Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Boom! 2nd Ave. BikeLane Deathtrap

Tuesday was meant to be a regular day. I took my kid to school and then made my way downtown to buy fun stuff at Target. By fun, I mean light bulbs and tights. I was on foot walking on 2nd waiting for the light looking at the 2nd Ave painted bike land and thinking, "sheesh, who rides here with all the crazy traffic?" While looking at the feat of BAD traffic engineering I watched a lady make a left turn right into a guy on a bike. The guy was not even going at a crazy fast speed, which is possible on this street because it is mostly flat. This was not a spandex clad guy on a bike but a normal dude wearing his work clothes.
The guy went flying in the air and landed on the hood of the ladies car. She was hesitant to stop. So, I start screaming and happened to have my camera handy, taking pictures and saying she was going to be the next KOMO news story of a hit and run if she doesn't stop. The guy on the bike had rolled off the hood and on to his bike, landing on the pavement. The lady in the car looked, NOT concerned, but perturbed. Her day was ruined. She rolled down the window and said, "I didn't see you!". The guy on the bike said, "you didn't look". Truth is, she didn't look. In fact, before she turned she almost plowed some pedestrians crossing the street on the white crosswalk signal. The people walking were facing her so they stopped and yeided to her and crummy car. Sadly, the guy on the bike was not so lucky.

I think I was the only one screaming. Maybe I looked crazy, I don' t know, but she finally pulled over to the side of the road and I stayed with the guy on the bike. I told him to call any significant other to tell them they are okay and to call work. I asked him a bazillion times how he felt and I think he was going to have bruising on his body. I explained to him how Mr. Peyos got hit by a car and rolled off in the same way. 

In the meantime the lady in the car was pissed. She got out and did a survey of the "damage" to her car. Seriously! You hit a person! She never asked the guy if he was okay. She was more concerned about the metal machine. Then she idled her car while we waited for the police and she scowled. I am not sure if she was afraid of us but seriously how could she be afraid of me and the guy she hit? He was in pain and was acting very mild about the whole thing. Neither of us touched her car or made threatening gestures to her. Instead, I took pictures of her car, her and her license plates. What I really wanted was her insurance information but she refused to look at us.

The police arrived and I gave my statement and talked to the guy on the bike and made my way to buy light bulbs.

Witnessing this was scary. I have seen other accidents but this one bothered me. After letting Mr. Peyos in on what happened he made several comments but probably the best one was that he thinks everyone who flunked urban designed was hired to work in Seattle. We don't ride on 2nd Ave. unless it is a Sunday or one of those days when nobody is driving there. The "bike lane" is in a weird spot. The police man asked me to note which bike lane the guy was in. HUH? I didn't know 2nd Ave. had two bike lanes. Later I realized he was referring to the space where buses drive. Not only was Mr. Peyos referring to this accident but my daily gripes about the Broadway Bike Highway. I like that SDOT officially opened up a section but even with the bright green paint and bike marking people still park there. As of last night, flexible pole barriers were installed but still Mr. Peyos thinks that a curb needs to go there. 

The glass business doesn't care. Take a look at how Perkin's Glass is taking it. According to the owner, he only saw 3 bicyclist so apparently that gives him the right to park his trucks in the lane. UGH!!!
(oh, and I had to go back and edit this because ugh, it was written in haste)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Oh Denmark!

Our kid has outgrown her bike we bought at BikeWorks some time ago. She is ready to move up but like everything else, wants something very specific when it come to bikes. First, she wants a banana seat. Yes, she wants one of those seats. Then she wants a step through bike. I love online shopping and wish I could just order everything I see. Sometimes Mr. Peyos likes to temp me by looking at ads from Denmark.

He will download an ad for a store like Foetex or even Bilka. What are these mysterious stores? Well, it is like Fred Meyer. These stores are huge stores and have a grocery section and a small to large household section. I love looking at the ads because it reminds me of living in Denmark and learning Danish. I learned so much from reading ads and shopping. Sometimes I would just spend some time walking around in the store just so I could learn the language that sounds vaguely familiar to otter.

In looking at the Danish ads I found the section for bikes. What can you get for 3000 kroner, which is approximately $549? Isn't it beautiful? Lookie, it has everything a bike needs. See, fender, skirt guard, kickstand, and rack. Can you imagine an American bike coming complete for this price. Isn't it tempting to visit the land of happy Danes and pick up a bike too? So, maybe it is not the best quality bike but it can get you somewhere.

Just to make you steaming crazy, this was in this weeks ad for Foetex:

Yes, that says WIN a Nihola bike. It's like Target putting an ad to win a cargo bike. All you have to do is step into the store and ask them in otter how to win that bike. So, Oh Denmark!

I got a little sidetracked looking for a bike with a banana seat. Right now I have no need to go to Denmark so unless we have to go to then I am stuck looking for bikes here close to home. So, here is the banana bike my kid wants:

It fits all her style requirements. I can imagine that we will get it soon, hopefully have BikeWorks assemble it and then make her ride it home.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Riding almost flat

This week has been my glorious bikey bike week. I did the crazy person thing of biking on the not completed Broadway bike freeway.  I didn't get yelled at or run over by anyone while on the cycle highway. SDOT workers waved at me. I would have preferred balloons, Laffty Taffy, and maybe an apple
Right now all I eat are apples. I am like a horse.

Photo: My Wednesday cycle highway photo, so much traffic
See, perfectly legal!
Thursday I took my kid to school, picked up my bike and started making my merry way down Interlaken to get bagels for my people. I have bad luck getting there too late and all the chocolate chip are gone. So, got stuff I needed at QFC U-Village, bought some bagels, loaded up the bike and woah, I was biking slower than a turtle. Even a jogger passed me. He was in this pseudo race with slow me. I had two day yellow spandex men yell to put air in my tires and zip off. Oh gee, thanks!

I needed air and my rescue was at Amazon. So, I huffy puffed my way on the Burke Gilman trail, avoiding possible dead bodies, and went across the Fremont Bridge.

While I was going across a lady in stripped socks, of course, commented on how "cute" my bike is. HOLY! My bike is nothing short of cute. It is a metal beast on wheels and will obliterate anything in the way.  I grinned and then she said, "when you get home, you better put some air in those tires". Gee, really? I told her I knew very well and was on my way to my personal refill station.

Like everything bike related to Seattle biking I am subscribed to the Facebook page for Seattle Family Biking. I love this group. Nobody is snarky or judgmental. Overall I have gotten some tips and a few good laughs. I love the pictures of kids passed out cold on the bike.

Turns out had I had a real phone with WiFi and internet I could have asked about where to put darn air in my tires so freeky early in the morning. I could have figured out that UW has pump stations along the trail. UGH! You live and learn right! In any case, I had a pump and then I broke it, don't ask! It is probably time to get another one.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

What's Up The Broadway Cycletrack?

Every time I am up in Capitol Hill I like to droll about all the work being done for the Streetcar and cycletrack. Usually we take a look at the work and I snap a picture. So, I actually have a lot of pictures of us looking at the progress. Most recently I was up on the hill and noticed that it looked more complete than usual. So, I took a picture and tweeted to Seattle Bike Blog. What is stopping me from biking on it now that it looks semi complete? Here is our conversation:
The conversation ended with a tweet from SDOT, you know the Seattle Department of Transportation.

Two words @NoSpandexReq: Kanye West. @seabikeblog @VeloBusDriver
— seattledot (@seattledot) October 10, 2013

So, if their answer if Kayne West then I took it as a GO GO, ride on it Shirley! So, I snapped pictures and was slightly annoyed by some of the cars parking on my turf.

Turns out this beauty will be done soon, sooner than my mythical Xtracycle. Oh, but my grip with Xtracyle is soon to follow.
Broadway/Madison looking southeast (FYI the paving has been fixed)
Paving and more construction, people in a car are crying about lack of parking

In any case, while taking a good hard look at this new bike way I found spots that would probably freak me out a bit. See that gas station? It worries me that someone in a hurry to fill up on oil will make a turn in to a person on the cycle track. Little did I know at the moment that it was going to be painted co-op green. You know the same green on all those collectives we see on Rainier Ave for all the "sick people".

Woosh, we made it past the gas station without being killed
Jimmy Hendrix is to my right, hello there!

Riding north on Broadway. Hello Central CC


So far, I see a lot of paint and hope that those permanent barriers are put up before people park their cars in these lanes. This was taken last week so I will keep and eye out and drool. Although on an interesting note, after I tweeted this I saw people biking on it. The next day SDOT was out there with trucks and taking a look at the lanes.

I can't wait until this is done!

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Out of Comission

I took a whole month to catch up with this blog. During that time I have written some thought provoking post but I never finished. So, I feel I have to explain what's been going on. Well, since the end of August I have been out of commission in regards to bike riding. I had a whole bunch of health problems and one required that I actually rest. I have no idea what that word means so I actually had to have a full blown conversation with my doctor because the nurse wasn't getting through to me. Rest means sit on my butt with my feet up and do nothing. Don't garden, don't bike, don't pick up stuff. Seriously, how can this be possible? No way can I sit for anything unless I am reading. So, for about a week I watched my house turn into a pigpen. My daughter helped but their is always so much a nine year old can do without proper supervision. Her duties were upgraded to even folding and putting away laundry which seemed kinda daunting when the stuff was taken out of the dryer. I even resorted to paying little people to do favors for me.  They got paid in gold coins.

My husband cleaned the dishes and we actually have frozen pre-made food in my freezer I have for an occasion like this. Actually the frozen meals I make are for lazy days.

My September was filled with doctors appointments and several appointments where blood was drawn. Man it is always fascinating to watch blood being taken out. I also have come hate the phlebotomist who was not trained in the craft of being gentle when stabbing that needle in my arm. After lots of appointments I was given some medicine and felt better but hey regular life happens and other normal cold germs get in the house and tada I get even sicker on a Jewish holiday, Sukkos to be exact.

Luckly for me I kinda prepared for the worst and paid for 10 loaves to the most delicious challah from that famous baker.

Now I am feeling better, enough to exercise again and ride my bike!

What did I do while I rested:
1. I read all about how not to be a sucky manager. I even wrote lots of case examples of sucky work situations and managers. All in the name of homework. Don't you love it when organizations really work badly and you can write all about it?

2. I thanked my lucky stars I took that stupid cultural anthropology class in my undergraduate years because stuff like Max Weber is going to haunt my life forever

3. I looked at internships from the graduate school database. The most recent one at some point was to intern at Playboy magazine. They needed someone to archive pictures. This was funny and we had a lot of good laughs about it in the house. Since I live with someone familar with databases we talked about how this could hypothetically be done. Had I taken an internship at a nudy magazine I would be really good at archiving those pictures.

4. On the front of databases, I had Mr. Peyos tutor me in database construction because my brain went

5. Finally the best part I pulled out half my hair trying to write at graduate school level paper that was going to be 25% of my total grade for a class. It took me a whole frack-a-mole week to write the darn thing. I hate babbling and I wasn't going to ask Mr. Peyos to help me. I did it alone and got full credit. So, hey my brain works!!!

I know I have stuff to write about: My Mythical Xtracycle (it's like a unicorn), someone is having a love affair with my Redline bike (which was has been posted), my constant drooling over the completion of the Broadway cycletrack/bikeway and other mind bike thingies that come to my head.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Redline out in the World

Not too long ago someone who has been to the house for Shabbos said they would like to bike on Bicycle Sunday but the bike they had was not so fantastic. Well, this person happens to be short and I figured my blue Redline would be perfect. What is the point of having a bike if it is going to just sit their in the basement and collect dust. I have my Dutch bike and the Redline is fun but not do great for my needs.

So, our guest knocked on the door one unexpected day and we traded his bike for mine. We didn't mind him arriving unexpectedly and Mr. Peyos did his best to make the bike comfortable for him. Apparently I underestimated the height and when the bike borrower was peddling away it was a little obvious that the seat was too tall. I hope he lowered the seat. Too many times I see people biking with a seat too low but I could see the seat was too high, just a bit.

What bike did we trade or have in storage? Look at this beauty. I don't know how our bike borrower made it to our house with the lack of foam on the seat. How does a seat get to be like that? What eats or chews on it? Like my droopy plant? It doesn't seem like a fair trade. I don't need this bike. Actually at this point I want the owner to come get it because it is in the basement and I just want it out. I was even nice enough to let him borrow it WITH the Brooks saddle. Now that is fancy!

I am happy to report that my blue Redline has made the person borrowing it very happy and has only helped to get one more person biking everywhere. The bike was used to pick up the essential Sukkot lulav and etrog. I can't wait to see that photo because it means my bike helped do one more mitzvah. I also hear it has become someone's commuting machine. So, if anyone I have gotten one more person out of their car and riding a bike regularly. I feel so special.

I am not sure when I am getting this bike back. In fact, right now I am not so concerned about it, although because of the current situation of my bike in production I might be tempted to get it back sooner, stick a trail a bike on the back and make my kid bike home. She is going to hate me, I am sure of it. Then again, I am more than happy to just use my Omafiets and make my kid use her legs and take the bus until we can get our grubby hands on the new bike.

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 ...