Friday, July 8, 2016

FREE Bike Kidical Mass/Picnic/Family Bike Expo


Hopefully it will be this beautiful on Sunday
I know, it's late notice but this Sunday is a Kidical Mass ride. I will be meeting everyone at the grassy playfield at Jimi Hendrix Park and we will make our way down through Coleman Park to Bicycle Sunday. Whoopie! At the end we can hang out and bonus try out some of the rental fleet of Familybike.org.

WHEN: Sunday July 10th Noon

MEETING LOCATION: Jimi Hendrix Park by the grassy playfield.

I will try to tweet but find it incredibly hard since I like to talk, blah blah blah.

Here is the link to the Facebook event page just in case.

Again, you don't have to have kids to join us on this ride. We welcome people without children as well.

Your exit strategy: How will you get home?

Once we reach our destination along Lake Washington Bicycle Sunday I can direct you to several routes back to either our meeting spot or a good route to get on Link Light Rail.

I promise to bring my bubble gun.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Oh Rainier! #DemandMore



We are getting close to our one year 0.9 road diet anniversary and what has been accomplished to support it? Read those words, SUPPORT it. Here's are the results of how it's working and I can't wait until it extends to where I live.

Look, I tried to get myself in there by saying, "look, let's get a protected bike lane there, while we're at it". It was not even my idea. SDOT presented it as one of the options at the early road diet meeting that I attending with my tried an cranky kids. Remember that! PLAN 1B.  It's like birth control for the road.

So, what happened to the protected bike lane? In essence, early in the year I was told that it was not the right time and that the idea as not being shoved away but that their were other things that made it difficult to happen at this time. Does that sound familiar? I'll give you a hint: CITY CENTER NETWORK.

I had a hard time writing about this after the final meeting because I was pretty enraged by some people and their attitude. I think their are people who are afraid of change, despite wanting safety, and will do anything to stop that process. They will give it names and in the end say that "community" was not involved.

Oh, you want to talk COMMUNITY. Then let's talk about the E-W Rainier Valley Greenway that runs directly through the Jewish Orthodox Community. The COMMUNITY was not involved. I am pretty sure the audit rides were held on Saturday, our holy rest day of Shabbat. Shabbos, we all WALK along the greenway. Why not ask us? Nobody reached out and it looks like with a review it might just be that way again. At this point, a large chunk of the community has no idea what a greenway does because aside from added speed humps what's the purpose? So, whoever said, "Greenways" is a household name is so wrong. When I explain that greenway to people it's always followed by looks of bewilderment, especially the part where I say it's All-Ages-Abilities. That one usually bring us tears of laughter.

Down here we are waiting on Accessible Mt. Baker, Bus Ride Transit and the next installation of the road diet.  I would have hoped for a pilot project but that was too much to ask and frankly was discouraged from people I thought were into road safety. You suck! I know, feeling a bit of rage.

At one point someone told me to get off Rainier and go ride on Lake Washington. The places I need are not along that route and what do I do about the older kid who rides on her own? I'll just ride on a road that is 30mph and is frequently used as a speedway for those of you who refuse to use Martin Luther King? On my own, I have had people drive unsafely past us and then the complaints on Facebook about how bicyclist HOG the road. Lake Washington has beautiful and scenic views, why are we allowing people to use it as a speedway? Why is it 30mph. Reduce the speed limit to 20mph. This is a street for people to enjoy nature not race through.

I decided to fix a broken camera and invest in more cameras so I look like a biking surveillance so I can have video proof. It's not in my head. I have a front camera and a rear one. Then to make matters worse I have a point and click camera suspended on a lanyard around my neck. Is that enough? Nope.

Watch this. We're on the sidewalk. Yes, the sidewalk because Rainier Ave is the flattest way to get to where we needed to go which was ON Rainier Ave. If you want me to patronize businesses on that street then this is how I have to get there.


What was the outcome? Well, this is a dangerous intersection. Several drivers have managed to collide into that building on the corner. A nice juicy curb bulb would have prevented this but one of the responses was, "DON'T TAKE AWAY PARKING!" Wow, really, cars over people. Nothing has changed. If you listen you can hear me reading the speed of drivers on the flashing board.

Next, how about the side streets where the safety burro told me to bike.


It was too much to drive slowly around us on a residential street. I hope something poops in your car and you never find it and are forced to drive around with that aroma.

Then we have this wonderful times when it is ideal to cross a street because all drivers are stopped for me. I do appreciate it but then you have that one idiot.



Then this one. I would like to shop in Rainier Beach this section was improved. In fact, right after this happened I met an ex-member from the Seattle Pedestrian Advisory Board. We had an interesting chat.


It gets better. I get to watch a pedestrian try to get across. Don't tell me you plan to add more paint "community" (I'm talking about the cultural crosswalks) features here because I don't think it's going to change the attitude of drivers. Basically, you could care less. Maybe if one of your family members gets hit them you might take an interest in safety. Maybe a car will drive at you when you are on the sidewalk and you will care for a little but then you will go back to your car advocacy way. I don't know.



In the meantime. I will keep recording, capturing all these moments on video. What will the car advocacy people do, well they will go to Rainier Ave businesses and scare them in thinking that protected bike lanes will ruin their businesses. No joke, somebody did this.

Rainier Ave Businesses, I challenge you. I can shop mean and hard like a car honk honk. Don't let that burro think that change will be bad for you because look what happened to the bookstore that didn't get the foot traffic he needed. He had to close. He knew foot traffic was key and sadly it didn't happen because people didn't want to walk there for safety reasons. People in cars are not the ones holding the key to increase businesses. So, get that out of your head and don't listen to that burro.




Monday, June 20, 2016

10th Ave Streetclimb/Don't bring your bike hike

I met Mr. Peyos after the Memorial walk for Desiree McCloud. I'm sure someone will write about the memorial walk but a lot of my feelings about this section of the city are wrapped up in the outcome of Rainier Ave and our no-nothing protected bike lanes. So, for now I am going to wait until I get write about Rainier Ave.

Mr. Peyos and I decided to return to downtown to catch the light rail and I suggested we try the NEW AND IMPROVED 10th Ave. Hillclimb/Shortcut/Whatever

Someone was convinced I didn't know where we were going. I said, I vaguely saw on social media that those painted feet meant something. So, we followed them like fools.


"It's closed Shirley, let's walk downtown another way". No, I was convinced that the feet meant we would find the path





AWW, SNAP! This looked promising as a shortcut with a bike until I saw this. I can't friggin lift my bike over this many steps. NO NO NO. 

For residents only the sign said or just us trespassers. How weird 

The end of the loopy loop fruit loop route

How special 

There you have it, It's actually beautiful.

I tend to think out loud, "What are those for?" "Mr Peyos said, "it's for people to rest on before they contemplate suicide." How morbid

At least they didn't put the poo bike racks. Look at those adorable artsy garbage cans. 



At some point someone thought it wasn't fun to use the ramp and we were forced to use the stairs. 


There you have it. DON'T BRING YOUR BIKE if you decide to try this because you will fail unless you are the Hulk and can lift your bike over the steps on the loopy path at the top. 



Monday, May 23, 2016

Beacon Hill Greenway CHECK!

Hey look, my lawyer came on the ride ;)
I have a goal since I already met Reb Roush and after that my life has no meaning. JUST KIDDING!

No, really, I would like to bike all the greenways in the form of a Kidical Mass Ride. Ideally I would like to bike them alone so I can go fast but I can do that too before a slow ride.

I love Merlin's bike
I honestly didn't think anyone would come. I have super low expectations. I figured if one person came I would buy them a beverage of their choice just for showing up. How did I manage to take pictures? I put the camera on the back of my bike. You will not get to see the video because Davey and I were plotting world domination and we don't want you to hear the audio. JUST KIDDING!

Catch up! I was really having a lovely conversation with Little Oil

To my surprise so many people came. We had a family from West Seattle, several north enders, Hola Pedro and Davey! One family met us on the route and Mom ran behind us taking pictures. Another family came from Burien I enjoyed being bossy. It was so awesome!

Look, we brought this kid along.
We picked up this adorable kid. Luckily this was a group of experienced parent riders so everyone gave her excellent direction so she could pedal her little heart out. 

I love the poncho. Go ponchos!
The most awesome part was that someone from the Jewish community came to the ride. KAREN you rock! I'm so proud of you. I live in the Jewish Orthodox Community of Seward Park so, not as insular as Williamsburg but kinda outside a lot of people's comfort zone. One day you will all give up your cars. I'm plotting that! Also, Pedro, muchas gracias for helping out the way you did, especially getting Karen back to her destination.

I had no idea this kid was so fast until I watched the video
It was sad. My kids didn't come along because the toddler was sick and the tween likes to supervise childcare when Mr. Peyos is home, hah. I'm sure he would do a great job on his own. I even brought the Edgerunner so that people could try that bike if they wanted.

We stopped at the Food Forest because it showcased the new connection of the Beacon Hill Greenway which is lovely.

Beacon Hill Connector. It used to be dirt and gravel

We passed this sorry excuse for a bike rack. When will people learn? What is it? Maybe it's not a rack. The mystery unfolds.


We got to chat at the park. Nobody played on the zipline. Oh well, next time. Thanks for coming out and I look forward to more rides in other parts of Seattle.






Kidical Mass: Central District Greenway/Visit Electric Lady


You can actually bike INTO the shop!


Yes, another Kidical Mass ride, wow wow!

This time we will explore the Central District Greenway. This greenway has a lot of great features I love in a  greenway. It has speed humps, good route markers, it's on calm street, and has flashing beacons with bike buttons to activate them. You will get to experience a trapezoidal speed hump. Don't worry, I will warn you before we bike over them because it HURTS! Bob Edmiston of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways did a lot of work to make the other ones less hurty, so I appreciate that.

Familybike.org is hosting this ride. Our destination is Electric Lady and hopefully a park afterwards.

WHAT: Kidical Mass Ride: Central District Greenway/Destination Electric Lady

WHEN: Sunday, May 29th

TIME: 2:30PM meet-up and we will leave shortly afterwards.

WHERE: Meet at the grassy field at Jimi Hendrix Park near the porta-potty, appealing

END: We will make our way to Electric Lady and depending on how everyone is feeling we will continue on to a park. I know, it's so vague but by the time we get to the bike shop I never know who will be up to what, especially with toddlers.

SUPPORT OUR Non-profit! Support Familybike today. G&O is matching donations. Thanks! We are a volunteer based organization. We use those funds to fix our fleet and bring you programs to make biking accessible.

Hope to see you there!

Facebook Link to Event

Familybike.org calendar link

ROUTE DETAILS  so you can wave or try to meet up along the route: Jimi Hendrix Park to Electric Lady



Monday, May 16, 2016

Kidical Mass South Seattle: Destination Jefferson Park

Here is our meeting point. Can you see why I picked it?
I know everyone doesn't live on Facebook so I wanted to make sure I reach out to everyone. I'm leading a ride! Sure, I have done this before but this is my first Kidical Mass ride as the leader.

Familybike is hosting Kidical Mass South Seattle. We plan to bike to Jefferson Park.

Our route will bike along the Mountain to Sound Trail and the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Greenway. On the way to the park the Mountain to Sound Trail is uphill but we have plenty of space to wait for anyone who needs to walk or needs a rest.

At the park we can hang out. We will bike slow, nobody is racing.

When you are ready to go home you can go the same route we came which will be a fast and fun downhill ride, Beacon Hill Light rail is close by, Chief Sealth is close or you can bike the rest of the Beacon Hill Greenway and go to Georgetown. So, I tried to make it so that you had options.

Here are the details with the public Facebook Page and link to Familybike.org calendar.

WHAT: Kidical Mass Ride South Seattle: Destination Jefferson Park
WHEN: Sunday May 22, 2016
STARTING Point: Jimi Hendrix Park on the Grassy playfield
Route: Mt. Sound Trail Trail and then the Beacon Hill Neighborhood Greenway
TIME: Meet at10:30AM, we will leave around 11am
ENDING POINT: Jefferson Park
Contact Information: Shirley Savel (nospandexreq at gmail dot com), I will live tweet our location on the day of the ride @NoSpandexReq

Hope to see you there!

Route details here. Notice that it will be a slow elevation gain. Not too far, about 2.3 miles


A little bit about Seattle's the first Kidical Mass organizer and the graceful hand off.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Cargo Bikes vs Sound Transit Bike Cage

In the interest of research I met with a Sound Transit representative to look at how cargo bikes might fit in the bike cage. Currently the only bike cage is located at the Beacon Hill light rail station. More secured bike parking interest me. Currently a space cost $50/year which is not a lot but would it be worth it? Luckily before paying for a space I got to bring a bike to test. I picked my monster bike, my glorious Metrofiets.


The Door:
Ideally I would need zero obstructions to get to the door. I want to roll the bike straight. I think it's possible.

Move the bike lockers!

I can not reach the door, my bike is too long
See, it's a tight space. Then comes the issue of trying to open the door. The truth is, I can't. I can only imagine I would find something to prop it open because it is NOT EASY with this bike. I tested before my ST friend arrived. It only resulted with me wedging myself in a weird way. 

Let's go inside. Once I rolled in I had to try to make a 3 point turn with the bike. Just so you get an idea, my bike is close to 10 feet LONG!  This is not a lifting over your head kind of bike. Okay, so I backed into the designated space, boop... boop... boop... (thought you needed sound effects).

This space would only be able to hold one bike, I bumped my sholder on the rack above which means if their was a bike on top I would probably wack myself into bike parts. The top rack should not have anything there if this is to be a space for cargo bikes. 


Locking the bike was not easy. I have 2 locks I carry with me. The snake like ABUS lock was the winner, although a longer Bordo Abus could have done the job. Of course I want to lock my bike to the thickest metal but was only able to lock it to the thinnest part. Can you see it, close to the floor? Due to my box I could not move the bike any closer. How many ways can you steal my bike in a bike cage?


I did it! Can you see my toddler asleep, poor guy. Since cargo bike are prohibited from getting on the choo choo would you pay $50 for a spot at other light rail cages, once they are built? I have seen cargo bikes parked at the UW light rail station but how long do they leave their bikes? When we bike to the Columbia City light rail I lock my bike at BikeWorks because I saw a rack turned over once. If that is possible at Othello whee this happened, then it's possible at Columbia City. No thank you. I will not lock my bike to that.

The bike cage is WAY more secure than this.

Email Sound Transit and let them know if you want to park your bike in future bike cages: bicycles@soundtransit.org





Sunday, March 20, 2016

Mini Blog Post: Crash

Before crashing. Doesn't look that wet outside.
This is mini blog post #3. It's a series I started just for Davey Oil. The first two were only sent to Davey but this one might amuse others.

I have had the Metrofiets for a little bit and have managed to crash in the following ways:

NEVER EVER AGAIN!
1. The tween crashed into me. How did this happen? I was using a route some douche bag suggested. In order to avoid a pretty bad car collision drivers were using the alleyway behind Tin Umbrella. So, when we turned on to that street some jerk drove out fast, I screamed and hit the brakes hard. This resulted in the tween crashing right into my derailler. After this I had one good gear. It got fixed but seriously, don't listen to idiots who don't know routes.

2 minutes before the crash

2. I crashed hard and this time very hard. We had a series of days where it didn't rain and so when it rains again the road become slick. With complete confidence I thought I could grab something with one hand and mange the bike at the same. WRONG. Don't do that. Then I did the fatal mistake of braking. My brakes are good. So, I started skidding left and going down at the same time. AWWWWW!! OW!

While I was falling I was thinking, my tights are falling, how embarrassing. Luckily, I had the poncho on so nobody saw this disaster.  AWWWW! I kinda just stayed on the ground and wondered if my legs worked. A guy walking kinda stared and when he realized I wasn't moving he said, "are you ok" but kept walking. I am not sure how to feel about that. The time I saw a drunk lady stumble on Broadway and fall I helped pick her up.  So, I got up moved the bike over to the side. A woman saw this from her house and came out. I was close to 20/20 Cycles so I limped over. I was not sure to cry, the adreline still pumping.

Daniel came out, checked my bike and gave me a band-aid. Seriously, those guys are nice. 20/20 Cycle, I love you!

I biked home with all my junk and here I am, on the couch embarrassed. I don't think my knee is broken but it's swollen. My tights are intact and it's really bizarre how I was so worried about the condition of my tights.

I know, I biked home with a full load. I don't think I'm broken.

DAMN!! Metrofiets, you make one bomb proof bike. DAMN, Alex, you put components on my bike that work well. Respect!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Cargo Bikes on Sound Transit: Not so fast

Hi UW LightRail. I only biked here for show. No Cargo bikes allowed, I know.

It's old news but per Sound Transit "no oversized, cargo, family cargo, tandem, or fueled bicycles are permitted on any vehicle".  This is not a new rule but it was spelled out more recently, especially with the opening of two new stations.

Cargo and family bikes are a spectrum. I wish a length requirement was used instead because this would clarify better what is allowed. Many cities have a cap on length and I think this is helpful for people who plan to be multi-modal. The SkyTrain in Vancouver, BC specifies that bikes must be less than 185 centimeters or 73 inches long. They also limit which stations bikes can exit.

This is NOT a cargo bike
After our trailer days we looked into what would give us the most flexibility. It turned out my Oma bike with a kid seat on the back would be the most flexible. If I had to, I could load it on a bus bike rack and mitigate all elevators with it. It was a great set-up. I had to bike the 1st kid to school in Capitol Hill and home again. 20 miles each day on a bike if we didn't do errands would be helped by taking the train at Mt. Baker the rest of the way home. It worked for the most part.

When we finally upgraded to a cargo bike I knew that using it on the light rail might be difficult. In fact, I figured lightrail could be used in the most extreme circumstances, especially if I need to get to G&O with a bike that was having issues. I asked about rules then but didn't get a firm answer. The transit police didn't kick me off. I got a lot of curious looks and questions but those rare times we used lightrail we managed to load in and out without problems.

Disclaimer: 
The instances when I used the light rail I did it when it had the least amount of people on the train and with the completion of the Beacon Hill Greenway I would only take it a few stop. As ridiculous as it seems, just taking it to there got me out of parts of the Rainier Valley the the tween has trouble riding. We currently have no connections and if I can manage to spend less time biking through some dangerous intersections and roads, the more I am encouraged to bike.

That time we saw Frozen in 2013 and it was frozen outside, burr
So, since 2013 I have been pushing it with the Edgerunner on the light rail and anticipated a day when that would not be a transit tool to get me to my destination. I prepared. I bought a normal bike at BikeWorks and will soon add a seat. I can bike very far distances with the tween and toddler on the Edgerunner deck but even with assist it's a big chore and they fight. Yes they fight. The toddler kicks her and the tween is in the way of his ability to see and throw stuff. Nobody is happy. Biking any distance with both of them is torture for me. So, the tween rides, regardless of the distance. I would like to expand out network so we have the REGULAR bike so we can take lightrail all the way to the University Washington. For me, this connection means we can blissfully ride on the Burke Gilman.

I can maneuver the Edgerunner on the train and it works well. This is only possible because I know which door will open and where to position the bike.

2 bikes, luggage and a stroller. It's like a bad transit comedy

BUT.....Regular bikes don't do well on Sound Transit Light Rail anyway.
The space is weird. In general it was not designed with bikes or luggage in mind. I am constantly reminded of the struggled for passengers to find a seat and a place for their luggage. People honestly don't want to drive or use a car service so lightrail is a great option to get from the airport downtown. People put their luggage in the bike/luggage space, the folding handicapped area or worse, use two entire seats so they can sit with their luggage.

Mr. Peyos, demonstrates hanging his bike for me. Most bikes block this space.

We know their are certain peak times. We call them "Airport Hour". Recently, airport hour seems all the time. I won't even dare get on with a stroller. It sucks! Even Mr. Peyos has issues with his own, made for Vikings bike. The man is 6'4 and his bike is oversized.
That time Mr. Peyos instantly turned his bike into a CARGO BIKE.
Mr. Peyos doesn't hang his bike because he feels that it blocks that middle passage and become a nuisance so he likes to stand with it. He gets on the lightrail regardless but the man is tall and Danish so bringing a bike on the train is a normal.

How does it work in Denmark. Watch the video, it doesn't matter if you don't speak the romantic language of otter, I mean Danish.


I honestly don't remember that much drama with the older trains but I do remember seeing a guy get hit in his private area with a bike so it makes me laugh, old times. Okay but Seattle is not Denmark but you get my point, design the space better and we won't have this chaos.

My "normal" bike fits on a Metro rack. 

The times I have tried to get on the train with the older kid with regular bikes we have to maneuver ourselves, mostly because my bike doesn't fit on the hook and she can't lift her bike.

What can you do. If you haven't signed the Seattle Greenways petition, read it and then sign it.

You can also contact Sound Transit and let them know, that the space needs a redesign.

We just stand because neither of us can hang our bikes.
These new rules forced a lot of people to make hard decisions on what bike to buy, how to mitigate taking kids with them on the lightrail. This topic has opened a can of WORMS. I welcome worms, but only in my compost pile. Some people bought certain bikes, which per ST rules are technically "cargo" bikes, feel they can't go on the light rail now.  You might as well buy a car you hippie biker. I want mass gridlock on roads. DO IT.

The "cargo bike" wording is so vague, that's why a length requirement would be better. I can see a whole slew of bikes that could fit on lightrail now during non-peak times. I'm not talking about the Edgerunner. I have no plans to bring that bike on the lightrail.

You might technically have a "cargo bike" BUT here's what you can do.  Before you board the train stand at the front where the driver can see you. Sure, full disclosure. Walk past them. Give the driver the thumbs up. If they ignore you, you are golden. Get on the train, enjoy!

I'm not even going to go into what is and not a cargo bike because a transit system should do some homework before they start using words to make rules.

Sound Transit, not that you read this, set a length requirement.

If you need help. Contact me (nospandexreq at gmail dot com) Aside from myself, Familybike.org can also do some consultation so that this length requirement can be more clear. We can even hold a mini-Familybike Expo just so you learn.

Again, nobody listens to me because I'm just a lady on a bike with close to ten year of biking with kids and using a bike as transportation all of my life. I know nothing! Fuggggg, get me some spandex and then someone will listen to the words coming out of my mouth.






Tuesday, March 1, 2016

M is for Metrofiets (Part 1)

The beginning of the "build a bike" journey
Don't hate me when you read this.

I think ever since I saw my first cargo bike in 1995 I always wanted a front cargo bike. Living in Denmark will do that to you. We had friends who worked for the Danish Post Office and I thought it was so cool they delivered the mail by bike. So cool! So what prevented me from buying one? Money was a factor for a very long time. Then we moved to Seattle and it became terrain. I worked with a woman at the public school who was pretty discouraging about getting a Workcycles bakfiets despite her family owning own. I tried one in early 2007 and loved it but could understand that the weight of the bike might make it hard. I had nobody to consult about this and did not know people who were putting electric assist on bikes. So, I put the idea away.

Then I had the love affair with the Bullitt (Part 1 & Part 2) bike and had the opportunity to bike with one. It was fun but not the bike for me. My love was smothered by my short legs and the ouchie stand over issue. When you have to stand tipy toe over the bar, ouchy!

One day my daughter was biking next to me and she said, "Mommy, what would be your dream bike?" I told her, "A Metrofiets, I think it is the happy medium between a Workcycles bakfiets and a Bullitt". She rolled her eyes at me and we didn't talk about it again.

Later during my downtime, I was looking on Craigslist for fun and the most extraordinary ad pops up. It's an ad for a Metrofiets frame at the most ridiculous price. It was one of those, too good to be true ads. I had my doubts about it so I asked one of the owners of Metrofiets about it. As you can see, the picture was grainy and the price, CRAZY!! He confirmed this was the original owner and he had dismantled the bike  I put off the idea because how would I pick up a bike in Portland? I have no CAR. Oh whine.....I need a car to get something.

I sent an message to my two bike friends who would understand this bike lust. It happened to be the week that one of these women was going to Portland. What!! It was also the week we got our tax return. Um, how could I not? The three of us kept this a secret! My enabler friend and family drove down to Portland and on the way back to Seattle picked up the bike. When the bike finally made it to my home I couldn't believe what I did and felt pretty guilty about it. I have another a bike. This time it's a frame. I don't know how to build a bike. You can tell I didn't think this through. Yes, I had guilt. I had guilt I had the money to throw cash on this and I had guilt because I had another bike BUT we had discussed another set-up because the toddler is very physical on the Edgerunner despite being buckled in. He has plans to be a stunt double for movie babies.

You have no idea. Baby Peyos is one strong little person. He sleeps wonky, despite our best efforts to make him cozy, shakes the bike like their is no tomorrow and the worst offence, he throws stuff off the bike. He is a champion at aim and throw. We have hit a few people and in his latest incident was quick, grabbed my helmet camera and tossed it.  My husband understood my need for a better baby bike prision, especially the part where he throws all his body weight around while on the back of the Edgerunner. It looks bad too. The tween likes to warn me about his crazy wiggling. Usually with screams of, "he's going to make you fall. YOU ARE GOING TO FALL!"

So, I end up with a bike frame. What to do now? My bike shops are ones that I picked because they were on my route home. The bike shop that has been kind to me since 2008 has been 20/20 Cycles in the Central District. They helped me fix my bike in cold rain and when the tween was little it was her favorite place to go play with a My Little Pony puzzle while we waited for bike repair.

It is also the shop that sold me the Redline Metro 9. That bike was so well loved.  Never once were any of us treated like the loco religious family on bike, some shops would snub us. Yes, some shops were complete a-holes to us.  Some shops have learned how to change their attitude to customers showing up to shops but other's have a lot to learn.

In any case, we LOVE 20/20. I sent Alex, the owner of the shop a picture of the frame and asked if he was interested in a project. Why didn't I take it north to G&O where I bought the other bike? It's far! I feel like it's always some epic adventure to bike up there from the Rainier Valley. I wanted to be close enough to check on my bike from time to time. It's 7 very hilly miles to the shop but it was worth it.

The story of the box:
I interrupt the bike build to give you the story of the box. The frame came with a plywood box. The owner had built but it weighed a bazillion pounds. Did you know the Metrofiet branded box weighs 10 pounds? It cost so much money! After a week or two wondering about the box component I had these silent conversations with G-d about it. I know, some of you can't even go there but I DO! Then like a miracle, someone was selling the box and rain cover at the most extraordinary price. Again! You hate me so much.

Nerds make cardboard replicas
I had the dilemma of bringing this box home. I didn't know what it looked like but it was in Portland. I consulted my bike women friends and after several conversations I figured the best way was for me to take the Bolt bus to Portland with my light bike to pick up the Metrofiets box. Did I know it was going to fit? I had no clue but what I did was build a replica out of cardboard. It came pretty darn close to the actual dimensions of the real thing, except it didn't weight 10 pounds. do you like my attention to detail?

So, I loaded a regular bike on the Bolt Bus and headed down to Portland. My adventures in pictures.

Yes, it's so crazy. I have a bike that doesn't have electric assist. How will I manage? Can I bike? I love the assumption that I am not able to bike on other bikes.

Bolt Bus is really accommodating. The other bike belongs to the owner of Back Alley Bike Repair. We fit. Then again, I consider the Soma Tradesman a normal bike. NORMAL.

Did I mess up and take a weird picture. NO, I didn't. That's that weird back thing. It's a foot. The guy behind me wouldn't move it and kept it there until I turned around and did a silent staring contest. 

It didn't smell all that much but it was annoying. 


Hello Portland on a Sunday. Where is everyone? Hello bikey people. My destination was North East Portland and had no idea where I was going. I had a general idea how to bike there but it was dubious how fast I would bike. When you live in Seattle you think hills, hills, hills. I was told on the phone, Portland has hills.

Eventually I would like to bike in Portland with my whole family but I feel I have a duty to find out if Mr. Peyos can get across bridges because, vertigo. This looks like our best crossing. It's low just like his native Denmark. 

Way finding was really good. It was hard to get lost. I am a master at getting lost.


I was told that this is a hill but waited a long time to catch the hill. This is N. Williams which I enjoyed and thought it was nice but this is a Sunday and the weekday traffic is nowhere. On a Sunday I would find this okay for my tween to ride. 

Speed hump humping. I like how the paint extended over the entire hump. I wonder if it was too low and wide to cause drivers to slow. Again, Sunday, where are people. It's like I arrived to a city without people. 

The seller of the box and rain cover helped me configure it on the bike. This gave the most room for handlebar clearance. The cardboard box helped me figure this part out before I dared bring that bike. Like all things in life, it starts raining and hard. I have gear, it's called a poncho and funny shoes. Don't make fun of me. 

Just in case you wonder how I managed to bike this load, easy. I even stood in a huge puddle just to take this picture. Only smart choices here.

Since this is Portland I felt bound by the fact that someone might steal my box. On the way south I talked to a homeless man about the box. He told me to not leave it unattended because someone might steal it. We chatted mostly about the wood and construction. Another guy yelled, "take a picture of that!" What Portland? Don't you have people who do this every day? My hopes of going into Powells to buy books was crushed. I had 2 hours to kill, it was raining and was very afraid. 

Just another picture of my magnificent awesomeness. 

Meanwhile in Seattle the toddler falls asleep on a pile of cloth diapers. I was told that he slept like that for 2 hours. Diapers are cozy.

Again, Bolt Bus staff were accommodating. They let me bring both my bike and box on the bus and didn't even blink. Amtrak, you could learn so much. I contemplated taking Amtrak home but they canceled the train due to a mud slide. I did bike to the station to ask if they could accommodate my box in addition to the bike. I didn't get a clear answer. I think that means no.
I decided to take rest in a Starbucks so I can watch my bike and charge my phone. Of all the places, why didn't I choose some other place, hah. In this time period someone saw the bike and box and somehow it was assumed it was stolen. I saw one couple eyeing it so I suspect them. In turn they made me nervous. I wasn't sure what they were doing so at that point I went outside and decided to walk around. When you are brown you are paranoid when gringos start touching your stuff, no kidding. Downtown is a weird place to bike so I wasn't interested in hanging out.

I walked past this place and it looked interesting but it felt too hip to go in. Pobresita, she can't afford a home so she is walking around with her portable house. I had a whole Mexican soap opera going on in my head from this point on. 

The ride home was mostly boring and I was tired. Nobody put their foot on my face and I got two seats all to myself. I even got a workable plug for my phone. Look what I did, I brought the whole thing on the Light Rail. It's against the written rules to bring a CARGO bike on the light rail. Like I said before, this is a perfectly normal bike and I happen to have a box on the front rack. 

I made it home in record time to eat tacos, nurse a kid and go to sleep. Note to self, fix that kickstand.

The toddler didn't know what to think about it but he enjoyed eating his taco in here.

A week later I biked the box the complete 7 hilly miles to meet the frame. Hello Lake Washington. This might be the first Metrofiets box ever to get a grand tour of Seattle.


There you have it, the whole saga of the Metrofiets box and how it got to Seattle. Part 2 will be coming soon, including the parts about how the frame got to the shop.