Monday, April 23, 2012

30 Days of Biking: April 19-23rd Cliff Notes

April 19th:  Rode to work as usual and in the morning took the kids to of all places, the Aquarium. Miles: 26.

April 20th: Picked up a kid's friend, V and got some driving time and practicing in and then took the kids to try out Musikgarten. The kids really liked it. Then we picked up Claire and they went to IKEA while I rode up to work and back. Mileage 20.

April 21st: Kidical Mass with Julian and many more. Left the wife and kids at the ride at the end at the Peddlers Fair.  Rode out to Bellevue to teach at AMNW from Ballard and then to rehearsal at UW which went super late. Rode something like 50 miles, pulling a trailer. Then late at night, took the bus back out to Ballard to pick up the Dummy and the kids bikes which were still locked up by the Ballard Bridge. Rode back over the bridge which even though it had a lane closure, I happened to ride over with a couple of fixie dudes headed to a party. It was a nice day.

April 22nd: This was fun. We rode to church together with T on the trail a bike with Claire, and A with me on the Dummy. Then we went to Discovery Park, then Myrtle Edwards, lunch at Anthony's, more play at Seattle Center with lots of tag and great popsicles. Wore the kids out but apparently not enough because they didn't go to bed until super late. Dan and Rebecca, two cycling travelers from New York-Davis CA came by and are staying with us for a couple of days. Total mileage around 20.

April 23rd: Took the kids to the blue heron rookery in Lawton then to the playground and biking with friends, then pho, the kids now full, nearly fell asleep on 15th west which despite what people in Magnolia will tell you, is just a glorified 7 lane freeway with dangerous cross traffic. Then after the kiddies had a little rest and relaxation, we met up with our guests and Claire at Der Berliner for Doner Kebabs. Then we rode over to Denny park to ride the zip line and play with a found jump rope. Kids got tired, went to sleep super well and I got the bike parking spot cleaned up for the first time in years. It was nice. Total mileage 16.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

30 days of biking: April 18th: First Recreational Group Ride of 2012

Claire on the left, Kristina on the right. Kristina organized the first Westbrook Weekly Wednesday Wramble of 2012 and the Hawkins were the ones who bit. Because we represented 80% of the riders, the ride started at our house.
We cruised down the sculpture park and then let the wind carry us up Myrtle Edwards. In this photo, I've just been gapped and in the next, T is exhorting me to get the led out and chase the girls down. The only catch is that I'm the one hauling the family so acceleration is somewhat freight train-like.
Speaking of freight trains, we made it down to the train bridge on the way to the locks but while waiting and trading stokers (A tried it out and demurred) none came.
The locks turned out to be our turn around spot and we played a massive game of Duck Duck Goose and found flowers as big as our heads.
Total mileage: 9 for the rec ride and 20 for the commute.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

30 days of biking: April 17th: Full day of activities

Sometimes I take the sidewalk on a big uphill. Whew! Dravus east of 15th West.

Putzed around the morning until 9:30 and then took off or Soccer/basketball practice for T and one on one with A. After, we had lunch and went to Discovery park where T and I got into some stinging nettles but T handled it really well and before you knew it, he was swinging on the swings and ready for play.

We stopped for corn dogs at the Interbay QFC and then marched, or dragged the kids up Dravus and onto Queen Anne for swimming lessons.
Ran into Bonnie Rough who is a dedicated cycling mom and had a fun chat about varying styles and qualities of box bikes, then we carefully coasted down Q.A> ave and made it to Seattle Center where we warmed up and saw the coolest fire show ever where somebody put a P.A. speaker next to a flame and got it to change intensities with the sound.

T schooled me at checkers and then we both helped somebody's younger brother get back into the game of a chess and then called in some really tasty pizza.

The kids went down late and so perhaps the morning will be nice and slow and I can get some photos put in where I want them.

Mileage: 9. Trailer was used because the kids are getting tired of the rain, and frankly, I'm looking forward to some sun too.

30 days of biking: April 16th: B-bikes

This was substantially before today's ride but it underlines the fun biking T and A are getting in these days. We went down to the skate park and it was super busy with the typical juvenile delinquent types who try to strafe T just to get him off the park, but T was having none of it and I had to pull him off the park when A had to pee. Bathroom breaks are the lowest common denominator in the life of a parent of young children.

I can't really picture where I went or what I did Monday but it was super fun and bikes were ridden. Wait, we went to the library twice and had lunch with Claire. We found some cool piano teachers for T and then it was the Seattle Center and children's museum where the kids got to play Ladybug Girl just like the books.

Then it was off to Alchymeia rehearsal preparation where we have a CD release party Friday night at Empty Sea Studios in Phinney. Took the electric cello, effects processor, stand, music, and cables in much less space and just a little more weight than I have with the large cello.

Mileage 6 with the kids and 11 for rehearsal

Sunday, April 15, 2012

30 days of biking: April 15th: Rode to the concert and to church

Had a concert at Shoreline Community College today with Jensina Oliver and Robin Peery. This was something I have been practicing a lot for and it turned out great! The weather was fantastic and I biked up some rather sketchy roads, specifically 3rd Ave NW north of Holman Road which inexplicably has sharrows on it but has tons of traffic trying to escape the lights on Greenwood. It also has no shoulder and the drivers really think that anyone in their way is trespassing.

So I biked up into Magnolia for church and took the regular route up the Magnolia Bridge, then left early and had my mom take my place teaching the kiddies to sing. Then the ride up to Shoreline took about an hour. Played the concert, shook lots of hands, made some new friends, and helped people really appreciate Leonard Bernstein's later music. It was great.

Rode home, T was ready to go ride, and away we went to Seattle Center to play with cars and ride B-bikes. While there, we saw a flag football scrimmage and saw a private birthday party at the Children's Museum.

I was pretty spent and fell asleep before the kids did. They are up right now and it's 10:35. Claire let them nap. I think that I'll go back to bed and put the photos up tomorrow. Stay tuned.

30 days of biking: April 14th: Didn't bike

Saturdays are the day that I typically ride to Bellevue for Academy of Music NW, but the van's sliding door has been popping open at speed and I needed to figure out how to fix it. This required driving. I expected to get a ride in for our Saturday date to a friend's house but then another friend picked us up. Thus no biking. How about that? Go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect $200.

Mileage: 0!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

30 days of biking: April 13th: Visit to the Shoe Bank and two concerts

This is the shoe bank. It's where little 3 year old girls leave their shoes so that doting fathers and come up with a pretext to take another bike ride. This bank also doubles as the parking lot for the Washington Museum of History and Industry or MOHAI. We had come here for a 520 bridge meeting the day before but had left a shoe in the parking lot. People don't seem to steal kids shoes and when I went back the next morning, it was still happily there and waiting for me.

I rode down to MOHAI with Ansgar with whom we have had some nice bike tours. He takes the bus to the Soft, and I was trying to find a shoe and a pump bracket. I went home and practiced my cello and then raced up to spend the afternoon with the family before T's piano recital.
This is T at his piano recital. He played very well and I was proud of the little guy. The concert took place at Sherman Clay Pianos and Claire dropped us off after cancelling due to an inconsolable, shoe losing, toy dropping, face scratching 3 year old demanded her complete attention. We then bused home and got doughnuts, and then bused some more.
Here is the best part. I had a concert down town and had arranged for child care so that Claire could come with. We biked down together through Mariners traffic and I played the show, which wasn't too great but will be better next week when we have our official CD release party. Riding together on a date reminds me of before we were married. In fact, Claire is still riding the same bike as in those salad days.

Total miles: 18

Friday, April 13, 2012

30 days of biking: April 12th: A day of driving with a quick spin to rehearsal

Had the kids from dawn to dusk. They were marvelous. We made it to school on time even though they woke up about an hour later than usual, we had a great playdate during the crummiest part of the day and the wind was powerful and cold but the kids did their extra Easter Egg Hunt at Golden Gardens and there you go.

But I didn't get to ride until late. Funny story though, while exiting Golden Gardens, Jan Heine pulls up to the stop sign. I yell that I'm giving him right of way and he turns around and races back up the hill. T recognized that we both have the same Seattle Randonneurs jersey and so we followed him up the hill at 12-20 mph on the switchbacks up from Golden Gardens. It was fun. I did my best Phil Liggett impersonation and yelled things like "he's opening up his suitcase of courage" and the similar, which I hope Jan appreciated. When we reached the top, I got all the kids to scream and yell and I honked the horn and cheered something about a polk dot jersey coming his way and he waved us on, smiling as we passed. At least, I hope that he's still smiling.

I had a rehearsal in West Seattle later tonight and even though I was super late, I just needed to get on the bike. It was perfect; ran into Kole Kantner and we rode from Alaskan Way to Delridge, chatting and cheering each other on. Another great rider.

Mileage must have been somewhere around 13 or so.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

30 days of biking: April 11th: Twice to school then to piano

Why did the duck cross the road?

I have no idea but while riding up in the afternoon to pick up the kids, I noticed that this duck was crossing the street, in front of a bunch of cars who dutifully stopped. And yes, the duck crossed in the crosswalk. You know how you can go hiking and then come across a game trail and follow it? Perhaps this duck sees all the people crossing there and sees it as some sort of "game" trail. Remember, they eat off of us. We humans provide.

Now, I would like to draw some contrast to the day before. I was on the same road, riding southbound just north of this intersection and four kids between the ages of 6 and 11 were attempting to cross the road and had been on a long straight as long as I was on it. Numerous cars just drove past as the kids tried in vain to signal that that they were trying to cross. When I came up, I pulled out of the bike lane and stopped traffic, pointing to the kids. Oncoming traffic didn't stop. The SUV behind me got pissed and passed me in the bike lane just as the kids started to step into the lane. Needless to say, the driver kept on driving.

Seattle is a place where drivers stop for ducks but don't stop for kids. Remember that.

Now back to the day of riding. The kids chose the trailer and they were extremely prescient in that because it rained super hard on the way from SAGA to piano lessons. This was also a new route that includes the Aurora bridge which is much, much nicer than the Ballard bridge. It's wider, more protected and has a superior view. The only problem is figuring out what to do at the south end of the bridge on the west side. The sidewalk is ridiculous that leads to the 5 way intersection at 4th N.

The kids loved it, I had a great ride, and I discovered the joys of dropping the trailer at preschool and enjoying some seriously fast riding in the middle. It was a good biking day and I'm glad that at least the duck is safe.

Cars Passing in the Bike Lane. Legal?

When overtaking on the right is permitted.

(1) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass upon the right of another vehicle only under the following conditions:

(a) When the vehicle overtaken is making or about to make a left turn;

(b) Upon a roadway with unobstructed pavement of sufficient width for two or more lines of vehicles moving lawfully in the direction being traveled by the overtaking vehicle.

(2) The driver of a vehicle may overtake and pass another vehicle upon the right only under conditions permitting such movement in safety. Such movement shall not be made by driving off the roadway.

[1975 c 62 § 23; 1965 ex.s. c 155 § 18.]


Rules of court: Monetary penalty schedule -- IRLJ 6.2.

Severability -- 1975 c 62: See note following RCW 36.75.010.

So that's the Washington statute. My thinking is that cars should not be allowed to drive into a bike lane to pass another car whether or not they turning left. The thinking is that an obstructed pavement includes a bike lane or 2, they are not allowed to drive off the road. My conversations with police on the matter go the other direction. They are drivers, after all. What's your take on it?

30 days of biking: April 10th: A's birthday and a quick trip up to North Seattle

A turned three today. We still had a great time today and took the bikes and the kids and the family bike first up to Magnolia for soccer class and play time with A. Then we rode north to see the Salmon and the Locks. There was only one smolt steelhead salmon but an ocean going tug came in and we got to see the dynamics of locks up close and personal.
Then we biked over for Pho which is the kids' favorite food that isn't completely filled with sugar and then up Dravus to Queen Anne pool for swimming. This is a very elated T rolling down the grassy knoll after a fun swim lesson.
Then we raced down to Miner's Landing at pier 57 to have a birthday party. Claire made cupcakes and A wanted to ride the carousel. Apparently there will soon be a giant ferris wheel on that pier in a couple of weeks. Should be cool.
Got home by 4 and then I had to run up for some house call lessons. With a slight tailwind, I was able to get up to Thornton Creek above Wedgewood in 33 minutes door to door and it was super fun riding with all the other cyclists, something that I don't do all that often. I should go on a group ride just to see what it's like some time.

Total miles: 30

30 days of biking: April 9th: B-biking and the international fountain

Had a rehearsal in the morning and I still have not figured out how to carry the cello and the kids at the same time so, gotta get a vanagon again as the song says. Claire diligently and dutifully took the kids for the hour of lesson time and then we had the least expensive Vietnamese sandwiches I've ever had. North Seattle/Shoreline is so good for that.
Then I sent Claire back to work and took the kids home to get bikes, sunscreen (photo above may or may not be taken on the day in question) and family bike and went to meet Madi for a nice afternoon at the international fountain. Thorvald got wet for the first time on purpose in years and then we went to a very crowded skate park and the kids got right into the thick of things with all the skater boys.

Total biking distance ~1 mile

Sunday, April 8, 2012

30 days of biking: April 8th: Didn't bike to the gig but the kids....

Really enjoyed going out and floating boats for the afternoon. The Center for Wooden Boats has toy sailboat sailing on the weekends. This boat above is from a prior CWB event where we made our own and the kids use them every time they get in the bath. A didn't fall in.
Here, T is eating as much Easter candy as he can before lunch. He's developed the ability to ride on the side loader and stand on it and surf along with just one hand on the bars. Claire is virulently non-plussed.

Total miles: 2

30 days of biking: April 7th: Teaching Day

Biked over for a lesson and then up to Lakeside for teaching two more classes and then a rehearsal. Took the cello bike, which has a nice, clean chain. It was also the prettiest day of the year and I gave up doing the Fleche for a day of teaching kids how to play Brahms. I should look into my priorities a little.

20 miles.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

30 days of biking: April 6th: Family Bike and Sightseeing

Had a long day teaching but didn't need to take a cello. Had to get the kids to school but didn't want to drive. Enter the family bike. It's been pretty cold so I haven't used it but took it out this morning and froze the kids. On the way there, we saw a construction site that was laying a concrete sidewalk. We stayed for a while and the workers liked it.
Then we came upon Ravenna Blvd and discovered the wonders of the RX-700 Asphalt Scraper. That sucker is loud!
Got the kids to school eventually. We were very late. Then rode to Lakeside where I gave notice for next year. I've really enjoyed the forced exercise that riding 20 miles each day to work and back puts into my body, but I'm looking for some other challenges, this time musical.

Total mileage: 20 miles

30 days of biking: April 5th: Riding to work

Two Wheels Good, Three Wheels Bad.

Got rid of this plastic wheeled monstrosity, did a couple of errands which I have not figured out how to do with a bicycle, namely move a daughter, an accordion, and an electric piano at the same time, but then got a good ride up to work and then had a startling and illuminating rehearsal with Jensina in preparation for the concert on the 15th. I need to get back to practicing. I'll perform the 3 Meditations for Cello and Piano at Shoreline Community College on the 15th. It's hard.

Mileage for the day: 21 miles.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

30 days of biking: April 4th: First Day to School

The kids have been getting off easy this year because I've taken over the teaching position of a friend who is on maternity leave. Therefore, to save a little bit of time and help Claire get the work done that she needs, I've been driving the kids to and from preschool.
Until now.
I hitched up the tandem to the trailer and offered the second seat to T who politely relegated himself to the trailer with his dear sister. We pulled out and up the ramp and I remarked to myself on the amazing traction of dry concrete, even when riding an unloaded tandem on it. It's a late Burley tandem with OX platinum tubing and I'll be darned if it doesn't feel faster than my Surly single bikes.
I rolled up to preschool and unloaded the kids. We had an extra breakfast and then I rode back home, but first picked up some goodies for the bikes, namely a cable set, some bar tape for the cello bike, and another pump bracket so that all my bikes will elegantly hold a pump.
Did some cleaning, loaded four kids bikes into the van, then drove it up to preschool where I picked up mine plus one more for a playdate. Then to Claire's and then they dropped me off to pick up my bike and cello for work. Rode up to Lakeside, taught some kids to play the cello, rode to my offsite lesson, then home again by 7:30, all in time to figure out my business profit/loss for 2011. I waited perhaps a little to long to do my taxes. But the end is in sight.
Total mileage 32 miles (12 round trip to preschool, 20 round trip to Lakeside). My body feels much better.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

30 days of biking: April 3rd, Community Center Tour

Three community centers in one day. No pictures and only biked to one of them, strangely, the hardest one to get to.

I signed up T and A into some community center classes. In the morning, we biked over on the tandem with the trailer to the Magnolia community center for basketball/soccer camp for little kids. Then we drove over to Queen Anne cc for a first swimming lesson. We took the van because we had to pick up Claire from work and the timing was tight. Then I was late and didn't feel very good anyway so I drove up to work for the first time in a month. After teaching, I drove to the Bryant community center to hear Sally Bagshaw give a great demonstration on the new Neighborhood Greenways plan, a horribly flawed plan that I hope works great and better than I fear.

Total mileage 3.5 miles.

Monday, April 2, 2012

30 days of biking: April 2nd

You may not see them all, but there are four kids in that trailer, each weighing about 40lbs. We are mountain biking in Woodland park and I'm pulling them on my randonneuse. We made it. We also went to the zoo, thus the trailer is pretty handy despite the nice weather. We then got ice cream, coasted down the hill to see the troll,
and then out to South Lake Union park where we looked in vain for the fountains, played with lanyards at the docks, scoped out some old boats, and then rode back home in the late afternoon to make dinner. That's T at the top of the photo. Total mileage: 12 miles.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

30 days of biking: April 1st

Woke up super early on a Sunday morning because T had a leg cramp. Realizing that today was the Tour of Flanders, I found a cruddy Flemish livestream that included sound advertisements before I found a better French one that featured Thor Hushovd speaking beautiful French to a journalist. I love it when my sports heros are multi-lingual. Tyler Farrar also speaks good french and it really does me proud.
30 Days of Biking is a kind of a gimmick but it's a gimmick that I can live with because it fits pretty much exactly into what I do every day. Well, except for today. I was down in Tacoma for the weekend, had not brought any bikes, but had the bike I gifted to my father in law. The only problem: loose headset. The star nut had dropped down the bottom of the steer tube and it couldn't figure out how to jam things up nicely.
Well the kids needed to get out, they had bikes, and I figured I would just hit up a local shop. Local in Lakewood means Bike Tech but on Sundays it means Performance. Yes, that Performance, by the freeway interchange, 5 miles away. We got in the van, clicked everybody in, and drove down to get the repair done.
Luckily, the shop in question is right next to a pedestrian bridge that I've always wanted to go over. This pedestrian bridge connects an elementary school, which due to it's location, features an ambient decibel reading of 83db. Loud! And the roads weren't even wet. This bridge covers 12 car lanes in 4 highway segments and takes a couple of minutes to cross. Cars sure do make cities ugly.
We played in the playground and found Easter paraphernalia (early!) that the kids put in their baskets. Then we rode back to Performance where I tipped the guy who took my bike on such short notice. The workers there were astounded by this bike: 24 inch Mongoose rigid 26er. Rear rack, fenders with mudflap, 1by7 drivetrain with ancient gripshifter, European city tires, 42 tooth front road crank off a track bike with a 13-30 7 speed in the back. Best of all, it's bomb canned John Deere green with legit stickers. I spare no expense on my bikes and on my gifts.
After getting this crazy bike out from the clutches of Performance, who were excellent by the way, we drove to a skate park in South Tacoma off 56th. It is here that A discovered the joys of gravity. T is in the distance. There are few things as fun as riding down a ramp and up another in a seamless roller coaster.
Biking distance today was approximately 200 yards, give or take.