We had the best Kidical Mass April Fools’ Day Ride today, no foolin’! I haven’t started a ride at noon for quite a while, but it seemed to work well for a lot of families and we had a great turnout–39 at the start and 10 more joining us later. See my 40 photos here.
However, I didn’t plan well food-wise starting later than normal. I assumed first breakfast and second breakfast would be sufficient and didn’t pack any snacks since we’d have brownies at the start, doughnuts in the middle, and lunch at the end, but my younger threatened to die of hunger a few blocks after we left home. So we stopped at Solsticio, 1.4 miles from home, just in the nick of time! From there it was just another .7 miles to get to our start point.
We met up at Fremont Canal Park, by the dinosaur topiaries. I passed out homemade brown Es (get, brownies? We had real brownies, too, lest anyone be disappointed) and packets of doughnut seeds for the kids to plant around the dinosaurs. The idea was that we were planting next year’s doughnut harvest and we’d be rewarded with some of last year’s harvest upon arrival at Mighty-O Donuts in Ballard.
Multi-use trail, proposed greenway, greenways!
Our ride was really great! We started out on the Burke-Gilman Trail and turned off at Hale’s Ales to get to NW 6th Avenue. The U-turny right turn onto 43rd from the Burke-Gilman Trail is a little tricky, so I think next time we’ll leave the trail one opportunity earlier, at 7th Ave NW and turn right on 43rd with a regular 90-degree angle.
I love the newish beg button for bikes to cross Leary Way here–it makes such a difference for biking into Ballard (photo below from using it in the other direction on our way back home).
We rode 15 blocks north on 6th Avenue NW, which is a proposed Seattle Neighborhood Greenway. It doesn’t have all the traffic calming of a built-out neighborhood greenway, but it’s a great street to use to avoid the Missing Link, which features very busy streets and lots of rail road tracks and isn’t a good place for a group of kids (or anyone!). It’s flat so most people ride through it anyway, but our pack all fared just fine on the slight uphill of 6th Avenue NW. It’s also covered with blossoms this time of year.
And from there we turned west on the NW 58th Street greenway. I love riding along Ballard’s first greenway with kids. It’s flat and calm. And it intersects Ballard’s second greenway! Here in Seattle we don’t have any other nice bikeways that connect (except for the 39th Avenue NE greenway and the Burke-Gilman Trail, I guess) so intersecting greenways is huge!
Stopping at Mighty-O worked very well. Everyone started in the Friends of Mighty-O Parklet boat while I ran inside to pick up the three dozen mini doughnuts I’d ordered online ahead of time. Then some families migrated inside for coffee and full-sized doughnuts and some stayed in the boat.
We backtracked a bit, going out of the way for the sake of controlled street crossing: 17th Avenue NW greenway to NW 58th Street greenway. We mixed things up by heading south on 14th Avenue NW which is a pretty big street, but with an island in the middle and it’s worth taking in the downhill direction since we can go at a reasonable speed. And it has a light for crossing Market. We biked five blocks of 14th before turning off at 53rd which crosses through Gilman Playground. Parallel streets are just as quiet, but cutting through a playground is always worth it. Then four blocks down quiet 9th and we were at Populuxe Brewing!
There was tons of room to bring our bikes into the patio, lots of outdoor seating and a huge annex (which I hear begins a remodel next week) with pinball and video games as well as a big-screen TV and lots of seating. On such a nice day (the sun was out for some of the time!) it was wonderful to be outside, though.
The food at Peasant Food Manifesto looked amazing (and others confirmed it was indeed so), but my littles weren’t adventurous enough for it so I headed down a few blocks to Giddy Up Burgers & Greens for kid burgers and fries. I hadn’t been there before and it looks great for kids: huge coloring sheets, lots of crayons, and little toy trucks!
Balleywood Creamery was at the brewery, too, and it was SO GOOD. There was a sorbet (peach this time) for my dairy-sensitive kid and I chose the not-too-hoppy caramel hop one. YUM!
We look forward to more sunny rides as the seasons change (finally!)