Friday, June 28, 2013

Gasworks: Where nobody goes on an Overcast Day

Our super summer camp is shaping up. We take a bus field trip once a week and the rest of the time we are either at home. Occasionally I have the need to chuck the other campers and take one of those quiet solo trips alone with my kid.

Well, we are suppose to have a heatwave soon. In Seattle that means 80-90F. For Seattle that is hot and makes public transportation unbearable so it just means more biking. We had that once summer where we reached in the 100's and I still biked because anything was better than the sweaty bus. It's like a rolling inferno of funky smells.

First we had to brave the elevators coming out of Westlake with the bike. I wish that bike parking was available in the tunnel. I like to shop and schlepping my bike up into one more smelly elevator is nauseous and leaves me with the urge NOT to shop. Hello Westake, make me some bike parking in the tunnel! You have room.


After the tunnel we biked to Gasworks Park. In the whole time we have lived here we have never gone there. We have biked by lots of times but usually we have been too busy to just go there.

While it is fun to go there and sit and watch everyone with binoculars from the top of that hill my daughter found the park boring because the geese pooed on everything.

It looks like the zombie apocalypse here:

The park is probably a great place to fly a kite but this was not one of those days. We biked to Ballard to Trader Joe's and then made our way home through Fremont. Yes, Seattle Summer looks like this too but we are in for some really HOT weather starting today.


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Seattle and Summer Rain, NOOOO!

Monday I did zero biking. I instead went on an all out shopping trip with a friend for food and summer items. Tuesday was a fast day so I got up at 3:30 AM and chugged as much water as humanly possible. It was like a frat party but for old people and with water. CHUG, CHUG, CHUG! I didn't t get a chance to eat some breakfast because I was too busy chugging water. After that I went back to sleep and hoped my kid wouldn't wake up too early. Instead I was disturbed by the alarm clock my husband set so he can go to morning davening. Someone kept pressing snooze so it was super annoying.

By the time I reached reality it was 8:30am and my kid was eagerly awaiting her friends who were to spend the WHOLE day with us. (Yes, I allowed that even on a fast day) I figured the kids are old enough to be self sufficient and the two girls tend to baby the younger brother who tags along, including wiping his face of Nutella. I was fresh all out of fiber one bars (apparently a favorite treat of friends), so the kids had to fend for themselves. They did crafts and cleaned up afterwards but after a whole six hours the boychick was tired of the two older girls and their decisions on what to do next.

They did manage to make this out of the box my oodles of toilet paper arrived in:


I took a nap and woke up to peruse my Twitter feed. Sometimes I get new followers on Twitter and in the end loose followers. Right now I am hovering on 85 followers. I don't tweet much as my cell phone is just a phone and taking pictures left and right just to tweet is just not my thing.

Well, I guess I got one more follower:

HUH? How did that happen? Anyway, I think it has more to do with the fact that I started following those Hasidim on Bikes. Well, I don't care who follows me on Twitter, doesn't mean I have to follow back. How the heckie poo do they have so many followers? Maybe I am not doing enough "marketing". In any case, it's Wednesday and we get to try to enjoy Seattle summer.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Doom and Gloom of Seattle Summer Biking

Seattle weather is so gloomy and I think people just drink in that dreary gloomy mood.  My summer of sun and biking was spoiled by the weather. Thursday it didn't rain it was this weird mist all over with humidity. It felt like spit rain, so gross.

Just like the weather people also adopt this spitting gloom and try to spoil everything. Well, I am not going to let anyone spoil my plans for this week. We have a sort of summer camp going on and this week we are going to bike despite the clouds spitting all over us.

What can you do? Well, in New York you don't even have to own a bike to get on one. Turns out some genius figured out that the Citibike can still be pedaled even though they are locked up. So, join a spin class with this guy because he is awesome.



What else can you do? Anything but wallowing in self pity is good too. So try to forget about the spit falling down and get on your bike.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Last Days of Biking Freedom

My kid is soon to be out of school and I will get to enjoy her company and sweat profusely while I bike her around. I am pretty sure we will be taking some bus adventures with her BFF so we will see how our summer shapes up.

In the meantime I am trying to enjoy the freedom of biking with ease all over Seattle without her. I don't mind my kid but I do mind having to look all sweaty in the summer.

So, Tuesday I went on a mommy solo adventure. I had to pick up my bike at her school and then I made my way down through Montlake to Unversity Village to pick up bagels. I bought a dozen and figured I can make a few of my husband's coworkers happy with a high gluten treat. Last time I brought donuts, nobody refused those either.

After my bagel pick up I stopped at PCC in Fremont and picked up two beers for us to enjoy later. In the many years we have lived in Seattle I have never stopped at this PCC. So, it was very exciting.


I biked across the Fremont bridge. This is my favorite new way to get up north. I don't know why I didn't know about it before. Yeah, totally stupid. I biked on that trail/sidewalk called the Lake Union Trail. I don't get it but I biked carefully because with the people and cars you have to be super careful here. It is really just a glorified sidewalk. I am a party pooper and scared of Dexter. Lines on the road does not satisfy my feeling of safety.

I know lots of schools have let out for vacation and half expected lots of people down by the MOHAI but I was alone with lots of duck poo.

My journey ended with passing out bagels to my husband's willing coworkers and sitting on top of the building to eat lunch. See that wood bench? I asked Mr. Peyos if he wanted a really cool picture of him standing there. I would totally make it look like he was standing on nothing. He declined.

So, today at NOON begins our Super Summer 2013!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Happy Father's Day Mr. Peyos

I know the picture is blurry but Mr. Peyos doesn't want to be on this blog. That's okay. We had a really nice Father's Day by meeting him at The Dutch Bike Company in Ballard.  Mr. Peyos had some service done on his bike and we biked and he met us. This meant I was able to go over a bridge. I was so excited to go over the Fremont bridge and be counted. We were number 1699 on Sunday, so close to 1666. We can't have it all right!






We picked up his bike and our kid tried lots of bikes for the heck of it.


The new shop space is nice and is really spacious. If you are in urgent need of a coffee or beer you can still hang out at their old location.

After braving the Fremont bridge my kid said that it was not possible to have a certain someone go with us so we did the long route around through the Ballard Locks.

I hate going through their on a Sunday because people are stupid and stand on the bridge and won't move. We did make it across  and got to check out the salmon run. This only made me hungry.


We watched lots of kids roll down the hill and defy death:
You could tell my kid was contemplating this too.

I tried really hard to get a picture of Mr. Peyos and all I got was my kids hand and what looks like him and his flowing peyos right behind us. Eventually I did get a picture of him but we will keep this for our personal use.

So if anyone is looking for a Hasid on a bike, there you go! Happy belated Father's Day.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Crazy Bikes we all Need

This week I was pretty lazy when it came to biking. For some reason either I do a lot of gardening or bike, never both. If it is even remotely warmish I can't stand to do two things. Plus, gardening can make my hands so dirty.

Wednesday I took the bus to get my kid from school WOW, what a mistake! The bus was so hot and humid inside. Then it got stinky because someone was eating some kind of shellfish. Nobody opens windows and you end up on a bus that smells steamy and fishy at the same time. I got out early and opted to walk a few miles rather than gag.

Well, my last post have been about the wonders/joy of riding with an electric assist. Well, my mother finally caught up on her No Spandex Required reading and sent me a solution to my biking needs: A flying bike!

Oh, but Mr. Peyos had to top that and send me this: A Jet Powered Bike


Get out of my way metal machines! You can totally keep creeper cars far away from you. I love it!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bike Helmet @ School


I honestly think it is time for my kid to wear her bike helmet at school. All head related injuries have happened at school. Earlier in the year she got mowed over while the boys in her class were playing football. None of them stopped to help pick her up or apologize. Instead, she was mowed over and the boys continued on with their game. A forced apology was made but only after I complained and the English teacher saw the need to intervene.

That trip only took us to the doctors office where our kid was not allowed to spin on the playground for a while, doctors orders.

Tuesday was not so lucky because this time my kid somehow lost her balance and her head made contact with the lunch bench behind her. I was contacted by the school and told about the incident and that she was sent back to class. Now I know for a fact that kids with lesser problems get to hang out in the office. If you have gas you will be coddled, if you have a paper cut, sure stick around.

Then again, I am not these people and somehow my kid counts for nothing. I hadn't even made it home and I went back with a Zipcar. When I picked up my kid her eyes were glossy, she said she felt sick and when we got in the car she said she wanted to sleep. We got Mr. Peyos and made our way to Urgent Care as suggested by her doctor. We went to Swedish and were redirected somewhere else, somewhere on First Hill.

During the time in the car my kid wanted to sleep. Mr. Peyos and kid hopped out at the ER at Swedish hospital and I got to look for parking. By the time I got in the hospital my daughter was already admitted. That was seriously fast.

The doctor checked her and she was clear after a long examination.

As a kid I don't remember having these kinds of head bonking. I loved roller skating and jumping with them. I rode my bike with no helmet. Somehow all illness and injury stems from the school my kid goes to. I don't have options for another Jewish school. All the schools are in flux and some more serious than others.

So, if my kid shows up at school tomorrow with a helmet, you know why.

Monday, June 10, 2013

We are the Biking Champions

We are the champions my friend...doo doo doo. Bike to work month is over and so is the challenge laid down my Team Real Riders. I don't think our team was looking for a challenge but the other Family Biking Team came close to catching up.

Here are our stats:

Team Family Ride Rode a total of 2123 miles. We burned 104,027 calories or the equivalent of 416 Krispy Kreme sprinkle donuts. I admit, I didn't even eat one the WHOLE month.



Real Riders didn't even come close, wha wha wha. Maybe next year you can have your sweet comeback!

Here are my own personal stats:


I am pretty surprised I rode that many miles. It didn't feel a lot. I used four different bikes this month and logged close to my regular commuting miles despite the fact I didn't bike for 3 days because of Shavuot.

May was a spectacular month to bike with few rain days and nice weather that wasn't all so sweaty. I really enjoyed being pushed to bike, rather than get on the bus. I have to say that with all that biking it is weird to walk long distances. I noticed that if I wanted to get up a hill I assumed the biking position, which was funny and odd to look at.

My Redline bike came out of storage and gave me some liberating rides alone. A guy at PCC in Seward Park had seen me all this month with different bikes so when I rode up on the Metro 9 he said, "How many bikes do you own?" I told him, "just two". In bike terms I am sure that is nothing. Mr. Peyos like to call this bike my sports car because I can actually get up a hill with it.

Now that I am going to get used to walking again I am more than interested in being challenged again. June is one of those months where you can bike in nice weather or horrible sweaty in your face weather. Getting me to bike would be a challenge. Any challengers?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Last Day with the Madsen

So, our two week affair with the Madsen has come to an end. On Tuesday we were having an off day so we opted for a home day. Just because it was a home day doesn't mean that my kid got let loose to do what ever she wanted. First thing was the homework and some essay she got sent home with.

So what did we do? We took the homework, loaded the Madsen with beach stuff and went and sat by the water. It was refreshing and therapeutic. Here we are reading about different kinds of bears. The water felt pretty slimy and I contemplated taking us across the I-90 but didn't want to get sweaty.

We did the math, which I am never impressed with. I am guessing this summer we are going to have to do a whole math review so that concepts stick. I feel like Cliff Mass can read my mind because he says exactly what I think about Washington Math. As proof watch the YouTube video. You will be so confused and then wonder why you used so much paper to solve a math problem.

So, we splashed around, played on the zip-line. Although, I wasn't in the mood but otherwise it is lots of fun and biked home again.

So, bye bye Madsen. You were fun for two weeks. I hope that people read this blog and say, "Hey, I want to rent that too!"

So, here are the details one more time. Just in case you missed the first post!

Contact Morgan Scherer: morgan@familybike.org  She has an assortment of other bikes you rent and it goes on a sliding scale depending on the kind of bike you rent.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How many miles with an Electric Assist?

This is the number one question I am sure comes to mind when you are lying in bed contemplating the sciatica killing you and the left knee that is a pain. Humm, how many miles can I ride with an electric assist?

Well, the answer is not so simple. The only way to really figure it out is to risk loss of the assist and just darn ride where you need to go. So, this is exactly what I did.

Biking South on the 50th/Wilson Ave Bike Path
My first test was ridding up to pick up my carpool. Now ordinarily this is a 20 mile straight trip but because I needed stuff I ended up getting a load of groceries which took me out of my 20 mile range.  Once at the school I loaded them up bike home and even biked up heafty hils. So that day was about 30 hilly miles. Yes, I biked up to Capitol Hill from Seward Park so it definitely was hilly. Plus, I was extra cautious and took a lot of roads less traveled by cars.

I ended up at Trader Joe's on Madison to get food. I even met a few people who wanted to rent the bike, including a lawyer.



I was pleasantly surprised that those 30 miles of biking only took the battery 3 hours to fully charge back up to green. Yeah!!

2nd long trip:
The second long trip I only had to pick up my kid so I figured I might splurge and bike up to the University district. I needed to get some gloves for my hands. I used to have a fierce pair but like all things made of synthetic they ended up smelling like rotting chicken.



I revisited the site of my slippery fall one winter. Can you imagine me rolling all over that hill, wheee!

I ended up at Recycled Cycles where it is one of the few bike shops where you can buy normal useful bike stuff.  Some of the guys came out and talked to me about the bike. The conversation was basically me denying that I actually owned the bike, but the seat is mine! Somehow I am slightly embarrassed to bike around with a bike that looks like it has a Rubbermaid trash can on the back. Yes, I have an image problem. I can only forget about the bucket because it has an electric assist on it. It is sad and my problem but oh well.

I bought some gloves on sale because I can't imagine spending $42 dollars on gloves unless they are made of cow, mooo, just like my seat.

Next I made my way to University Village and bought a dozen bagels. I hate bike parking because nothing ever satisfies me. So I parked this thing up against a pole. My Danish Peyos husband considers this and riding on a sidewalk a big no-no but who cares. I am American.

I did use the lock that came on the wheel but also opted to run a cable through the bike seat and into the frame and around the pole. My seat looks nice and I didn't want anyone to get any ideas. Although, if you steal someone's Brooks saddles that has logged more than 5000 miles I think the ride for anyone but the original rider would be uncomfortable. Yes, that seat has ridden more than 5000 miles.

So, the second long trip was a little more than 40 miles. The battery didn't got out but I could tell when we got closer to home I was cutting it close. The second charge took much longer than 3 hours to charge. I think it was more like 6 to turn the battery green.

What does it feel like to use the assist?
This is another question I am sure people wonder about. Well, on steep grades it feels like someone is helping to push you slightly even though you still have to peddle. On hills it feels like an indoor trainer. This is a great way for a novice to get biking if they need to go lots of places but feel they really can't do it. You do get a workout but rather than having to get of the bike and push everything up hills you are able to bike up with your load.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Soggy Monday

One week ago my kid and I braved really soggy Seattle to help out at Folklife festival. We basically stood at one of the entrances down by the Space Needle and handed out festival pins to people who made a minimum donation to Folklife. We did that for about 2 hours in the rain and my kid, as usual, stepped in every single puddle she could get her feet in.

As you can see, we didn't take the Madsen and opted for taking the train and then I was going to bike the rest of the way. Barbie looks happy but she was getting all wet because she forgot her umbrella.

Actually the plan was to load two kids in the Madsen, bike all the way to the Seattle Center, have Mr. Peyos go with us and then eat a well deserved donut on the way home. Of course my head plans never go as usual and we ended up going alone on the Dutch Bike, without Mr. Peyos because he was trying to help someone that day. As for the extra kid in tow, we were not able to take him with us.

We arrived at our checkpoint, the Bike Works tent entrance. See Steve smile. That is because he gets to be under that dry tent.
It's okay because I learned my lesson for the 2nd time, bring an extra pair of socks fool! Who am I kidding, I live in Seattle where rain, drizzle, and clouds is normal. As Mr. Peyos says, "Just like my homeland of Denmark".

Our journey home required that my kid step in more puddles just for the heck of it. Her feet were wet anyway so stepping in the sidewalk fountain outside the ballet building wasn't going to matter.


 We made our way back to our original route to get to the International Link Station. This was our first time biking over this. I was forced to walk because someone thought it was to scary to sit on her seat.
 At least she did me the favor of taking pictures while i pushed this thing.
 I have to admit, the view from here is beautiful.
 By this time my kid was tired of her squooshy feet so she got back on the bike and we stopped to take a picture of where we went originally. Yes, we biked up to where that needle is. Don't you love the Olympic Sculpture Park too?
Finally off of the Elliot Bay Trail. Yes, more rain and more soggy feet because my sneakers got totally soaked. Why didn't I wear my rain boots?

In general, it was a bike worthy day because nobody was on a bike. Hardly anyone parked their bike at the Bike Works entrance and even Steve was way smarter and took the bus.

The whole vendor was and adventure and we learned that next year we can volunteer at the beer garden. Although I don't know if I can actually bring my kid. We were given some handy Mariner's tickets and that ended our soggy Monday.

Bike Escape: Fay Bainbridge Park 2019

I went camping without kids. How did I manage that? (insert shrug) One of the old time pedal parents went with me. Our schedules for this ...