Yay holiday lights! Yay women centered bike rides! Yay combining the two!
I love holiday lights so so very much. They’re just so bright and happy! ‘Tis the season!
We met up at Fix Coffehouse in Greenlake & took the protected lanes up Ravenna. Then we turned left at the big intersection with all of the weirdly configured stop signs & headed right onto a contra flow lane. This led us to the bike/ped bridge & we headed up a rather steep & narrow hill, back down a steep & narrow hill (alley) & then up another hill to Candy Cane Lane.
They do put on a great show here with all of the homes lit up & a giant display in the center island. We made 2 loops before dropping off food donations & retracing our route back to Greenlake.
After the ride we got tacos & warmed up our frozen toes.
I should’ve worn my big fuzzy socks & winter mittens but I went with my festive elf socks & my toes froze! It was good in a way that I couldn’t feel them, because we did a lot of stopping & broken toe was not pleased about it. I’m left footed so I always stop with my right foot on the ground, which is currently not awesome.
I must’ve forgotten to charge my light because it died halfway through. Mike met me at the taco place with my extra battery pack so I wouldn’t have to ride home in the dark (although it’s mostly well lit). He pointed out that I do ride at night almost everyday but I guess I figure it’s such a short ride that I never think to charge it.
I got closed passed by 4 cars on the way to ride (in just 6 short blocks) so yay! One driver called me obnoxious. But don’t worry he got his parking spot right out front (there were 6 spots, but HURRY). This stretch of University Way is due for repaving in 2017 & I believe there are plans for a road diet & protected bike lanes. It can’t come soon enough.
The ride was big – 25 or more people. But the biggest issue I had with it was that it wasn’t a women’s ride. I’ve shown up for these community rides before where 90% of participants are men even though it’s “open to all” & it’s such a different (and quite frankly unpleasant) ride. In this case there were only about 5 men but I seemed to get stuck riding near them & it was just a bummer.
I don’t ride fast or go on training rides so maybe women there yell too, but on social rides my experience is that women often ride side by side & chat with the people around them. Not so with men. They yell. Constantly. CAR! STICK! POLE! GRATE! BIKE! PASSING! Bro. I see the bollard in the middle of the trail. It’s got reflective stickers & we’re going 8 miles an hour. Also the passing. The damn passing. It’s a social ride. Not a race.
Men get to go everywhere & feel comfortable. The world is their oyster. It has been their legal domain forever. Like actually forever. So when women organize a women centric event you should stay home. I get not turning people away. We want to be friendly & welcoming (we are women after all). Women are constantly expected to alter their behavior to please men or adapt to men’s spaces – give us ONE ride of our own.