I recently requested some bike racks for a fairly new commercial strip in the Ravenna neighborhood of Seattle. Over the past several years some “mixed use” apartment buildings have been built on NE 65th street. In addition to the two large apartment buildings, there are now four restaurants on the two-block stretch. And not a single bike rack. Continue reading
Thought I’d do a quartlerly winter wrap up (December through January) of our biking and car driving stats. The last time I did this was in November.
We went to dinner at my sister and brother-in-law’s house on Saturday night. They live about five miles from us. In the “old days” we would have driven over there. Although I never considered driving this time, the decision to ride did give me pause: it’s a little farther than we normally go with the kids after dark. I wondered how they would do on the back of the bike on the way home. Darkness and kids with full tummies at bedtime is a recipe for some nodding off. But it wasn’t enough to make me take the car.
As we hit the section of the Burke Gilman that passes the dreaded Montlake traffic, we were feeling smug about our decision to ride. We breezed by on our bikes passing all of the cars sitting in traffic. Right on.
We had a lovely time at dinner. And as I predicted, we stayed a little past the kids bedtime. It’s hard to get us out the door when we’re having a good time. To to keep the kids from falling asleep, we fed them sour patch kids all the way home. It turns out candy does serve a purpose. Since the four year old isn’t as skilled as his sister at riding no handed, he and Tim worked out a candy-eating-system. Tim gave the little guy some warning, then he opened his mouth like a baby bird and received his sugar bomb. The seven year old, ever so grown up and composed, casually sat behind me no-handed and fed herself. It worked like a charm – they got just enough of a sugar rush to keep them awake but not too much to keep them from going to sleep once we got home.
We really enjoyed the ride home – there’s something about riding at night that makes me feel extra free. Plus the kids get really excited when they are out after dark, they think they are getting away with something. We even saw a few raccoons peeking out from some shrubs: no big deal to us, but thrilling to kids who usually go to bed soon after the sun goes down. Ah the little things!
Posted in alternative transportation, bikes, kids, seattle, traffic, xtracycle
Tagged alternative transportation, bikes, candy, cycling, family dinner, traffic, xtracycle
I saw this on Copenhagen Cycle Chic yesterday and it made me smile. It reminds me of many moms in my life (mine at times, my French host mom, as well as several other older mom types). Maybe the next time the ladies go to lunch, they could go by bike? Only in a big city? Could it happen in Seattle? Ever seen someone like this in your city? Hmmmm.
First there was slow food, now it’s apparently slow design. Cargo cycling is inherently slow so it seems we’re just in time to jump on the slow bandwagon. Continue reading
The Seattle Times this morning published an article on Seattle’s effort to increase cycling safety by installing green lanes — we’re the Emerald City, get it –on four dangerous intersections: Dexter at Denny Way, both ends of the Fremont Bridge, and North 145th where the new Shoreline Interurban Trail meets the city limits.
The article goes on at surprising length about the dangers of the “right hook” accident, about Mayor Nichols’ plan to triple cycling trips, and of course, about how we’re keeping up with Portland on the bike safety front (we’re not) by painting these lines. Continue reading
Posted in bigger than here, bikes, Human Powered Politics, PDX, seattle, traffic
Tagged bikes, blue lanes, cycling, green lanes, safety, seattle, traffic, university bridge
It’s cold in Seattle right now. Not as cold as this, but cold in a windy drizzly Northwest kind of way. The 35-40 degree light rain gets in your bones and leaves you with a chill that won’t quit. We’re still out there riding every day and not suffering too much. We quickly figured out the right layering combo for this weather. We don’t go anywhere without our wool. Not the itchy scratchy irritating kind, but the soft (ahhh), not-at-all itchy Merino variety. Lucky for us, there’s a lot of it on the market right now. Continue reading
Interesting discussion on Bike Hugger yesterday about accommodations for bike commuters. I agree – facilities for all types of cyclists are needed in urban areas. It would be great if Seattle provided secure bike storage facilities similar to bikestation around the city. Wouldn’t have to be huge – the size of a couple of parking spaces would probably be enough. Heck – I’d sure ride downtown a lot more for entertainment, errands and shopping if I was sure I’d have a secure place to park my bike. Tim and I often rule out downtown as a date destination because we’re not comfortable locking our bikes on the street while we’re seeing a movie etc. (edit by tim – especially in light of horror stories about stolen bikes, racks and all)
However, I don’t really understand the need for showers in the workplace or in a bikestation type facilities. Do you really need one? I’d think if you could just take a shower at home, dress properly for the weather, slow down a bit so you don’t work up that much of a sweat, you wouldn’t need to shower once you got to work.
Do you think these people shower when they get to work?
I’m doing the dreaded beginning of the year stuff – cleaning out the closets, getting rid of stuff and reviewing our budget. In the process, I ran across our 2007 budget – it was pretty amusing to read it. The budget contained a line item for gas – $200 a month. According to my girlfriend that’s nothing – she pays $200 a week. We’ve only put 2 tanks of gas into our car since the end of August. That’s a lot of walking around money!
In the wake of gas price increases, have you seen your gas expenditures go up or down?
Posted in alternative transportation, gas, Human Powered Politics, neighborhoods, sustainability, traffic
Tagged alternative transportation, bicycle, budget, cycling, gas, walking
Tim has spent the last couple of rainy days in the garage with the Xtracycles putting extra coats of polyurethayne on the snap decks and footies and installing my Christmas present – Brooks B17 Women’s saddle. It’s like having my car in the shop – I have to find alternative transportation.
Yesterday, the seven year old and I were all set to go to PCC – dressed for the weather with hats, gloves and coats etc. We were helmeted and ready to go. We went out to the garage to hop on the bike and found it apart. I didn’t know the bike was “in the shop” (I guess Tim and I should work on our communication). Bummer. Dinner guests were arriving soon so we had to _gasp_ drive to the store – no time to walk or take the bus.
I felt pretty dirty driving 1/2 a mile to the store – first time I’ve done that in months.