A Day at Discovery Park

Not too long ago I didn’t think it was possible to ride to Discovery Park. When I was 37 weeks pregnant I accepted the (self-imposed) challenge & rode over. And then down to the beach. And on the way back up (mostly walking) I thought to myself: if I can make it up this hill, I can totally give birth. I was pretty sure I’d give birth on that hill, I was having so many contractions!

On the way home I noticed new markings indicating a change in the bike lane. And while recovering from birthing H they did it! They made a protected bike lane from the end of the Ship Canal Trail to Magnolia Town Center (about 4 blocks away).

We had ridden over last month for a family picnic and hike and it was glorious (minus those last 4 blocks – WHY YOU DO THIS TO ME SEATTLE?!)!

So we were back! And I was determined to find a way up to the bluffs where there’s a big sandy patch perfect for exploring. We made it with only minimal breaking of the no riding on trails rules and I think I figured out how to go next time to avoid that issue. I’ll post the route once I confirm.

The day was clear and the Olympics were out! We spent about 40 minutes shoveling sand into our mouth before I packed us up and headed for the playground.

The playground squirrels are bold! One climbed into the bike trailer while we were on the swings.

The protected lanes worked well except when we had to turn from Gilman onto Emerson. I signaled our turn too adamantly & ended up biking into the soft bollard in the middle of the lane, where my toe got caught underneath it! I thought I was going to have to take off my shoe! After several awkward minutes of jiggling my foot I was free! And we made our way home without further incident.

Yay for safe infrastructure!

The Hill Topper gets suited up!

I have some pretty epic plans for bike camping this summer (maybe too epic, we shall see) so I wanted to outfit the HT with racks and bags.

I was able to score some SWEET panniers at the Swift Industries “seconds” sale last weekend. They’re so pretty! The sale was a bit crazy! When we first arrived there was no line, but the wind was gusting 30-40 mph so we headed to a coffee shop in Pioneer Square. By the time we got back there was a line! I was able to grab a set of big rear bags for the back that I would’ve been happy with, but then a friend traded me for some that were a different color & gave me a front bag she didn’t want. It was kismet!

This week I dropped the bike at G&O for racks. I opted for a pretty standard rear rack (holds 50 kilos!) and basic front rack. The Straggler can be hard to add racks to, but they made it work! I like that the baby will be a bit further back to give him more space.

I’m hoping that the bags will fit down under the foot rests and then to use the front bag for easy access items.

I was looking to find a used Yepp seat in black, but opted for the newer version once I learned how easily it attaches! And it’s so light! I think it can go on any rack that can hold the weight, so it’s good for switching around bikes with Mike or visiting with friends! But of course color matching is a very important consideration, so I ordered it in the all black version. Hopefully it’ll be in next week!

I rode back to G&O with Lynne today while everyone else was at swim class. It’s a good thing I did because on the way over my gears were skipping. I had them shorten my derailleur cable to keep it from interfering with the bags.

The verdict is still out on if the left bag will interfere with the rear brake at all (fully loaded) but I’m goin to try to rig up a shim for the rack to hold the bag a bit further away if that’s the case.

On the way home we stopped off at R&E to check out their annual party and bid on some bikes! Woo!

Chilly Hilly is tomorrow! Going to fill up my bags with ALL THE SNACKS!

Gaining Confidence 

On Friday I was planning to bike to the Fremont PCC with babe in the soft structured carrier. There’s a closer PCC but the Fremont location is along a protected bike lane, making for only 3 on-street blocks, all down a local only, virtually traffic free (thanks contsruction!) street. 

But wait! A friend asked if I wanted to have a playground meet up with her 2 littles! She met us at our place & we rode to Green Lake instead. I was nervous about riding in the road, but having a friend there gave me so much more confidence!

We made it about 3/4 of a mile before babe decided he was wet & hungry & started screaming. He kept that up for about 5 blocks before falling back asleep. We could’ve stopped & regrouped, but he’s not the best with transitioning & he nurses for long stretches so I figured it would be best to see if we could make it all the way there. 


After some time watching the big kids play we headed over to PCC to return something & grab food for dinner. I don’t know that I would’ve found it if I had been by myself; it’s tucked back into a courtyard. Bike parking is tepid at best. Some nice staples far from the entrance and then really awfully place hanger style racks right by the door. With baby in the carrier it’s hard to bend & lock so the fact that PCC had shelves of plants up against the only spot I could lock to was quite annoying. 

We parted ways at the library, where Mike met up with us to ride us home after finding some new books to read. Roosevelt is a great example of bikewashing, where infrastructure looks great but actually doesn’t do much to protect riders. The sections by the library & the Trader Joe’s are especially bad. 

It’s not a ride I would’ve done by myself, but now that I have more confidence riding with babe, I think I would do it again (probably not Roosevelt though) alone. 

2016: A Year in Review

2016 was a big year for us. We traveled quite a bit & then we sold everything we owned & moved across the country!

January

Puerto Rico! We took a delayed honeymoon to Puerto Rico & spent our days lounging by the pool & hiking in the rain forest! We hiked up a closed highway for an amazing view & then swam in a crowded and cold waterfall in the only tropical rain forest in the US. I brought back a mild case of Zika but the fried plantains were totally worth it.

February

Amsterdam! We took a whirlwind trip to Amsterdam after finding an amazing deal on flights. Mike forfeited his license at a bike rental shop so we could make our flight on time. We loved riding around & exploring the city & dreaming about raising our future babies in such a family friendly city. I sold my first painting!

March

Paperwork! After returning from Europe we finally worked on our name change documents. It’s complicated to change your name & it’s even more complicated when it’s a full name change (not a maiden name). I had been suffering in pain for a long time & finally found a diagnosis. I received my acceptance to the University of Washington. I was accepted into my first juried show!

April

I started treatment for my pain & was finally able to see some minimal relief. I was anxiously awaiting word on my application to Portland State University. Eventually I heard that I was not accepted to the program & was reconsidering our move to the West Coast. I sold a number of paintings in a prominent local show.

May

I spent some time in New Hampshire for my sister’s graduation. I accepted my position at UW. A quick turnaround lead me to Seattle for a few days in search of an apartment for us. I met some amazing & friendly humans who helped me get a better sense of the city & which neighborhood to live in. I sold 8 paintings & had my first solo show!

June

June was a blur! My doctor recommended surgery to cure my pain & we were able to schedule it for just 2 weeks later. I spent 2 weeks on bedrest post-op & the rest of my time was packing, packing, packing.

July

I left my job on a Friday & we left for Seattle the very next morning! We spent 2 weeks driving across the country, camping in national forests & failing to shower or brush my hair for many days on end. There were a lot of pit toilets. We cooked our meals over open fires & enjoyed a lot of canned beans. We arrived in Seattle with the dogs (still married) & picked up our few possessions from the train station. Our bikes arrived in the mail & we furnished our apartment with a combination of Goodwill & IKEA furniture. We sold the Prius & became a car-free family!

August

I did a lot of healing in August. My body was still exhausted from the surgery & our trip so I spent a lot of time reading on the couch. I also started learning to play the ukulele. I got back on my bike! It was slow at first but I was able to ride comfortably quite quickly after hopping back on.

September

My dad came for a visit & we did all of the touristy Seattle things. I headed up to Vancouver with my bike via the train for Pro Walk / Pro Bike / Pro Place. I met some fabulous new friends & made great connections with people working in urban planning! We took the dogs on our first true Seattle adventure: camping at Fay Bainbridge (& pt.2)

October

My program was in full swing! Lots of new people to meet & remembering how to be a student again. I went on my first Critical Lass with some amazing ladies & a ton of positive feminine energy. I thought about adding another 2 years & an extra degree onto my program. I found out I was pregnant! And we didn’t really know what to think because we were so sure it wouldn’t happen after years of me being told it would be difficult & I would need fertility treatment. Turns out doctors are wrong & it can happen the first time!

November

Being pregnant got more real & I felt nauseous tired much of the time. By the time Thanksgiving rolled around I was over this quarter & just wanted to be done with classes! I decided to switch my focus to Transportation Planning & take electives in Urban Design. I won’t be staying on for the additional degree. We took our bikes on the train to Portland for the weekend & enjoyed exploring a new city.

December

Finals seemed to stretch on forever & I think I spent 2 weeks not sleeping at all. I slept for 18 hours straight after submitting my last paper & then all of the pregnancy sickness caught up with me. Much of the last 2 weeks has been spent in bed eating saltines & drinking gatorade which has been less than ideal. I’m hoping to finish out the year on a positive note & eat a real meal (& keep it down) for dinner!

Here’s to finding out what 2017 has to offer!

 

 

 

Pregnant Biking: First Trimester Adventures

Biking in the first trimester has been hit or miss. My body isn’t a fan of exertion right now so it can be difficult to ride up hills or for long distances without a break. I’ve been taking Bikey more & more often in order to use the assist.

I’ve found that sucking on these Preggie Pop candies help to quell my nausea while I ride. They have B6 in them, which my midwife recommends, but they’re 25 calories each (of JUST sugar) so I try not to eat too many. In the end though – not puking is important to me so I’m going to keep eating them without remorse.

I’ve also found myself REALLY thirsty so I’m constantly filling up my water bottle. I use a cupholder mounted on my handlebars to hold my cup for convenient rehydration. I wish more places had water bottle filler stations to make it easier to fill it back up.

Bumpy pavement bothers me more than before because it hurts my boobs! It’s hard to find bras in my size so I’m holding off on buying new ones. As such -my current ones aren’t always as supportive as I need. I’ve taken to avoiding certain stretches of the Burke Gilman Trail (looking at you Google steps) to prevent major jostling.

I have ligament laxity, meaning my ligaments are overly loose. This causes me to translocate (not quite dislocate) my joints frequently. It usually doesn’t hurt & is easy to pop back in, but it does mean that I keep my seat lower than “optimal” in order to prevent hip translocation. I’ve been experiencing some lower back/hip pain while walking so I’m hoping that biking continues to be pain free.

I’m hoping to bike for as long as I’m able because it’s an easy & convenient way to get around. Biking is freedom.

A Secret Affair

Yesterday was a BEAUTIFUL DAY. Absolutely beautiful.

And I had a secret errand to run. Actually, let’s rewind. Don’t worry. Mike doesn’t read my blog because his work classifies it as pornography (thanks US government).

Last Wednesday I took an art class. Except it wasn’t the nude drawing class I told Mike it was. It was a different kind of art class. The stripping kind. It was a burlesque class! And it was SO MUCH FUN. I was worried that I would be intimidated but NO! I’d recommend it to anyone (man or woman) who is looking to gain body confidence. There’s nothing better than stripping out of an ugly vintage nighty to make you feel AWESOME. This is not a joke.

So now back to my errand! I rode to Fremont to pick up some red fabric. In the How to Strip for your Lover class we learned that red fabric draped over lamps makes for nice mood lighting. So I was on the hunt. Actually I wasn’t really hunting, as I’ve previously ridden by District Fabric & was pretty positive they would have what I needed. But it sounds good so I’ll just leave it there for you.

Since it was Sunday I locked up at the market to take a look around. I noticed signs that said it was a protected bike lane there on 35th but I didn’t see any protection. There was a painted buffer but that’s it. Does anyone know? Do they take it out for the market?

While I was at the market I saw a booth with these super awesome hats for babies that look like nipples & are amazing. Pregnant friends, you know what you’re getting for your baby showers, wish lists be damned.

I walked the 2 blocks to the fabric store because I don’t see the point in riding UP HILL for such a short distance & going through the hassle of locking up only to ride right back down again. Actually riding down sounds fun. Next time.

On my way home I made it up an extra block for the first time ever! Which means I only had to walk one block! Granted, I did get a break at Campus Parkway with the long red light so I could catch my breath. Then I almost got hit by a woman making an illegal u-turn. But another driver honked at her & pointed to me so at least SOMEONE was paying attention. I saw her doing something weird so I had already slowed down (JK no I was riding up hill & that’s just my pace). Win some, lose some I guess.

MY SHOES ARE THE CUTEST & I’M OBSESSED.

 Today I head to Vancouver for Pro-Bike/Pro-Walk/Pro-Place. Let me know if you’re going! I’ll have the cute polka-dot shoes! 

Also, shop local. This store is super cute.