Tag Archive | Spokespeople

30 Days of Biking day 3: West Seattle by bus

I knew I shouldn’t have called yesterday “epic ride” because I rode even more today. I had so much fun on the Wallingford Spokespeople ride yesterday that I decided to do the West Seattle one today. I’ve heard that there is a lower bridge under the West Seattle Bridge that people bike over, but didn’t want to go looking for it on my own. The bummer of the timing is that the West Seattle Water Taxi begins weekend service next weekend. So I figured I could cross one additional item off my to-do list and take my first bus-on-bike trip. I didn’t want to also deal with my first transferring buses experience so we rode downtown to catch the 55. I used a practice bus bike rack a while back and re-watched the Metro Loading your bike on a bus video, but it didn’t go seamlessly. The baby hung out on my back just fine, but the big kid stood on the curb wailing as I tried to get the bike up on the rack. Fortunately a passerby ran up and helped me get its heavy backend lifted and we were on our way. It was nerve-racking watching the bike bouncing around. Maybe I should take the fairing off if we do it again. I’m glad we did it, but I think I won’t make a habit of putting the bike on the bus.

We made it to Alki Bike and Board in one piece and rode with the Spokespeople to Pioneer Square. I am so glad I planned ahead to only do half the ride because we had to drop down a huge hill to get to the bridge. We made it to Pioneer Square pretty quickly and no one was ready to stop for a snack (well one guy grumbled a bit about having to skip the bakery we paused next to) and I had mentioned I needed to continue north along the Elliott Bay Trail so the whole group came with me along the waterfront. I love Spokespeople! I think they headed back to Pioneer Square for snacks once we parted ways. I pushed on through the locks–and got the Fort to 27th to Commodore part right for the first time, woo hoo!

In Ballard I dropped the kids off at Dutch Bike Co to hang out with my husband and my bike-shopping friend and then headed up the road for a haircut. Afterwards, I rode home alone and it felt very weird–the bike was way too light and much too responsive. I was eager to see what it’d be like to ride up Densmore solo after yesterday, but I mistakenly turned up 34th so I missed the steepest first block. However, I discovered a cool fish-shaped bike corral at 34th and Woodlawn. I made it up Densmore just fine, but still think it’d be too hard with my 60 usual pounds of kids and toys on board.

Daily distance: 21.2 miles

30 Days of Biking day 2: Epic ride

Huge day today! We started the day with a trip to Pike Place Market. I don’t know what possessed me to visit the place on the weekend, but it seemed like a good idea this morning. We haven’t biked to PPM before since it’s easily accessible by bus, but I want to do more riding downtown so I was excited for the challenge. Next time I’ll take the extra long route through the Ballard Locks and along the Elliott Bay Trail to avoid navigating downtown, but I thought we might visit the locks this afternoon and wanted to mix it up.

Our route yielded a lot of bonuses we would have missed driving or busing. First off, the Fremont drawbridge was up for a sailboat. We always get a great view right up front by bike. Just across the Fremont bridge we took a detour down the access roadway to explore the “secret traintracks” we spied a couple weeks ago from up on Westlake Ave. I thought the road would be a broken-glass-strewn mess, but it wasn’t bad, just a little gritty. And it turns out the road goes through and reconnects with Westlake Ave parking lots so it wasn’t a detour after all. Plus it avoids the sharp turn at the bottom of the Westlake hill. Double win!

Other excitement included a quick swing through South Lake Union Park to check the status of the construction (still tons of exciting construction vehicles with lots of work to do, the Virginia V is still missing, and the model boat test pond has been drained) and we discovered a Rachel the Pig twin at Serious Pie with a bucket of chalk for drawing.

I didn’t notice any bike racks right at PPM so we parked a bit up the hill on Pine. I like this fine because it allows for great photos with the Public Market sign in the background and it’s partially up the too-steep hill so it was easy to unlock and walk the bike up to 1st Avenue before sticking the kids on. Later I noticed a lot of bikes parked at the bottom of Pike Street. I don’t know if it’s just a Seattle phenomenon, but I see bikes parked in elevated positions all the time. Here it was just the top wheel up over the fence. I don’t know if the balloon clown was guarding the bikes or just happened to be working the same spot. Either way, I like it and will try to park there next time.

On the way home I rode up Stone in order to meet up with Spokespeople at Wallingford Playfield at 2. I turned off Stone at 43rd so I could check out our possible future bike boulevard. Unfortunately, it was too steep and I had to walk the bike the first block. I think it would have been too steep even if I hadn’t had the good fortune of making all the lights on the way up Stone. I didn’t feel so bad because there was a bearded hipster (is that redundant?) walking his bike up ahead of me…though it turned out he was just wheeling it over to his truck. Interestingly, his right pant-leg was rolled up even though he wasn’t riding.

It took me 38 minutes to reach the park which put me 11 minutes late, but the Spokespeople were still there so I joined them for the first time. It started raining as soon as we set out and I entertained thoughts of ditching the ride, but the rain let up and we had a lovely trek over to the Ballard Locks. We headed down Densmore, which is a great mellow street. We took Densmore on the way home, too, and I was able to pedal all the way up…but I think that was only due to Michael and another rider pacing me up the hill. I’m pretty sure I won’t make it when I try alone. The whole ride was a bit faster than my normal pace, but it was all fun. The boys both fell asleep on the way up Densmore. I don’t know why they were so tired!

Cathy mentioned they need a less bike-centric name for the new bike boulevard (which will hopefully start on 44th so it’s not too steep for me!) and I suggested sharroad. It’s not quite as awesome as sharrow, but I like it. Of course I was giddy with exhaustion from the hill so I might realize it’s a ridiculous name after a good night’s sleep.

Daily distance: 19.3 miles