Wednesday, February 3, 2016

PDX vs SEA Swing Gates: Who will win?

I hate being called a MANSPLANER. I'm am NOT. Most recently BikePortland featured an articled about how hard it is to open the swing gates across TriMet's tracks. The video of the the person in the wheelchair should have been enough to convince anyone that these gates are bad. What happens when people with front loading cargo bikes try to get across?

The task is not easy. Watch the video:

@TinyHelmets is so flexible and strong. When I see something like this I wonder how I would manage this exact scenario. Taking little kids out of the bike to maneuver is not helpful at all. So, if I would have to do this with a front loading bike I would also keep the kids in. Plus, it's raining. That only would add to the drama. I know. Then someone commented how this whole thing was exaggerated and how she was doing it wrong. Oh yeah!! You try it. Worse part, I commented. This resulted in me being called a MANSPLANER.

Why do people claim they can do anything better when they have ZERO experience? Lifting a cargo bike is not possible when loaded up with kids and stuff. Lift it over the fence. You are doing it wrong. So, I can sympathize with trying to hold the bike, open the gate and getting across before the choo choo comes.

I am a woman of action. Knowing Seattle has gates just like this I ventured out on a wet cold day to reenact this on my longtail bike. My Xtracycle Edgerunner has all the weight in the back so the challenge was going to be different. You should also keep in mind I have a BionX on there and my kid is a heafty human. In the trailer days I recall trying to get across these tracks and found it just as difficult.

Here is my video

The Seattle swing gates open out. When you finally make it across you push the gate. Unlike PDX I have three door options. It's like a surprise, which one will offer me a prize. I hope I win tacos with door #2. Actually, I had surveyed the other side and it's a tight squeeze for my long bike. Door 2 was going to offer me a better chance of making it across. Plus, I had 3 doors unlike the crossing in PDX.

As you can see I do a lot of dragging to get the bike positioned well enough for me.

Along this whole stretch this is the one crossing with these gates. I recall the gates at all intersections but when we looked we saw nothing. What does it look like without the gates?

It's nice and open. The Light Rail has other areas that require pedestrians to cross the tracks and those are in the Rainier Valley along Martin Luther King. In none of those locations do we have swing gates. It's plain open access. So, I am really unsure why we have swing gates at that one intersection. 

SODO Trail: Not beautiful but it's a separated path
Personally, this area of town is not in the middle of Seattle, not connected to anywhere and does not have places of interest for me. If you need to go to SODO it's for a purpose not for a stroll. It's an industrial area with a path that connects to nothing. We escaped by biking on some sidewalks and taking the Bus Only transit lanes on 4th because I do that.

S. Jackson biking West
Once getting across the streetcar tracks we can safely navigate ourselves to the core of downtown.

As you can see, bike issues are not just in one place and our respective DOTs need to do better for pedestrians and bicyclist. I don't go to SODO often but avoid obstacles like that stupid swing gate. By making walkable/transit friendly cities you need people with different abilities to access them. If anyone can explain to me the one swing gate we have along the light rail tracks call me, I want to know why.

Monday, February 1, 2016

How was your bikey week?

Outsiders looking in
We have gotten out of the house but now we are all suffering from some kind of cold that gives you a massive headache. Mr. Peyos got it first so I will just say that it was transmitted via his work office. Thanks work office sick people.

Monday: We biked to the library so it wasn't that far. Same old Rainier Ave.

Tuesday: We were pedestrians. We walked to the light rail and then experimented with the new Capitol Hill Streetcar line. Since I was wearing rain boots I slipped while trying to take a picture. It was humorous but left me with a bruise on my right leg.

Let's get more strollers and bikes here, what will happen?
The ride was smooth but the space that is suppose to contain bicyclist, wheelchairs and possibly caregivers with strollers is small. When we got on the streetcar a woman with a jogger stroller was also boarding. Two elderly women were sitting in the handicapped area and another woman was bringing her bike on board. Due to the nature of my toddler I have to stand strategically in places or he will try to pick or poke at whatever he can. Standing next to the wheelchair access button is a bad bad idea. So, the resulting picture is him in the wheelchair area away from stuff. To bad the chairs don't fold and the design was configured differently.

He's probably thinking where he can throw that ambulance
We also got to kinda hear the mayor give his blah blah about the opening of the new Light Rail stops. March 19th. Which means, we will maybe try it March 20th or if it's bad, Monday with all the commuters. I'm pretty excited about trying with the girl tween group. Let's pack a ton of moody girls on the light rail with their bikes. I'm excited. The toddler had taken off his rain boots and threw them a few times at that gate. We must look crazy. The final time he threw one in a puddle and this meant I had to buy him shoes that weren't wet inside. I'm not sure why he has to always throw stuff when we are in public. I suppose had someone let us in he would have aimed for the mayor or worse, the countdown poster.

It's not a picture of the bike but of Chicano Batman, better than gringo Batman
Wednesday: I biked to Capitol Hill to visit my build-a-bike project and was given the option to take it home while we wait for a bike part that will be switched out later. I can't tell you how tempting that was. It was also my first time really biking the bike around other than to Interlaken and back to 20/20 Cycle. I even used the future Central District Greenway. I'm kicking myself for not bring the bike home, awwww.

The Light Rail which means I stand here with my bike

Thursday: I almost biked over a pedestrian and got yelled out. Oh GAWWWWW.  Downtown 2nd Ave has an okay protected bike lane. Right now construction is everywhere so I hate biking there but in the interest of saving time and trying to pick up my daughter after her class I needed to make a quick trip. I was biking west on 2nd Ave and thought I would be smart and bike until it ends and make a right on Pike because I do bike on the street.
See the woman waiting in the crosswalk
The right on Pike resulted in me turning into a stray pedestrian. How does this happen? Well, the construction bike tunnel ends abruptly at the crosswalk. What this does, it gives pedestrians and extra area to stand and sometimes people just stand right in the crosswalk blind spot. Don't worry, I didn't hit anyone because I go slow. I just got chewed out which doesn't bother me. Okay, next time. I will bike better.
I know people hate to wait but seriously, right in front of the bike hole opening?
BUT.....This corner needs a pedestrian buffer so that bicyclist coming out of the tunnel have a better line of sight to see so this doesn't happen to someone who bikes fast.

Aww, so last week was productive and I got some exciting falling and almost crashing action. Horray for me. Biking and walking and some transit works and that's what keeps us car free.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Portland as Pedestrians

Wonderful views of Portland walking
We bike, you know!! Did you also know that we use are legs and feet to get around too? This is why I drink the Seattle Neighborhood Greenways Cool Aid! I want safer streets for walking too. While biking works very well for us we like to walk. Our kids are good walkers and the older kid has friends who see walking and biking as way to get around the city. So, we have done well. I'm still waiting for teen bike rejection syndrome to set in.

Yum, doors taste good. 
So, what do we to do for fun? We went to Portland for a few days on vacation in December.
We choose our vacations at times when nobody thinks to travel, right after Chanukah. As the great walkers we walked to the Light Rail to catch the Amtrak train. Why didn't we take our bikes? Amtrak is not a position where cargo bikes are allowed on the train. Space doesn't allow longer/weird bikes. That's a battle for another time. My Edgerunner could fit in the bottom of a Bolt bus bus I tried busing to Portland already and it was not for me.

We arrived at the train station too early and with enough time to let the toddler loose all over the station waiting area. We even bought things from the vending machine, fancy. I chased him all over the place and he found the doors especially yummy. My kids experience the world by putting their mouths on stuff. It's so gross and it's hard to stop.

The toddler found the train travel the best experience ever. I have issues with motion sickness so I really wanted to minimize that. Luckily, nobody was seated behind us so he took a good nap. For our family, train travel requires 6 seats, hahah.

We hopped on the MAX train to our destination, Killingsworth Station. I know, why so north? For the second year in a row we decided to lodge at Caravan. You know, the tiny house hotel on NE Alberta. We walked from the station all the way, approximately 1.7 miles. Mr. Peyos and I were prepared with our backpack luggage but the tween decided on the rolling luggage which was so noisy for that whole walk. Here we come.. rumble rumble. After the whole experience she learned that she wants a backpack for her belongings. Rolling anything is annoying after all. Tweens don't believe anything until they realize how miserable it is. Whatever!

Here are some pictures where I decided we needed to break up the monotony of the rolling suitcase.
These are everywhere. I hate you.
I'm pretty sure they are semi translucent. It's not art, just pinche-way-finding

2 nights of tiny living: 
My luxurious view from the bottom bunk
I did not exactly anticipate the toddler deciding that the interior of the tiny house was one little jungle gym. The tween decided that the bunk bed was too uncivilized for her coolness and I was too scared to sleep in a loft with a child who is willing to climb anything. This left Mr. Peyos and all 6'4 of his body on the top bunk and me and Baby Peyos on the bottom bunk. It was not even fun managing him.

I plan to re-purpose my bike junk and make these.

The first night he slept sooner than later. The next morning we took a morning walk while waiting for Mr. Peyos to daven. He walked and walked but when we got near a bike shop, toddler tantrum! It was morning Community Cycling Center was setting up shop and my kid was screaming, "BIKE!!" This is what happens when biking is more fun than walking. That place is HUGE and awesome.

We sat in the cold in this parklet. 
We walked pretty far and Baby Peyos touched everything that was on the street. By the time we got back to the indoor jungle gym he proceeded to pick at the ladder. We discovered he was able to lift it off the resting spot. Evasive action! My family makes fun of all the stuff I carry around because, you never know. I happened to have two old inner tubes.

Stop making fun of my backpack junk! It worked to secure the ladder from being dismounted. We walked back to the LightRail and to our Powell's destination.

The older kid wanted a bagel which was disappointing. It's not even worth writing about the place. I'm sorry your hipster skinny jeans kept you from having any sense of humor, guy at bagel shop.

Oh oh oh, but the best part! A lady thought I was going to steal her purse. Was it because I was brown?  It rarely happens but this was one of those times that I though, "what just happened?". While Mr. Peyos was paying for our subquality bagels I was standing and reading the teudah, the kosher certificate. A woman was sitting at the eating counter with her purse at a chair right next to me. I must have scared her so badly she promptly removed her purse and held it for dear life. I said, "Lady, I have no interest in stealing your ugly purse". Mr. Peyos said he was never going there again. NEVER!

This was quickly remedied by the walk to Powell's. Of course we had to walk on Couch street. Did you know it is not pronounced like the word for a piece of furniture. Instead you have to channel your inner Charro and call it "Cooch" street. Coochie Coochie Coo.
Hey, we bought a book about trucks. 
Portland is so wonderful to walk around. It's so flat we laugh. My daughter ultimately regretted that I did not figure out bike rental so she REALLY REALLY wants to bike in a place that does not require she bike up 6-9% grade roads. I tried it on my own and hopefully we can do this trip with bikes. Mr. Peyos likes walking more than biking but after this last trip I think he realized travel is much better when we can plop Baby Peyos on a bike and let him do his thing. What's his thing? Throwing crackers off the bike.

Overall, we had a nice time walking. It was a very mild trip and not too much to report.

We did go and get beer. Actually, Mr. Peyos got the beer and we waited outside contemplating this bike. He bought so much beer we had to bring it home to Seattle. So much suffering. 

Here is our tiny house we stayed in this time. Hopefully Baby Peyos is mature enough to not try to jump off of every surface. This is the view from the loft. Living, dining, and overall great space for a toddler to jump from. NO.

I love staying here but after this trip I think we would need two of these just to be comfortable. 

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Rainier Ave: The best place to crash your car into buildings

Since I must nag forever I finally managed another bike ride: Riding on Rainier Ave Ride #3.
So normal, just another rainy ride
If you want to know where Rides 1 and 2 are CLICK HERE.

Rainier Valley N-S Greenway with special protected bike lane rides....GO..

We had special appearances by two SDOT representatives. One of them was Jim Curtin, ooohhh...special! (I do have to interrupt this and say that Cathy Tuttle at Seattle Neighborhood Greenways does a lot of smooth talking to convince anyone to bike on the caca routes with me. She's like magician.)

I've been looking at my own riding on Strava and here it is in full glory. The flat parts are Rainier Ave. In total the Greenway route is 6.1 miles from Rainer Beach. We have families who live there and Anna's tween had to ride from Rainier Beach to the starting point which for her takes about 45 minutes. My own tween takes an hour. We tried it once. So to get to the norther point of the Greenway would be maybe an hour ride just to get to separate bike infrastructure. If you still don't understand, I give up.

It took a lot of convincing to get my tween to ride this route AGAIN! We tried it and it wasn't successful. We have our low key routes and she knew that we were going to ride on Rainier Ave. So, we take our less stressful direct bike route from our house on to the sidewalks of Rainier Ave. It's a normal route the tween is trained on. The toddler loves fire trucks, police cars and sirens. So, we got a special treat. Police directing us away from this mess.

What are we looking at? Oh, part one of a 2 car collision and this one hit the not hi-viz building. Who's inside? Our friend Susan at the Rainier Valley Chamber of Commerce. Is this collision one or two of the day? I don't know but people, learn to drive. This intersection (Rainier and 42nd Ave) needs treatment. Susan would like a light. This is not the first time a driver has driven into her office. People are loco here. Even with the middle turn lane it's so hard for people to wait there and then turn or turn into it and then drive on. Waiting is so much of the issue.

Driver crashed into Rainier Chamber of Commerce just before Family Biking group stopped in for a visit. Susan Davis,...
Posted by Rainier Valley Greenways on Tuesday, January 5, 2016

We finally made it to our starting point. Rainier Community Center in Columbia City. In interest of instant torture we did part of the N-S Rainier Valley Greenway going south.We will be following that orange route. This means the first road is the 13% grade road. My tween had another tween so they can giggle at all the old folk trying to get up the easy hill, haha. Actually only one of the girls managed to bike up completely, Mine had to walk it but she only walked one road so that's okay.

Ready set ride. Okay, I made it up the hill first but then again I'm only on a cargo bike carrying a very heavy child, 3 days worth of food and water. I know, electric assist. Get one, stop resisting it.

With no assist who would win? STEVE from BikeWorks won! He even looked adorable because he smiled for the picture. How does he do it? It's like a parade of bikes going up that wacko hill.

Now I have no pictures of most of the route because something amazing happened. The tweens biked the route, reluctantly, but on the way back they biked ON Rainier Ave. With a lot of instruction and direction Anna, the other bike Mom, and I made a cushion of safety for them to ride. The girls biked north from S. Kenny to S. Hudson and then again for a short segment.

What does all this riding have to do with Rainier Ave, protected bike lanes and the greenway?

These demonstrations were meant to show SDOT the following

1. The Greenways route works well on some of the route but when we get to the "middle section" which is Hillman City-Columbia City it is so difficult. That 13% grade road meant some of those riders walked up the hill. If someone has to walk or is so out of breath they look like they might pass out it means it's not an "All Ages and Abilities" route. After that street the S. Angeline is not a piece of cake either.

See, if we let her ride on Broadway alone why not one on Rainier Ave?
2. It is possible to take the sections of the Greenway that won't be used by everyone and funnel that money into something better, like a protected bike lane for part of the route. Yes, I am saying merge the greenway and the protected bike lane. As you can see, we even let our kid use the Broadway one alone, wow.

Another day, another red light runner on Rainier Ave.
3. Rainier Ave is still dangerous. I think we got our example with the driver crashing a truck into the Chamber of Commerce building. Sure the road diet helped but drivers need to just slow down. I asked about red light cameras and I WANT red light cameras. This is a daily occurrence and YOU Rainier Ave. drivers did not disappoint because you showed SDOT your red light running and speeding, Thank you, Gracias, Tak!

I appreciate all the people who came on this bike ride with SDOT and represented their organizations
FamilyBike, BikeWorks, Cascade, Office of Kshama Sawant, Seattle Bicycle Advisory Board, Seattle Neighborhood Greenways, & Brock Howell who represented Brock.

These rides on are weekdays when working folks can't just drop everything and go for a bike ride. I also torture my own family with this. Mr. Peyos swears he wants to go down to SDOT and ask them to just put the bike lane so I will stop talking about it. Now I owe my tween LEGO. She wants Rey's cargo bike, I mean speeder and it's SOLD OUT. AWWWW!

This is not for just me, it's for everyone. We want to be safe and encourage more people to bike. It's really hard to get people on the bike band wagon if they are too scared or don't feel they can physically handle a tiny 13% grade road because that's easy? NO!

Ohh, and here is where Jim Curtin said I have total authorization to use my farting/lazer unicorn on offending vehicles. SUCCESS!

Kidding or not kidding?

Thursday, December 31, 2015

My Cheshbon of 2015

What's a cheshbon? It's a Hebrew word that means an accounting. So, here I am about to make a cheshbon about  2015.

I know I've been busy, so busy to the point I neglect to even write something once a week. The funny doesn't come out of me all the time. I try to make my issues funny but some subjects are hard to make funny.

Cheshbon List 2015

He was very terrified of this. Somehow cucumbers were fine.
1. My garden suffered because of my bike activism. By full growing season I had some plants but not much to show for it. In 2016 I promise to grow more. I even started by cleaning up the garden this past Sunday when it started snowing on me. Yes, it snowed but didn't stick.

That time my kid kicked butt and biked more miles than adults
2. I want to blog more. It's hard, really, really hard. Having a tween and a toddler with no "buffer children" and that makes everything hard. So, 2015 was not my bloggiest year. Let's hope 2016 is better. I didn't even blog about my tweens epic adventure. She biked from home to UW then to Gas Works park and then home to the Rainier Valley. It helped we had friends along for the ride. Yes, she biked with the backpack the WHOLE TIME. It drives me nuts!

Riding the Rainier Valley Greenway as test experiments, not fun bike rides :(

Our pedestrian portrait. 

Ridiculous things we do when we are pedestrians

3. Ride my bike with kids every single day, except Shabbos. We had days this years where I was too pooped to figure out rain gear, baklava, shoes, snacks, blah blah blah. No, we didn't drive. I'm not crazy, we walked. My kids are great walkers. Walking requires all those items but at least I don't have to pack my disaster relief scenario on a bike because I basically do that every single time we bike.  They would win at kid walking races. Even the toddler is good to walk/run a mile. We are going to bike more but it requires I get organized.

Which window is she in? I was catching a train to Portland so no time to chat
4. I made it a whole year without meeting Reb Roush. Who is she and why do I want to meet her? Shouldn't I be satisfied that we are FB "friends", I follow her on Twitter and I have her cell number? I really enjoy looking and reading her Seattle Bicycle Portraits. When you look at bike propaganda it seems like the same 5 people are always highlighted, BORING. Her blog shows all the people who bike and all the kinds of bikes people have. I love that. Seattle is a city full of interesting people. I like seeing it in pictures. What makes this worse is that one day she encountered my husband with his bike. My husband likes to have is anonymity and refused his own Bicycle Portrait. Mr. Peyos has a really nice bike he loves. Oh well.

If you get one of these on your bike the other side has my info
5. Organize myself better. Mr. Peyos is really organized. He does it all. He's the modern Renaissance Man. I don't know how he does it. I actually do and should work on myself. Here's to better organization, which means I ordered business cards. 2015 put me in situations where I was writing my contact information on tiny pieces of paper. Those pieces of paper scream, "Take me seriously!"

Now that I have done a full cheshbon it looks like I need to get organized!

Oh and if I don't say it enough @SDOT, PUT A PROTECTED BIKE LANE ON RAINIER AVE.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

N-S Rainier Valley Greenway/Ride to Hell TWICE

I don't have a lot of time for anything. I have no idea why I am sitting here writing this. I should be doing something but my toddler is content playing with his toys.
Look at my kid in his plastic bubble (2nd Ride:More Wet)
As you know, I am not kidding when I want a protected bike lane on Rainier Ave. I'M NOT KIDDING!!


In order to prove a point I decided to convince someone from SDOT to take a joy ride with my bike gang here in south Seattle.  We are a hard core group of people with loud mouths and not afraid to say what's on our mind. We area also not scared by hills, wildlife (broken car parts) or getting shot in the butt. Yes, that happens.

How did I manage that? I go to meetings, specifically the ones about road changes. If you don't go to them you are not allowed to complain on Facebook pages with things like, "I didn't know?", "Why was the community not involved?". This is a common strategy in between the rants about how someone put their coat at a table at PCC to reserve a table and it INFURIATED YOU! Again, how did I convince anyone to bike with me? I blame another SDOT person, who shall remain anonymous. He basically said, "Hey, here's Shirley" and then ran for his life. Hahaha, it was so funny.

Our brave group started at the Rainier Beach Safeway. You know, what. If you have not shopped there because you believe the scary stereotypes then you are missing something. That store is super nice and clean. Can you say that about the other two Safeway stores in our corridor? NO! They have a manageable bike rack that is in front of the store, not hidden and I appreciate it!

This is not the whole group but there we are in all our glory. It's odd how most of us were on e-bikes. One of us was on a Counterpoint bike with his daughter in the front. I love the family dynamic on that kind of bike. I want Mr. Peyos to get one and bike around with the older kid.

Curious about the route? Here is the LINK to the complete route. I have cut it up just for you but we did the whole route. A group had audited parts of the route but they didn't ride it the whole way. For many of us who bike down here, this route stinks! SDOT throws us a bone with "infrastructure" and we are suppose to bow to the supreme beings there and say, OH THANK YOU!

Let's see how it works before we judge.

The route is pretty smooth and flat at the starting point (Rainier Beach Library). Before we started Dick Burkhart brought along the Seattle bike map from 1997. I was so afriad to touch it because I am sure I had toddler slobber on some part of my body.

1997 Seattle Bike Map
It was in mint condition and it also had an interesting route, oh wait, what they called the zig zag route is a better version of the current proposed Greenway route. Why are we reinventing the wheel? WHY? I am so glad to get to talk to him because 35 years of biking in the Rainier Valley is really interesting. I had a hard time not picking his brain. This was not a social ride but a ride to give SDOT feedback.

The route is flat from the library to Othello Park. This was enjoyable. Lookie, we go past the completed East-West Rainier Valley Greenway. Remember, I biked it with 2 kids so you don't have to. We did stop in the segment where we cut to Othello Park. It's a little island where people have decided to use it as car heaven. All that illegal parking is going be put out of commission. Move your car!
Free parking just for you

It's pretty boring and flat until we get to Aki Kurose where hell begins. Why do I have be so darn dramatic? For the first ride we went the old and not improved way across Orcas at 42nd Ave. Lucky us it has a flashing beacon. Not to fast, this beacon only flashed so that drivers going east can see it. It doesn't make much sense to put a beacon if drivers from both directions can see it. Does it work? NO!

Everyone in the group worked as a test dummy. If we got hit by a car then we had an SDOT employee to witness our demise, how wonderful. Several of us though, f--this, I'm going across anyway. I got across and served as the flashing beacon pressing button person. It's an offical title I granted myself, "Queen of the flashing beacons". Nobody cares. You could be wearing bright florescent paint on your naked body and nobody is going to stop for you.
Morgan of FamilyBike attempted to cross the street waving her hands frantically but nada. In fact, when she was asserting herself in the crosswalk the women coming at her in their car waved back. What is wrong with people? Stop your car at the flashing beacons. 

In any case, this was not even the worst part. On a related note the route got changed but it's not great either. It was a substitution for avoiding the next part of this route, a hill that is not funny.
The orginal route has us turn west on S. Findley. While it might be fine for people traveling north when you decided to bike south you have to pay the price with an 8% grade street with no sidewalk to walk on. The change reroutes north bound people to Renton Ave. S directly from S. Orcas but the sight line is pretty bad but many of us do this intersection VERY VERY carefully. I do not recommend you let your kids do this route on their own. Also, if you are new to biking and you plan to use it, don't do it. Maps don't give you the whole story.

The next segment we stopped I call "Five ways to die". I know, so morbid but this intersection has 5 points where drivers can mow you over. At night it is really really dark here.

Who knew death could look pretty

Here is the air view of the section. What does it look like on the ground?

That little piece of grass obstructs anything. Oh yeah, makes it super exciting when a driver comes rushing at you, woosh. Everyone was just making circles because we can. I know, exciting.

Then a change in the original map we turn on S. Ferdinand to get across Rainier Ave. This is okay because we go past BikeWorks. Hi everyone!
Stop complaining Shirley! On our second ride we suffered through very cold rain and sad wet children. I know, we did this twice. My goal is to torture as many people on this ride until we can just get a protected bike lane. It would be must more efficient and faster if we didn't have to ride this loopy loop route. 
I know, It's so confusing. Look at use making loops in the hard rain. This was real rain but where are the tortured children? They are right behind me. Aw, they got covered up by Mom. Hi Steve. Gordon is pretending that it's not raining which is adorable. The second time around we tortured 19 people. I lost track because people joined the ride and then disappeared. 4 kids got so soaked. It was sad, so so sad.

This is part of the group waiting for the light to change at S. Ferdinand and Rainier Ave. None of us had the magic ability to trigger the light so someone biked over to the push button and begged it with a finger, not the middle one. 

Another wacko hill. It doesn't look bad but we know better than you 7% grade. All ages road means all ages, not just 20 year olds who are not carrying wiggly screaming toddlers or wiggly screaming tweens who will REFUSE this street. 

Then the icing on the cake 13% grade road! This is what death looks like from the top.
Yes folks, that's the top of a tree. Look at all the parking everywhere. Looks safe to me. 13% GRADE ROAD!!!

The rest of the ride was not as dramatic but this section illustrates our inability to escape the Rainier Valley. Hillman City to Columbia City is a big barrier for people who just want to get out. It only makes sense to put a protected bike lane on Rainier Ave. 

How many SDOT people do I have to take on this segment so you get my point? This is a brutal route. I hate when people say how they bike down here occasionally. They don't even know the half of it. Seriously, come out and join me on another ride and I won't slow down for you. We aren't going to go on Lake Washington. I will take you Rainier Ave. For the second ride that is what we did riding south. I was not joking around. 

I am so tired of the south end completely neglected. I only stay with Seattle Greenways because they take me seriously. Telling people how difficult it is for families to access the rest of the city just produces blank stares. Riding with some seasoned south enders has shown me that we are not alone in our routes and desire to have safe connections. 

We want to access the city completly, stop keeping us trapped. In the meantime I will take my kids on these rides regardless of the weather. See, REGARDLESS!!

Pretty soon he is going to need a real place to practice his circus biking. COME ON!!