Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Back to G & O

I have had a great time with my bike. Like most things, this bike not be for everyone but frankly I feel spoiled. The bike was built up for me. I did have some standard stuff put on the bike but I did add some custom items to make my life better. For one, I wanted to be upright. I couldn't handle the hanging position on my Redline, which isn't even drastic and the Omafiets was dragging me to the ground with speed. I always felt like I could walk faster than biking these days.

Getting the Edgerunner has felt liberating. This year we made a lot of changes in our transportation and our daily schedule so adding the bike has alleviated some of the pain of shopping and just doing errands. Now I can buy lots of stuff. We had actually been hording stuff here at the house. I was able to take it all up that dreaded driveway where it belonged. See that hill and see those boxes. Again, I have not yet learned the art of over packing yet. I have been pretty cautious with my load.

I wanted the oodles of paper towels, paper cups, compostable flatware OUT of my house! So, I took them up the hill and Mr. Peyos unloaded them for me.

Side Note: What's so hard about composting? It is still a mystifying task. I mean, EVERYTHING for this location is compostable. All you have to do it put in the correct bin. How hard is that? I don't want prizes or accolades. I just want YOU to compost. There, I got it out of my system. DO IT!

Our next vacation barfing free activity was to make our way up to G&O to exchange a part on my bike, nothing major seriously. My console didn't light up but I knew that when I got the bike and was expected to come in and exchange it when it arrived.

We went the long way passed the viaduct and up through the Ballard Locks. It was early so nobody was there. On our ride we played the ABC game and we were on letter Q. My kid stopped to look at the sign to see if she could spot a Q word. No luck.

We made our way across, walking the bike. It is a hefty fine if you decide to ride your bike. Also, this is a US Federal area so we have to be careful with obeying the law.

Now that we were in daylight hours I decided to find the new and improved Missing Link infrastructure. My guess is that it is not close to being finished. I could tell that it was only in one direction for cars but was I going the wrong way on the bike? Cars were confused too because two cars came in the opposite direction towards us. As far as I understand the only car traffic should be eastbound. Plus, the side that was suppose to be for bicyclist has all those railroad tracks. No thanks, I don't want to slide a tire into one of those. I tried to take pictures but my biking and picture taking is bad with gloves on. You can see some kind of lane marker on the road.
I need a class or some more instruction. Getting from Shilshole to here was a pain in the arse. That street is like a mega highway. People drive so FAST. If you want to cross the street forget it but somehow we managed.

As confused as I am I just staying in the car lane and headed eastbound. Nobody was behind me so it didn't matter. You can also see my new handy phone holder. If the battery every runs low I can charge it from this position. Another plus of getting the Lux Edgerunner I am telling you. You can also tell I had the bike on maximum assist.

We arrived at G&O and visited Davey Oil for a bit as he was painting the floor in the bathroom. We looked around the shop and my kid wants one of those bike blankets Mrs. Oil makes. They sure are nice and cozy looking. I might ask if she can make a 9 year old size one. See the disappointment in not getting a cozy blanket. Oh well, next time. Look at those cute capes in the background. If you have a little person buy them one. They are so cozy.

As Mr. Peyos was feeling better we made our way down hill to meet him and wait the hour he had until he was ready to go home. It was fun biking down Fremont Ave. WHEEEE! Don't worry, we are completely stopped at the light. I would never run a red light unless I was in serious danger. By the time Mr. Peyos was ready to leave it was dark and we made our way through downtown and home. When we got home it turns out the electricity had gone out in a large part of the neighborhood. We live in a strange pocket where if the lights go out in Seward Park, us and 5 other houses have electricity.

What was the problem?

Yeah, seriously, how dare that pole just jump out of nowhere and crash into that car. This caused chaos on Rainier Ave as those people who drive the metal machines think nobody would dare to cross the street and just go through all the non working lights. Mr. Peyos stopped all four lanes of traffic and got us safely across the street. I love him! Our house had power as I predicted. As we came on our hill I left my kid with my husband and made my way to to pick up pizza dough and it was dark except for me and my rockin light! One of the neighbors without power came out to check conditions and I informed him that the power was out from as far as Martin Luther King. Yet, another fantastic ride and this time with my husband for the part in the dark. I love my bike.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Biking at Night Seattle, Meaning after 7pm

My first life experience of nightlife was living in London. Yes, I did that too. I was young and stupid and did ridiculous things, like walk late at night all by myself. Yeah, I did that too. It was mostly upsetting because not even my roommate wanted to take these late night walks with me. At night the city looks different and it feels so wonderful.

Then I got married and moved to Copenhagen to live in my husband's homeland. Nightlife there was also exciting but this time I had someone to take long walks with me. People were out late all night. It felt like a city.

When we moved to the big city of Seattle I expected this kind of nightlife. We ditched our car in California, donating it to a Jewish organization, and arrived in Seattle on the Coast Starlight at some crazy hour of midnight. This was going to be our new home for a while. The city looked so quiet so I figured it was the hour.

Then Mr. Peyos noticed something interesting. Starting at 7pm downtown Seattle shuts down. What??? I thought this was a city? Now, I like to sleep early and wake up early so 7pm is cutting it close to bedtime for me now so it is rare if I am ever out late anywhere unless it is for a good reason.
I love that truck blocking the bike lane
Yesterday was my first experience in the "happening" downtown nightlife. My daughter and I needed to do errands and then we would finally plop our bottoms down at a movie theater in Ballard and watch Frozen. We did our errands close to home, which included the much needed hair wash at the beauty salon. After that we followed a guy up to Capitol Hill. He was alone on his bike, no cargo and was insistent on trying to bike faster than us. Little did he know that we had the BionX on the bike. It makes zero noise. If it was hidden more you would never know. So, we kept us his pace and he tried to go faster. By the time we reached the high point in Capitol Hill he gave up and looked exhausted. We gave a happy ring and passed him. At that point he realized we were not on a regular bike. It was funny and got us up the hill faster. I don't like sweat and despite the use of the BionX I was getting a workout. I mean I have a kid and a tummy baby.
We stopped at the park by the 1-90 Bridge. Careful, that slide has a water puddle in it.
We did our Central District/Captiol Hill errands and then made the slow up to Fremont to pick something up from my bike twin.
See how beautiful it was despite the weather forecast predicting rain, boring rain. I am so glad we were able to soak that up. All those building in the distance make out downtown Seattle.
 I tried really hard to take a picture of the Space Needle but that blinding sun.
Then we did the imaginable and biked up Sweat Hill, sorry I meant Fremont Ave. So we waited at this crosswalk to safely get over and this car kept inching forward on the red blocking the crosswalk. What is the hurry???  We met our bike twin Sara and her adorable daughter close to the zoo and made our clandestine exchange of a handlebar mount for my phone. I can't hear the phone if it is tucked away in my Mary Poppins bags (or X2 bags). Our bike ride to Ballard was pleasant. Sara introduced us to the Greenwood Greenway which had a lot of qualities to reduce speed for car. I liked it.
Our movie started at the insane mommy hour of 5:05PM and by the time we got out it was late. I also did the not smart thing of going to the bathroom BEFORE leaving the theater. Trader Joe's was on the way back to the Burke Gilman so we made a shopping pit stop. A man said to us, "what's the point of walking when we can just bike everywhere? We should just put wheels on our feet!". Aren't those called roller skates? It was dark so interesting commentary was expected. We found the path on the Missing Link but it was so dark I couldn't tell where I was suppose to bike, so confusing. We got on the Burke and realized it was scary. I mean, great place to be murdered scary. I biked so fast. I am so glad I got the D-lux because it comes with a mega light that will light up the road. See. I was able to zip through there. When we finally reached Fremont I felt better and calmer but where the heck were all the people? It was dead. Nobody was out. Maybe everyone is shopping downtown?
We managed to get to the Fremont bridge when a boat needed to go across. I tried to take a picture of our number but it that ended up fuzzy. 
Biking along Lake Union was beautiful. Lot of boats had pimped out with lights. We got to look at them at a slow pace. When we got closer to downtown I figured that I will need to be really careful biking downtown. You know the shopping rush. I was oh so wrong. We biked on Westlake without issue, witnessed lot of really early drunk people. Downtown is dead at that time of night and I don't recommend that you take strolls, lots of weirdos, the kind you don't want nothing to do with.
Now that I have the BionX I figure I don't need the train but turns out someone fell asleep on the bike. Yes, even 9 year olds can do that. I biked us to the International Station and hoped that we would be able to get on the light rail. The bike takes up a lot of room and I feel it is rude but look at the station, nobody. We might be safe to get on the train. 
The final picture is of my kid passed out. She was exhausted. She missed all the excitement of the nighttime downtown population, the drug addicts and the guy who offered me drugs, didn't think that would ever happen. While she was passed out at the station an guy on the opposite platform kept yelling at us, "What's with the motorcycle? What's with the motorcycle?" In the dark we might look like a motorcycle but in this light we just look like a long bike. We made our way home and it will be a while before we do that nighttime ride by ourselves. I was pretty terrified on the Burke Gilman at night. Downtown was no joke either. I was kinda scared. When we got home Mr. Peyos expected this story from me. So, next time he will go with us. He was just sick so he was unable to leave the bedroom.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Biking Columbia City

See, it snowed, now to take out my bike snowplow
Last week we did take an adventure to take stuff to the Goodwill. We made our way down to Columbia City to do some shopping before the impending snowstorm we were suppose to have starting Thursday evening. I don't know what was happening but people were driving crazy. You would think that something really important was happening. Now, we were not worried about the snow but it seems that all those law abiding people in their metal machines were too busy to think about stopping at stop signs and red lights. You know, it is so over to obey the law. So, I have been feeling really anti car lately. I think what blew me over the top was the guy getting hit by the car on the 2nd Ave. painted lane. The ladies response was, "I didn't see you!". No, Shitake Mushroom! Don't drive if you can't see. I DO have a drivers licence and occasionally drive a car2go. Guess what? I actually drive that thing just like a bike. What does that mean? When I come to the crosswalks I make sure I see if people are not crossing and when the light is going from yellow to red I actually slow down rather than speed up and try to blow through a red light.

As you may remember, my kid came down with the lovely barfing virus. My kid got better but it looks like that virus is really contagious even if the kid is not barfing so we did the smart thing and kept her home. On Saturday at midnight I was hit by something very similar. Now that I am pregnant it was hard to tell at first if this was morning sickness or what. Well, by the 4th time I barfed I figured it was the same thing. By Sunday morning I was feeling better so we did a deep clean starting with the bathroom. I can't wait around for a maid to come so we put on the rubber gloves and cleaned the bathroom and my daughter did a good wipe down of other common surfaces like doorknobs and anything else people touch. As morning was hitting us on Sunday Mr. Peyos came down with something similar but expressed it in a different way, which is way too much information to go into detail. As of Monday he is still down for the count. Poor guy. Being sick with a beard sucks!
Apparently pink is NOT Hi-Viz enough!
After half a day of scrubbing and washing laundry I told my daughter I wanted to take her old bike to BikeWorks for donation. What I thought was going to be another Edgerunner adventure turned into my kid wanting to bike all the way there and home again. So, instead of loading up the Edgerunner with the old bike and biking behind her I decided to walk the bike. She bikes slow and her bike is one gear so it makes going up slight hills harder. She biked and I pointed out that she can't just zoom through an intersection as people might not see her despite all that pink. I know, it is our fault if we get hit because we aren't wearing balloons, clown suit and blinking lights. How rude of us!
Goodbye trust bike, enjoy your new home.
We made it to BikeWorks and left the old bike. It was really quiet there except it was nice to see a family coming out, maybe they were going to buy a bike in winter, YEAH!! Yeah, so glad someone can ride that bike. We really didn't need one more bike in the house.
Does it looks like I need another bike in this corner?
On our way home we got to our usual crosswalk. I am talking about the one on Holly and Rainier. Seriously, the city needs to put traffic calming there. I get so tired of seeing people blow through the red light. Maybe a red light camera but Mr. Peyos said that it probably doesn't get enough traffic. I always try to catch offenders but it is hard watching my kid and taking a picture.

Before we got here let me back up...While we were leaving the Columbia City library we almost got hit by someone in the Jewish community making and illegal left turn into the library parking lot. When they realized it was us we got the apologetic stare. Seriously!! What was so illegal about that turn? For the most part, Rainier Ave. has the double yellow line. What does this mean? Let's look at the Washington State Driver Handbook: Page 31 states: Solid Double Yellow Lines, no passing allowed. It says no passing so figure out some other way to pull into that driveway, okay. I mean, do I have to constantly look every way because someone is going to do something illegal? My answer, YES!

You see, it is illegal. We know one friend who doesn't do this and the other day we came upon her in her van when we were trying to capture on camera the best place to get these illegal turns: Morgan/Rainier Ave.

So, if you want to make the Rainier Valley more walk able then start by obeying the laws and look out for people. Rainier/Holly sports a crosswalk for a school and a senior center. How much longer do we have to perpetuate this car culture? Kids get tired of walking 3 blocks it is ridiculous. I hate taking other kids with us anywhere because they get tired. We even tone down our pace and distance but NO, they get tired. I get tired of walking right now because I got this baby but biking is nothing. I just sit there and pedal. How hard is that? I was motivated to walk today because my kid wanted to bike in the Seattle drizzle. She didn't care that it felt like spit the whole way but she knew she had the right gear to keep her from getting wet. As much as it is fun to take friends for adventures I can't do that right now. That can get heavy and I am not interested in dumping the bike and biking pregnant with an extra load I am not used to.

So, that was our brief biking adventure followed by the perils of being a pedestrian.See, why I don't like walking so much.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Biking Germs

Back when we thought we contracted whopping cough.
Like the mask?

I don't know about you but I have always felt that when we bike more we get sick less. I suppose it means we are in less crowded places, like the bus and mange to get air right? So, I have noticed that a lovely strain of barfing virus has plagued many of the biking families in the north end of Seattle but this is not were our kid got it from. You would think this wouldn't happen with so much fresh air right? These viruses can come from anywhere despite how careful you are. I thought we were in the clear yesterday because barfing had ceased and my kid was looking peppy.

Night time came and then my kid decided to let it all hurl downstairs while Mr. Peyos directed her to the kitchen sink. Ohh, great for me. Something new to clean right? Not that I am bored or anything. So, we did the whole hazmat routine of cleaning up the mess.

A brief interruption-A story about good business practice:
We had a friend who was trying to find their career path. So for a while they worked with a sofer (A Jewish scribe of sorts). On a certain occasion a client came in to the business and said that he wanted his money back because the tefillin (phylactery) he purchased were pasul (not valid). The sofer checked on the spot and said he would absolutely return the man's money. The sum the client said he paid, $700. When the man left the sofer said that they were not tefillin he had made because it wasn't his handwriting. The assistant asked why he took them and didn't say he didn't make them. The sofer explained that it was best that the client think he is a good business man than think that he was cheated. This takes a special someone on a certain madrega (level) to do this.

When we heard this story we bought my husband his Rabenau Tam tefillin and after that we have purchased other items from him just because of this story. Our paths have crossed even though we have never met the man in person. What do you see? The sofer didn't yell at the client. Instead he acted calm and rational. So, this is a real holy man. His nature was revealed in this story. In my experience with customer service it has been good. I am a patent person. If someone messes up I might try again but if a mess up happens every single time it is really time to move on. In the mist of illness I got to deal with an order issue. You know what is weird, this is the first hostile response I have ever received. Mr. Peyos works for a large company that deals with complaints all the time. One was very publicly Twittered and guess what, the company politely sent a request to contact them at such and such address and they would be happy to work it out. The company never said, that life for the world is so much better with them, sheeesh, Now that would be douche like. So that is my story. See the difference.Take what you want out of this.

Back to illness:
In any case, we have been home almost all week because of this barfing virus that keeps going around. We haven't spread it more because look where we are, home. Sure we went out on the bike but we made little or no close contact with people.The school we pay tuition at has another more interesting virus going around and it's not barf. One of my friends had her daughter in the hospital for pneumonia and is still home recovering and weak, poor kid. I hate when kids get sick, they are so miserable to look at. The mess to clean up is one thing but their faces are so sad. This is where we are.

I love you bike!

In biking news I discovered stuff about my bike. For one. I have a USB charger connected to my front light hub. So, for fun we sat on the bike and charged my phone. You can do that with the Rolling Jackass. Fun huh! I have an indoor trainer

See that black box with the white plastic? You can stick something USB in there. Nice huh. I knew my bike had this but it took me until the other day to realize it was there. I am sure Davey Oil told me about when when I got the bike but I was kinda spacing out. I space out without being pregnant so I can't blame that baby for not paying attention.

That is how bikey we get when we are at home.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

By Bike: Want to go to the dump

So, like a normal person their is so much I can do to save the environment but sadly I end up stuff that frankly has to go to the dump. We try but sometimes we fail. One thing we end up with is moldy stuff. I can only imagine that this is because we live in the Pacific Northwest. We had no idea about moisture until we left a stroller outside on the porch the first year we lived here and it got moldy. It was a fancy stroller and we were not too happy about it.

So, I turned to the Seattle Family Biking Facebook page to ask about going to the dump. I never am under an illusion that I am inventing some task because I am sure someone else has done it. I put my question out there and it looks like I had few responses. My plan was to go to the one close to Theo Chocolate because it is just easier for me to get there, odd right. I hear the attendant is nice and maybe would take a food bribes. Alas, my kid came down with the barfing virus that has plagued a boat load of kids at our little shul. We thought we were SO careful. Oh well, we had one day of barfing, culminating in a finally barfing episode that was projectile like. This meant more laundry for me because my kid likes to be cozy and has about 50 baby blankets on her bed.  So, my Monday was a bust but my house is clean. I had a lot of time on my hands.

So, Tuesday has been a recovery day but I was itching to get out on my bike. I needed to go. We have been in the process of getting rid of stuff so I had a whole pile of stuff that needed to go to the Goodwill. So, here we are dropping off books and other reusable stuff.

We rolled up to the 2 lane donation station and the guy chuckled or snorted. I couldn't tell. Then as I was deploying the Rolling Jackass he thought I was going to dump the bike. Sheesh, I know what I am doing!

I had Ms. Pinky barfy face unload the bike. By this time she wasn't throwing up and I figured if she needed to throw up it would be less tragic than on the bus. Right? Excellent parenting, telling my kid to lean over and hurl it on the road.

We biked out and made our way to do other errands which included getting an asthma inhaler and heavy groceries. By heavy I mean flour, oil, glass jars and other stuff. QFC on Rainier Ave. has the worst bike parking. What do you call this? Plus that can was blocking the whole thing. I could never get a bike in here. It's just another jungle gym for kids as you can see. After this we shoved off and I caught my kid trying to surf on back of the bike. This only goes to prove she is mine. I would have totally done something like that at that age. I didn't even know because I was too busy concentrating on the road. So, your kid can also surf on an Edgerunner but I highly DO NOT recommend it!

Instead we parked here:

Yes, hate me now. I mean, I need something solid to connect the u-lock to and in reality we have been parking here with the Omafiets and also with the trailer long before the Edgerunner.

This spot can get tricky if lots of people want ice or when 5 people decided to smoke in this spot. Today two drug addicts were having a pow-wow.

After this, we went over to BikeWorks to show Steve the bike and just say hello. I advised my kid to stay away from breathing space of other humans so we don't pass on this virus to some unsuspecting soul. We didn't go far but it was good practice for the morning bike commute we plan to do on Wednesday, that is if we don't get snow. Again? Threat of snow, yup. Like I said, I am more afraid of ice and it is really hard to see in the dark.

Friday, December 13, 2013

No Spandex Required Goes to City Hall

The whole No Spandex Required mishpacha  went to City Hall on Wednesday. Yes, Mr. Peyos, his mini me and pregnant me were there to show our support for the Bicycle Master Plan. At first we were just going to be there as support for Madi of Family Ride who was signed up to talk on behalf of the family cargo group but her kids got sick. So, I said I would go and say something.

Ahh, but I had to get there. First, I needed to make sure our family was fed. So, I did the crazy route that nobody likes to bike with me. I biked from the house, north on to Martin Luther King, turned west on Alaska and then right on to Beacon Ave. You basically keep going straight and go over the Jose Rizal Bridge. It is the common vote that nobody likes this bridge in this house but I found it the fast way to get Bamboo Garden, the only kosher restaurant in Seattle. The other kosher places are not in Seattle. Does getting bagels count as getting kosher dinner? I ended up biking under the Alaska viaduct and that whole thing is one big mess. Don't bike on that path just go on the road. The kosher food is on Roy near the Seattle Center so I had to get from the waterfront up to the Space Needle.
I biked up the path that takes you up there and was going so fast I almost hit the column that said SLOW. Okay, I get it, next time I promise. I stopped to take a picture of Elliot Bay. Oh, and you can see the extra pad we added and the lights around the Hooptie and the three blinking lights. Paranoid much?

I retrieved our food, made sure my dinner was extra spicy and my daughter's had lots of broccoli. I needed to get to Amazon to meet Mr. Peyos before picking up my kid. How the heck do I get from the Seattle Center to Lake Union? I have never done it. So, I looked at a Google Map and ended up in the Mercer Mess. It was scary and so I decided to take one whole lane. Yes, hate me now! I turned right on Dexter and it was smooth sailing but was a mistake. I didn't take a picture because I have yet to manage taking pictures with my cozy gloves. This is where I decided to stop bike toward what I think was Amazon. Don't have me lead a ride. I will get us all lost and you will really hate me.

Now I totally get the Mercer Mess. What a nightmare. 

The rest is boring because nothing happened. My kid and I ate some of the dinner and then allow Mr. Peyos to consume the rest and then made our way to City Hall. Seattle City Hall, get more bike racks! Two is not good enough. Forget about locking your cargo bike to something. Mr. Peyos managed to lock his bike and we locked our bike to his. We met another cargo family and then waited for our turns to talk. I was distracted and maybe didn't express what I wanted but the guy before me said some really stupid things and I was mostly angry about the conditions of pedestrian accessibility that day I ended up not expressing the following: We moved to Seattle from California and intended to be car free because it looked bikable. We don't want a car and really appreciate the changes in bike infrastructure. We need more infrastructure in the Rainier Valley. Everything is nice up north but guess what? Lots of low income people ride bikes down here. People also walk and take public transit. Blind people, people on respirators, old people, young people, all walk and I have seen near misses. So, I was fired up about safe streets for everyone, especially down here where we needed traffic calming Greenways yesterday. Then how to say that in 2 minutes? Oh well, next time right! Gordon from Seattle Neighborhood Greenways facilitated our speaking early and that was nice. 

We biked home with the really sweet other cargo family. The woman had biked in her G&O made Bullitt bike with 3 little kids. Actually she is customer #1. My bike twin is customer #2 and I am #3. Ohh, fancy. I know the first three, impressive. They were happy and jolly and even made a grumpy bike hating man less grumpy. The highlight which made my kid laugh hard was when her littlest son took the mic in his mouth and start to chew it. How fun is that! After the mic chewing we left. Our new friends were on our way so why not. We did what Mr. Peyos hates, bike down Dearborn. I have to admit, that painted bike lane leads to a major highway. Ughh, Seattle Master Plan start here. I figured between the two lady cargo bikes we would look like one huge car side by side. Turns out I was correct. From behind I look like an interesting motorcycle. People honked and waved. Hello!

After we dropped off our new friends we proceeded on a street parallel to Rainier Ave. and then biked the rest of the way south on Martin Luther King. What is on our way home? Oh yes, ice cream. My kid has viking blood and so this is what they do, eat ice cream in the cold. I bought her two scoops she could eat on the bike and bought a flavor to eat at home because I am not viking at all.
What was my No Spandex millage for that day? 17.8 miles, not including the bike pool pick up. All this while pregnant! Don't worry, my doctor is happy about my biking and hasn't really made faces or comments about it so there. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How many miles per Hour on an Edgerunner?

So, the inaugural ride on the Edgerunner was interesting. I always feel that Mr. Peyos and I have WAY different opinions on routes. For one I am person schlepping a human being and now I am schlepping two! One out of my tummy and other one safe and warm and cozy inside.

The ride home was slightly aggravating. I did not like the choice of some of the ride. Someone almost got a banana thrown at them.

I think my life is just easier if I can choose the route and figure it out for myself. So Monday I picked my kid up from school but first had to get there. When we traveled with the Burley I had some crazy routes. My bike was light and the kid was even lighter. To illustrate my crazy route I will show you.
Day 1 of bike pool: Wait, Monday was suppose to be Snowmaggedon. Doesn't this always happen on Mondays? I actually sat and waiting in a coffee shop with my laptop and waited for the impending doom of snow. Look, I wasn't worried but my daughter's school was.  They even sent out information about the weather emergency alert system. Oh well, not everyone follows Cliff Mass or has the UW Atmospheric Northwest radar loop as a browser bookmark. That radar loop is hours of fun. In any case, back to my bike. See my Mary Poppins bags? I had more stuff in there but I took it out. The other side is stuffed with groceries and because it was so cold I was just going to leave it there. Free refrigeration!!  So I sat and waited and nothing happened. I picked my kid up at her regular boring time. My kid put her snow pants on and we made our merry way home.

I was thinking like an Omafiets rider and forgot how much power I have with that BionX so I did the stupid thing and ended up almost dumping the bike trying to cross the street on Martin Luther King and McClellan. It is a route I have done before but I underestimated the poorly made sidewalk corner crossing and how fast people drive their cars at this hour. I mean, everyone is rushing home to pee? Out of my way lady on a bike with a bundle of pink in the back! After making our way across that, we were successful in getting home the back way. I promised myself that the next day we were not going to end up on the sidewalk that way. NO WAY!

Day 2: My kid wanted a heart Knog light.  You see it. I am pretty sure she will want the pink one too. so this meant that I needed to get to a bike shop. I decided to do my whole wacko do route that allows me to stay on the road. On my Oma I had to choose flatter routes. Right as I make myself out and around Franklin High School, off of McClellan, is a lovely uphill painted bike lane on 31st Ave. S. 

See how I stopped at the top of hill for a little water? That is me looking south on 31st. In the distance is Franklin High school. 

Once I get to the highest point on this street I see no point and riding down again so I turn left on Norman and it keeps me from descending. I haven't seen this view in a long time. That is Lake Washington and if you squint you can see the I-90 floating bridge. 

Just to see how high up I am I tried to take a picture of Safeco field but you can't see anything on this typical Seattle day. 

This is where I end up. Although this is looking west on Jackson street, I plan to go straight and see if I can glide up to my friendly bike shop. By biking north across Jackson I get to avoid cars but have to brave all those potholes and some old time cobblestone streets. Those can get slippery.

On my way to bike pool (right now it's just me), I needed to get to 20/20 Cycle. I love those guys, they have NEVER pressured me to buy anything even though I have spent a lot of money there. They even have a cool My Little Pony puzzle my kid loves. I have been contemplating more locks for my bike and ask the guy inside to help me. He shows me the assortment and I come out only with the Knog light. So I am going to go back really soon and buy something to lock my bike up. 

I picked up my kid got the odd comment of, "keep warm" and then waited for all the zooming carpool parents to leave the school. I rather wait those extra minutes than have to deal with some parent almost killing me. I have seen some nasty things in that school parking lot. Once parent crashed their truck into someone's van and I have seen all out screaming fight. Yeah, seriously. So, I want nothing to do with anyone who drives a metal machine coming out of that place. 

We did the reverse route home and I stayed only on the street. We made our way down 31st Ave. and we passed the speed sign at 23 miles an hour. Oh YEAH!! That felt good. I didn't take a picture because I wasn't interested in doing a fall. In the end we made it home in one piece and I tested the bike's ability to ride up our crazy hill and park. See, no hands mommy. I love this bike. I honestly wish I had this bike years ago but it wasn't even available until recently. 

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

My Edgerunner is Magical

On Sunday, the coldest day of the year the whole mishpacha (family) went up to G&O to pick up my bike. I gave a brief low down of being at the shop and picking up my bike. I have yet to master the art of overpacking the bike. Every time I put something in those X2 bags I feel like Mary Poppins. What else can I fit in there? Better yet, what is hiding in there. At first I wasn't going to upgrade to the fancy bags but now I am just happy I did.

Mr. Peyos met us there on his bike but got lost because he has never been anywhere north of the Fremont. I gave him biking instructions and he arrived all out of breath because biking uphill on 8th Ave NW was more than he was used to. Oh Danes and their flat flat roads. Then again, he has never biked our pinky pie kid around so he has NO idea. We actually arrived before him despite taking our sweet sweet time looking for a backlava at Target. As I have said, my kid loves fashion. She would NEVER dream of wearing something blue on her head especially when the rest of her is bright pink. So, doubting the selection at Target City downtown we ventured in and found a pink one. So we left G&O prepared to bundle our cutie fruity kid to now freeze: snow pants, snow boots, baklava gloves. Okay, we were set.

Back to Mr. Peyos. Why didn't he bike across the Fremont Bridge? Oh, remember Vertigo? Yes, he kinda has to go through the Ballard Locks. This means we will have to go that way to get home despite the fact that I am not so excited about it.

We left the store, went to a nerdy game store across the street and then biked to find our way home. Turns out Mr. Peyos came down Market NW and wanted to go the reverse route he used to arrive. When we arrived I looked at him and said, "no way!" It was a total death wish. A lady in her car had a sticker on the front window with a middle finger. That is really how people in cars saw the street, a big middle finger to anyone not in a car. So, we did what I hate most, bike on the sidewalk. At some point I was just tired of trying to balance behind s-l-o-w pedestrians I got off the bike and walked a little, but I hate walking too, ugh.
We finally made our way to the Ballard Locks and I was worried about all the weirdos just standing on the bridge and not being able to get across. This has been an issue and I was not excited about maneuvering around stupid people. See, I did it! Oh and yeah the wheel does that. It doesn't really bother me but boy does it swing a ton. I love that Rolling Jackass kickstand. Where have you been my whole life?
Then Mr. Peyos took us on this detour. Apparently this is the Ship Canal path. This runs parallel to Nickerson street. You learn stuff every day right. You can see my BionX consol and my shiny bell I added. 
Once we arrived at Lake Union the whining began. My hands are cold. I am hungry, blah blah blah. Turns out my kid put on the WORST gloves for this cold weather. She is 9 and I figured she has better sense than to wear the gloves she had on. At that point we stopped at the Bartell's on the Amazon campus and bought food, I meant nosh. Mr. Peyos found those pocket glove warmers and we indulged our kid in a $2 set so that she would be quiet. I brought a lock but was lazy to we locked our bikes together. You see the lock running from that HUGE Dutch bike to mine? 
Then comes the nightmare of downtown. I am so sorry, I was not able to capture this because of my complete grumpiness. EVERYONE was shopping downtown. We had to walk. The horror of walking. Again, I hate walking, even worse downtown when people walk s-l-o-w. That is the Seattle Downtown Central Library. It looks nice even in cold weather. By cold I mean in the low to mid 20's F.

The rest is boring and ugly. You really don't want to see our route from Dearborn home. You can smell the street if I put a picture here, eww. 

Here is our route. It was almost 15 miles and a large chunk was spent making our way past shoppers. The Edgerunner made the ride fun and fast for me. This was only day one. Wait until I tell you about bike pool. That is a whole different post.

View Larger Map

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Snow, Snow, Oh no!

Monday night we had the possibility to see the white stuff and maybe some people saw this but down here at 200ft we saw nothing. I actually don't worry about snow biking conditions. What I worry about is ice. I have had several falls on ice and I really do not want to repeat this. Last year when we took several icy walks my daughter and I skated down the hill from the house. We had not intended to skate down the hill but we did. I don't care if I am walking or biking, I just don't want to fall. I already fell once a couple of weeks ago on the bus for crying out loud. It was slippery and my skirt got caught on a lady who was intent on having her legs extended in the isle. I was sore for a couple of days but managed. Biking was easier than walking.

This would be great for cold!
Now that the weather is getting colder the possibility of snow is upon us but Cliff Mass has said we are in a neutral El Nino year, dry dry and boring. Why are us folk in Seattle so scared of snow? For one, I think their are about 14 snow plows and they don't cover the whole city. At some point they only work on arterial streets and roads where the mayor might be traveling. So, a lot of us are left with ice and snow. Then the city does what I always hate and announce that we should all get off the road and take the bus. Well, that never works because the buses go to poo and even more poo when they have to go up a steep hill. How is taking the bus going to help anyone?

Your best bet is the Light Rail if it is going to where you need. So, the next question is what to do when you are on a bike.

On the coldest day of the year I am going to pick up my bike. Sunday morning was expected to be 16-17F. Burr! I had my kid wear her snow pants and this caused a lot of whining. Then we made it out into the fresh air and whoosh her face looked cold. We don't own a baklava ski mask thingie and I have never seen a cute pink one. I want to make her wear a baklava but if it does not suit her style sensibility she would rather freeze. I thought we were going to have to stop on the way home but before we ventured to wait for the number 5 we went to Target. Guess what I found? A super bright pink baklava. Who would have thought? So, we hopped merrily on the 5 and I allowed my kid to eat chocolate early in the morning while we waited.

So, we were on our way to go retreive my mythical unicorn of a bike in 23F /-5C conditions. Who get's a bike in December? Well, I do! This pregnant, crazy lady finally gets her bike on the coldest day of the year. What bike? Yes, the mythical Edgerunner. My bike twin has experience with her bike and several thoughts on how it handles. I was excited to meet her and see her bike. We had a lot to talk about. Madi from Family Ride was also there but I was being a pain in the butt to Davey Oil so we didn't get chance to chat.

Luckily, I have tested several bikes this year and also had several conversations about my bike options from about a bazillion people. So, my range of what I have learned this year has been interesting. Plus, one day I read about installing the BionX. I don't know, I felt like I needed to know how it went on the bike.

For now I am pooper scopper out of my mind tired and still need to work on my term paper so I leave you with the winter photo of my bike. I will write about our experience making it home tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Pregnancy Bike Dreams

I have had the most vivid dream already three times. Basically it involved me receiving my bike. Mr. Peyos and I walk into G&O and then Mr. Peyos begins to protest. He is not mad or angry. In this instant he does something so unlike him. At this point Davey and Tyler go, "Meh, we are going to go to lunch now and lock the door behind." Mr Peyos retorts with, "I'm going to sit on all the Brooks saddles!"  I guess the dream is not funny unless you get the details of what he does that makes Davey and Tyler go meh. In any case unless you are the dudes at G&O you will just have to speculate on what my hubby did in the dream.

We laughed so hard this Shabbos about this dream and Mr. Peyos gave his own variations on how that scenario could go. I think I was in tears from laughing and my daughter made up a song. Oh boy! So, we are close to this bike. It is now in Seattle and being worked on.

So, I love the Facebook page for the Seattle Family Biking. It is such a good support group. In general I find Facebook annyoing and before joining this group I had quit 2 times already. Facebook becomes either too polical, religious or just diareah. On my personal Facebook I like to log my food accounts. Did I eat today, was I having barfy time. Yes, I am in my 2nd trimester and have barfy time. I save my stomach space for real food like vegetables. On Sunday we went to our friend's Chanukah party and I snubbed all the yummy stuff people were drooling about. I didn't eat cheese dip with chips, burmelos, chocolate covered cookies, or chocolate dip. Instead I dug head first into the veggie platter and then ate pickled veggies another friend  brought. Then the holy grail of food arrived, a HUGE salad. I looked crazed eating that salad. I think I packed in half the bowl in my stomach.

We had actually eaten a ton of veggies Friday night and the BEST soup ever. Even better when a teenager makes it. It was so good my kid ate it. She likes to eat food that resembles it's original source. That was probably because while I was pregnant with her I also ate my way through a lot of fruit and veggies. Yes, I was SUPER large that time but all I could pack in was natural.

Back to my love of the Seattle Family Biking Facebook page. Anyhoo, I have had multiple offers to take a peek at my bike while Davey and Tyler work on it but really have just left it like that. What happens today? Someone from Twitter, tweets me a picture of my bike. It was the best thing that could happen! In between my boughts of barfy time and writing a term paper I oogled this picture.

Yes, that is my bike. If you want to freak out Davey and Tyler just go over there and say, "What's with the profide on the wall?". I will probably freak and gross them out at the same time, hahaha.  I'm excited. I might even meet my bike twin Sara and we can be double bike twins! Sara got her bike already but she had different needs. Apparently we both have Omafiets and have homemade pizza once a week. We have so much in common.

I would have gone there myself but I have a term paper to do and then got a phone call from school to pick up my feverish child. Honestly, I thought she was faking the whole thing so I just sent her to school. I had a gut feeling that I was going to have to pick her up.

So, now we are home, having cozy time and and in a little I will be making soup because we Jews will either feed you until you get better or fat.

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 ...