3-Speed in Seattle

I’m always amazed that people don’t realize you can ride a 3-speed in Seattle.

We pulled up to Red Mill Totem House after spending the day at the beach on Sunday. A couple sitting at a picnic table offered to move their bikes, but we were able to sneak ours into the rack without having to reshuffle. They have the hanger-style racks there which means that my bike can only go on the outside anyways (because of the front basket).

When I came back out after ordering the woman asked me if my bike was a single-speed. I get this question a lot because most people haven’t seen an IGH set up before. After telling her it was a 3-speed she asked me where I ride my bike. Um, here? Obviously. She said I must not go up a lot of hills (truth) or be very strong (semi-truth).

I always think it’s odd when people riding road bikes with drop bars fail to understand how anyone could ride around town running errands or carrying humans. Riding a bike with drop bars seems crazy to me!

A Day at the Beach

Saturday was the perfect beach day! It was already 87 degrees in our apartment when we left & we were anxious to get to the beach! We headed to Green Lake Park with some snacks, our new floaty, and our guitar & ukulele.

Mike’s been playing the guitar for more than 10 years but he usually plays alone. We sold 95% of our stuff before moving, including his guitar & we found a new one for him once we got to Seattle. It was during that shopping trip that I was inspired to pick up a ukulele & learn to play! I’m not sure how I convinced him to bring his guitar along to play but I was super excited about it!

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We strapped the inflated floaty to the bike – because we like to make things difficult. In my basket I had waters, our stadium seats, and my uke. Mike had the towels & food in his basket and he wore his guitar on his back (it’s technically a chello bag – that’s why it’s such a weird shape).

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The ride was nice, although we did have to detour around the farmer’s market so we took the Ave to Brooklyn in order to get to Ravenna. Again, that last intersection before the park is weird & makes me nervous that no one knows what I’m trying to do as I get up on the sidewalk to the park.

You can see the bike lane has two lanes, one for straight & one for turns, but that the sidewalk cutout doesn’t line up with the straight lane. I follow the red arrow on my way into the park.

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But it’s not super ideal as the car traffic to my right can turn left here, as well as the car traffic from 71st. There’s also the traffic on Green Lake to contend with. So essentially you have to cross 3 lanes on your right side while also watching for drivers on your left who are trying to go straight.

On the way back we take the green route since Ravenna is a divided street. Maybe we should just take the green route both times?

Bike parking was easy to find although I dislike the hanger style racks. They don’t work with my Yuba because of the front basket so I had to lock to the outside. Mike’s bike fit in under the top bar even with his little mini handlebar basket.

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via China Bike Rack

We floated around for a while before deciding to try the diving board (my first time, WHAT). On my second jump I lost my prescription sunglasses to the bottom of the lake (maybe not my best idea…) and despite several attempts to find them we gave up hope & I put my regular glasses on & squinted the rest of the day.

I love my sunglasses & they’ve made biking so much easier! I love them in the rain because they cover more of my eyes so it doesn’t sting me. They also protect my mascara in the rain & prevent makeup catastrophes. When I crashed my bike last year they got a bit scratched but kept the gravel out of my eyes. They also had an epic adventure one morning when the case they were in fell onto the down tube (top tube? Only tube?) of my bikeshare bike while riding across a busy intersection. As soon as I popped up onto the sidewalk to grab them, the case slid off & I promptly crushed it with my back wheel. But even through that they managed to survive with only a little damage. Definitely need a replacement pair!

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We played music for a little bit before packing up the bikes & heading back home. We opted not to do a lap around the park because my board shorts were too short & I felt like my thighs were being pinched by my seat. Why are women’s shorts always too short?

Ride home was uneventful, we rode through the farmer’s market as they finished breaking down the booths & then ate popsicles to fend off the intense heat of life without A/C.