Always be #coffeeneuring

Always be #coffeeneuring!

Our fifth coffeeneuring adventure was riding to meet a friend at Seattle Center. Coffee was tiny for a hefty price but I hear that the “shop” rotates monthly so they may have better options another time.

  • Where: KEXP
  • When: 10/27/17
  • What you drank: cafe au lait
  • Observation: it was an amazingly beautiful fall day! Our way home was through South Lake Union at rush hour so we ended up on the sidewalk because people driving had taken it upon themselves to block the bike lane in places (“if I have to wait in traffic so do you”).
  • Theme: (SUPER) skeptical baby
  • Total mileage: 12 miles

 

Coffeeneuring number six was on a train! We drank coffee on our way to Portland!

  • Where: Amtrak Coast Starlight
  • When: 11/2/17
  • What you drank: home brewed coffee with milk
  • Observation: this train is so fun! We spent our whole trip in the observation car because windows are like baby tv. Plus there’s no wifi so watching the scenery kept me entertained as well.
  • Theme: skeptical baby
  • Total mileage: 1.1 miles of riding to the link station and then we took the bike on the light rail to the Amtrak station in Chinatown

 

For our last official event of the challenge we had coffee with a friend who just moved to Portland. What could be better?

  • Where: Spielman Bagels (SE Division)
  • When: 11/4/17
  • What you drank: cafe au lait
  • Observation: babe was conked out when we arrived so we wheeled the bikes onto the back patio. It was pretty chilly so we were the only ones outside. The owner (?) brought out chairs for us but in his desire to inspect the baby (he’ll be a first time grandpa in January) he woke him up. Oh well. No bike racks out front but there’s a nice deck in addition to the patio space.
  • Theme: skeptical baby
  • Total mileage: 9.5 miles or so total since this was a stop on our way to the train station

 

Because I totally lost count (and not because I have a coffee addiction) we continued on our coffeeneuring challenge for number 8!

  • Where: Roxy’s Diner
  • When: 11/10/17
  • What you drank: coffee with cream
  • Observation: the latke sandwich is amazing. Why don’t I put sour cream on my eggs normally?!
  • Theme: skeptical ( dragon) baby
  • Total mileage: 6.5 miles

 

On a very cold and wet and genuinely dreary day babe and I rode to Montlake to meet up with friends for a walk around the arboretum. But first, coffeeneuring number 9!

  • Where: Fuel – Montlake
  • When: 11/16/17
  • What you drank: chai tea latte
  • Observation: I forgot how much I loved chai tea lattes! Babe fell asleep on our ride over and despite making a detour wherein we rode downhill only to find our way blocked off for construction and had to ride back uphill (being passed by 2 women jogging), we were still quite early to meet our friends. So I rode many loops around and around and around until babe woke up and I determined it was time to get inside to warm up.
  • Theme: skeptical baby (not so skeptical anymore)
  • Total mileage: 4.2 miles not including our many laps near the arboretum


And for a super spontaneous extra coffeeneuring we stopped to grab a coffee on our way home from an errand!

  • Where: Seven Cafe
  • When: 11/19/17
  • What you drank: chai tea latte
  • Observation: a sleeping baby should not be woken! I left babe in the trailer to snooze while I ordered. It was easy to keep an eye on the trailer & then we sat outside (he was still sleeping🙌) on the cute chairs on the sidewalk.
  • Theme: sleeping skeptical baby
  • Total mileage: 3 miles

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. 

Saturdays sans Bebe

I’m in therapy for birth trauma. It’s a thing here. I love Seattle. Anyways, my therapist said I should take 3 hours on Saturday morning to run errands or ride my bike alone.

Last week I went to Joann’s Fabric to buy way too much fabric that I don’t need. Unless, of course, I take up quilting. I should totally do that with all my free time (you know, outside of writing a thesis & caring for baby). It was my first bike ride alone since giving birth & it went surprisingly well! I even got all the way back up the hill to our place without walking! My thighs were sore afterwards, but no other issues.

Today I decided to check out Petite Boutique on 45th, in Magnolia. It looked to be right off the Burke Gilman & it was for the most part. I turned off the trail at Fiddler on the Tooth and rode along the service road to get to the shop. There’s no bike parking on this side of the block so I locked up to a NO PARKING sign. Fitting.

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Overall the boys selection was disappointing, similar to other “high end” kids consignment stores I’ve been to. I also popped into Felipa’s Consignment, but struck out there too.

I figured I’d stop by University Village for a while since I was already here. But I didn’t want to ride uphill to go downhill so I rode slowly along the sidewalk on 45th until I got to the QFC parking lot. This parking lot is a total shit show. Seriously. It’s terrifying that so many people wielding 2 ton vehicles are texting while also competing for a parking spot as children try to cross in the crosswalk.

I checked out the garden store first, then decided to lock up by Sephora. I bumped into Chris taking a coffee break! Yay for bike friends! I needed mascara but when I read the label (hello NYLON) I decided that I didn’t want to put plastic on my eyelashes and left without buying anything.

I decided to poke around at Hana Anderson where it was assumed that I was buying a gift for friend. It’s weird being out without baby. Are you still a mama if your baby isn’t with you? Maybe.

I found a steal on a faux nursing tank at GAP. A tank top (on sale!) that’s open crossed in the back – just flip it around so the opening is in the front & you’ve saved yourself $40!

By the time I headed out it was pretty hot. I decided to try to find a route through Blakely Village to avoid the big hill & it was a success! It’s slow and includes a pretty tight switchback but still doable! On my way home I had to stop & hold my chest to prevent a letdown. But the time wasn’t wasted because I spent it clutching my boobs with one arm and picking delicious blackberries with the other. Ah, that nursing life.

I took the meandering campus route back to avoid the steeper climb up from the trail. I meandered even more than normal in order to stick to the shady spots. Campus was deserted. It was quite nice.

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!

Biking While Female: Pregnancy is Weird

Real talk: pregnancy is weird. I can’t bend over to tie my shoes but I managed to bike 15 miles today.


I had a meeting over coffee in Belltown this afternoon & the weather was beautiful so I decided to bike & I definitely do not regret my decision! I opted for the Westlake option to getting around Lake Union, although GoogleMaps tells me that Eastlake is shorter. I didn’t actually stop off at Gasworks on the way there, but it was the only way to capture my whole route.

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It took me the predicted 40 minutes, which was surprising since I tend to be a slow rider. Much of the way was ever so slightly downhill though, so I think that tipped the scales in my favor. I was nervous about getting tacked on Westlake because I keep reading about it happening to other people, but so far so good on that front.

I’ll often take the long way around to get from the Burke Gilman to the Fremont Bridge, but today I wasn’t feeling the bumpiness by Google & didn’t want to be late so I opted for the road. The bike lane is closed there due to construction but it was mid-morning with virtually no car traffic.

After Westlake I headed up a block to turn onto 9th (using the pedestrian signals) & rode along 9th to get to Bell St. It was a pretty quiet, although I did have to go around 1 FedEx driver who had parked in the bike lane. I walked the first 2 blocks of Bell because they’re pretty steep uphills & I didn’t want to tire myself out too much. Plenty of drivers disregarded the bike/bus only signs but short of in-person enforcement I don’t see how to fix that problem. Bell is really nice to ride on: vibrant, narrow, well landscaped, and human-sized! At the end of the hill I turned onto 1st where I rode on the sidewalk for 1.5 blocks to the coffee shop.

After our meeting I wanted to take my time riding back (because who really wants to spend a sunny afternoon writing a paper on the Alaskan Way Viaduct?!) so I opted for the long way home. With a cupcake to go, of course. It’s a steep downhill from Wall St to Elliot Ave but the combo coaster/hand brakes made it safely. I stopped for my cupcake after passing the face & would highly recommend the splurge purchase. $5.25 is a lot for a small pastry but DAMN! This had actual whole raspberries inside!


There were a ton of people out & about on such a beautiful day so the trail was pretty crowded. Luckily there’s a bathroom by the pier because baby has been enjoying sitting on my bladder! It was a nice slow ride from here to Balmer Yard in Interbay. From here I hoped on the bike lanes on 20th Ave W. Where it switches over to Gilman Ave W the bike lanes drop out but there was space to ride in the parking lane with relative comfort. I’d love to see this transformed into a protected lane here to allow for a better connection to the Ship Canal Trail. After turning onto W Emerson Pl & heading downhill I hoped onto the trail to head back to the Fremont Bridge.


I made a pit stop for snacks at West Ewing Park, across from Wallace Field before heading up & over the bridge. I rode along 34th to get back to the Burke Gilman & then made a quick stop over at Gas Works. I rode almost to the top of Kite Hill, but ultimately decided it was best to walk up. It wasn’t too crowded but there were plenty of people out enjoying the sunshine! Then I stopped off by the water before making my final turn towards home.

Overall a great day out in the sun & I’m glad I postponed paper writing (jk – ask me about that tomorrow)!

Pregnant Body; Pregnant Brain

My body is quite pregnant. But my brain is quite determined to forget that.

Like yesterday when I convinced myself that I could bike 4 miles in 25 minutes & would be FINE. This would be my non-pregnant biking speed. But my brain had committed my body & so here we were. Lost. Angry. In the pouring, windy rain, riding in circles around & around & around. Five minutes late became 35 minutes late & I devolved into a hopeless mess as I failed to find my location. I thought I was losing my mind.

In the end I found my destination (no thanks to googlemaps) by cutting through a hole in a fence. I was only 500 feet away from it the whole time, a classic can’t get there from here scenario. I biked through a panic attack, during which I beat myself up for being utterly lost & helpless, unable to complete the simple task of navigation. I resisted the urge to puke while choking back my tears.

My pregnant body decided hemorrhoids would be a nice gift to my un-listening brain. My round ligament protested my frantic pedaling & repeated carrying of my very heavy bike over very tall curbs.

Today my whole body hurts. Maybe my brain will start listening. But this is doubtful. My brain just reserved a camp site for bike camping over Memorial Day weekend. My body doesn’t know yet. I wonder what fun punishment she’ll spring upon me after that trip.

Errandonnee 2017

It’s that time of year again! Time for #errandonnee! If you’re not familiar with the social media phenomenon, it’s a friendly way to encourage people to ride around town & get stuff done. It’s hosted by Mary over at Chasing Mailboxes.

I’ve participated for the past 3 years but I’ve never actually completed a score card (much like #coffeeneuring). Mostly because I’m lazy and also because I’m not a fan of patches (GASP). I like stickers more. Less work. More sticky. But I love running errands on my bike so here’s my informal participation:

Tuesday

#1: Personal Care – lil nug wanted McDonald’s so lil nug got some McDonald’s. Unfortunately there’s no bike rack but I locked up to the fencing around the drive through. At only 1 block off the BGT I will totally be back as more cravings arise.


#2: Store – next I headed over to University Village to pick up some stuff for around the house. I found a sale on storage bins to help organize our cloffice (office/closet). I also found a cute air plant at Ravenna Gardens to put in a sculpture that I made. Next it was time to go to the Amazon bookstore (because they have the nicest bathrooms) to look around. I popped over to PaperSource to get some cards & envelopes and then got a GIANT ice cream cone at Molly Moons. It had been spitting out so I found some covered bike parking at QFC while I picked up some more strawberries. I also stopped by GAP & found a good deal on these super cute baby leggings (I have a problem, I know).


#3: Store – back to University Village! I only bought flat cards – not flat cards & envelopes at PaperSource & the sale was ending that day so I quickly headed back out on my bike to make the switch.


Wednesday

#4: Personal Business – I took Bikey over to G & O to talk about changing up the handlebar situation. We’re going to add a stem riser to make the bike even more upright and give a bit more clearance for the baby carrier.

Grass is just a toupee for mud puddles

#5: Personal Care – on the way home from G & O I had a nap attack. The kind where you feel like you MUST LAY DOWN & SLEEP or you will die. It was hard to make it home. Lil nug kicked me anytime we stopped for a red light or when he determined that I was pedaling too slowly. All I wanted was to sleep. But then we passed Xi’an Noodles & I had a sudden craving for their cumin beef “burger” & I knew that I had to stop & grab one to go. So I locked up to the patio rack of the place next door & managed to snooze a bit while waiting in line. Win!


I thought about riding to my midwife’s appointment later in the afternoon but decided that I was far too tired & we took the bus instead.