece for a good half hour while waiting for everyone to arrive wasn’t ideal. If we’re in a similar situation for a future ride, I’ll choose a spot around the corner with climbable rocks and running-around space.

I wasn’t sure all the kids would want to hit all 12 installations, but they did! Sadly, number three, Lone Stranger was missing (popped? blown away?).

Also a bummer was the DO NOT CLIMB sign at Wave Sine that was new since the Seattle’s Child article that gave me the idea to ride through the event and mentioned climbing the waves.

The Legend of Jerry Roundtree in Red Square was my favorite because the kids could truly interact with it. They all clustered in the pyramid and explored the cool (as in cool to the touch, but also cool as in kewl, of course!) marble pieces.

An interesting thing happened while heading home. We took the two-way protected bike lane that leaves campus on NE 40th Street. Side note: I think this lane is permanent, but it’s also part of a big Burke-Gilman Trail detour for the time being. While we rode down the bike lane, four faster people took the main lane to the right. I really like having options. Of course I’m biased and think bicycle facilities should be built for all ages and abilities so I can comfortably ride them with my slow, heavy bike or let my kids ride on their own bikes, but having a parallel route for people who don’t want to ride on a bikeway attractive to people of my caliber is important, too. I’d also like if all these new protected bike lanes were twice as wide to allow passing, but just having them is such a great start!

For the record, I suspect many faster riders would still avoid double-wide protected bike lanes in favor of taking the lane on a regular street, but having space for parents to ride alongside children or medium-speed people passing slow-speed people would be terrific.

There are lots of people who avoid the Burke-Gilman multiuse trail–some because it’s too slow and full of inexperienced bike riders (those might be the people in the right lane in the photo above) and some because it’s too fast and full of impatient experienced bike riders (hopefully these people would use this protected two-way bike lane, but they might be holding out for protected one-way double-wide bike lanes).