Category Archives: Burke-Gilman Trail

Bikes, Beers, and no Cars. Coming soon to a trail near you (assuming you live in Madison, Wisconsin)

creative commons photo from mrmatt on flickr: restaurant owner in Madison wants to create a low-impact, seasonal eatery smack dab in the middle of the local human-powered trail system. Entry to the proposed eatery would require  walking, skating, biking or … whatever. Just no cars allowed.

Described as “a hobbit hole meets the American Players Theatre meets a 1950s National Park recreational area,” the “Badger Den” would be a “bike-in” bar and grill open from April through October.

The best part about it is they don’t even have permission to use the space. Instead they are launching a little PR campaign (which I’m now helping, if Seattle PR does any good for a business that is yet to exist half-way across the country) to build public support so the city will have to approve the plan. And it seems to be working:

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said the cafe would be consistent with what the city has been doing to encourage bicycling. “I think it’s fascinating idea,” Cieslewicz said. “We’d love to work with him on it.”

Ha! I’d like to see more of this action-based planning here Seattle.

Overall the plan sounds lovely to me, though I’m a little ho-hum on the idea of bringing in supplies via golf cart. If they are really serious about this as a no car thing, how about using some cargo bikes instead?

Read the actual article for the full scoop. And if you’re planning to open one of these somewhere along the Burke (though the Sammamish River Trail is probably the more pastoral choice), let me know when to show up with my mug and tree-stump chair!


Rain, Rain and More Rain

Waiting out the Rain Under a tree

Sometimes it rains. And you get wet. And you stop and wait for the rain to pass under a tree while you eat chocolate. And mom is kinda mad. Then you go home.

Looking forward to some better weather.


– Anne and Tim (not pictured but equally wet)

UW Burke-Gilman Closure/Detour in mid December

Head’s up: Anne and I were out for ride with a neighbor on Wednesday and noticed an upcoming Burke-Gilman trail reroute.

Apparently a small portion the trail needs to be closed December 14 – January 3 to allow early prep work for the future University Link light rail station.

An easy detour is available on Mason Rd, the lightly-traveled access road which runs parallel and just above the trail grade.

More from Sound Transit:

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Taking the new skis for a ride (with Paris)

I recently scored a smokin’ deal on some telemark skis on craigslist. Because I harbor a special guilt about my addiction to making turns (pretty much the only reason we own a car is for getting to the ski hills, and I don’t even want to think about the massive carbon footprint of the ski industry), I sure wasn’t going to drive to SoBa to pick up the planks. Continue reading

I dream of an electric assist

I dream of an electric assist

If I was by myself I would definitely ride up this hill. It’s a good one. (at 70th and the Burke Gilman trail). Continue reading

Neighborhoods and Bikes – Fremont

Fremont Xtracycle Girls Day

Saturday was a beautiful sunnyish day in Seattle. The kind of day that makes you look forward to spring. The boys were off doing manly things so the seven-year-old and I had an impromptu girls day. I’m often accused of not being fancy enough for my daughter so I let her dress me that day – she was very excited that I wore something other than jeans. We decided Fremont would be a good destination for lunch and a little girlie time so we headed down the Burke-Gilman trail—my daughter riding side saddle and looking demure on the back of the Xtracycle. I was pleasantly surprised that we weren’t the only ones not racing down the trail decked out in Lycra—there were plenty of folks dressed in regular clothes using their bike to get where they needed to go. Right on. Continue reading

Neighborhoods and Bikes: Ballard

Sunday at the Ballard Library

It’s fun to re-discover neighborhoods by bike. Sunday we took an afternoon jaunt down the Burke-Gilman trail with the kids. We’ve visited Ballard more frequently since we’ve been on two-wheels than we ever did in our car. Some of the things that make the neighborhood a bummer by car (lack of parking, long traffic light waits, and its misfortune of not being on the way to anywhere) actually make it more desirable from a pedal-powered perspective. It’s a 30-minute cruise from our house — far enough away to make it an afternoon destination yet close enough to make it doable with the kids on the back of the bikes.

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Smackdown, day 2

Working tug fremont

I woke to the crunching sounds of feet on snow; my early-bird neighbors apparently made an unusual choice to leave their cars parked in favor of foot or bus. Welcome to Seattle where an inch of snow provokes panic. I must have been a bit nervous about the weather myself — crunching pedestrian parades wouldn’t normally drag a morning hater like myself out of a sound sleep a full 40 minutes early.

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Seattle Weather Smackdown

View from the bars

So, I haven’t had a real commute in a while. A five-minute bike ride or 15-minute walk to the UW campus doesn’t count. So, when I got a new job I vowed to keep up the carfree style we’ve been working since the summer. It’s still not a major commute — 30 minutes each way via Xtracycle — but most people, certainly, would drive (especially if they have a free, covered, parking garage).

Well, today was my first day. On the way in, I got the typical Seattle misting. Pretty much expected, even though it wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon. No biggie.

And the way home?

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Car Free Dates

We’ve been on vacation and have a lot of catching up to do on the blog, but in the meantime here’s a joint post…

Ridin’ through Fremont post car-free-date

Tonight was one of the rare occasions where we got a sitter and had some grown-up time out. Tim is a total tightwad and it kills him to pay a sitter, but Anne keeps him honest (and I thank her for that -tk). We see so much of each other that sometimes it’s hard to imagine that we’d need to go out on a date, but the truth is that a little quality time together is essential. When you have 2 kids, sometimes it’s necessary to buck up and pay someone to watch them for a few hours.

Anyway, we decided to grab a beer and go to a movie. In the couple weeks since the longbikes have been built we’ve been driving less and less. It was a beautiful evening and we both just assumed that we’d ride. No discussion needed – we just knew. This meant we chose our movie partly because it was in a location where we wanted to ride (Ballard, down the Burke-Gilman trail). This also meant Tim the tightwad couldn’t use the free movie passes we had downtown but that would have meant firing up the car — not so free after all, or taking the bus (longer babysitting hour$ so even less free).

So we hopped on our longbikes and rode on down toward Kings Hardware and Ballard Ave. Both of us have been riding bikes for years. We’ve got the shoes, the sunglasses, the gloves, the shorts, the everything. The nice thing about cargo bikes is that you don’t feel compelled to drag all that into the picture. You just don a helmet and hop on the bike as-is (lovely Dansko sandals and all, in Anne’s case). It’s a really freeing feeling. What you lose in speed you gain in reduced hassle factor (and anyone who knows me knows I’m the master of hassle factor).

It took us about 25 minutes to get to Ballard. Maybe five minutes longer than driving and parking, maybe a tie if parking was tight or we had to wait for a drawbridge. Plus we got some exercise, talked, and enjoyed a light evening rain shower (not enough to even dampen us and it smelled great).

Once there Tim bitched a bit about Ballard’s lack of bike racks (c’mon folks look around. Lots of people ride bikes in this part of town and they need a place to put them) but probably would have bitched even more about parking.

We ended up skipping the movie in favor of a more relaxed evening of beers and dinner with friends, and then hopped on the xtracycles for the trip home. It was a beautiful night — we got some compliments “cool bikes,” popped into PCC to pick up some fruit for the kids lunches (and ice cream, but that’s OK we did exercise on our date), watched the freaks come out: “WHOOOOOoooo….take back the roads, ” screamed one dude as we rode up University Ave), and generally enjoyed another 25 minute ride. Just as we turned the last corner for home, Anne summed up the feeling of the car free date:

“Sometimes I wish I could go back to college and live in the dorms – life was so simple then. At least I can still ride my bike around at night – I used to do that a lot in college and it’s just as fun now.”

-Tim and Anne