Saturday, February 27, 2010

Car-free weekend out and about

Last weekend, Maurie and I had our first car-free weekend since before we moved to West Seattle that involved more than just staying home and knocking about our neighborhood all weekend.

This being the first ever Seattle Tweed Ride, and the weather was looking promising, we decided that we'd join in the fun on Sunday. After exploding our closet all over the bedroom, and several plastic storage bins as well, we discovered we had little appropriate for the event. Time to visit some thrift & second hand stores. We'd decided that we really didn't want to get in the car this weekend at all, so we caught a bus into town. We spent Saturday busing and walkning through town, hitting thrift shops, and a second hand shop on Capitol Hill (ironically, a couple blocks away from where we'd meet for the ride on Sunday).

After a fairly exhausting day "off the island", as we tend to view our trips into downtown, we returned home and more or less crashed. Shortening my pants to knickers length will have to wait until morning, as will pulling together food and making the rest of the preparations for the ride.

Sunday morning, we dragged ourselves out of bed shortly before the alarm and began preparations for the ride. I brought the bikes out of the basement, got the picknick blanket and basket. We prepared food and Maurie shortened my pants. We got into costume and wheeled our bikes to the bus stop, arriving with less than five minutes to spare before the bus arrived. We had a good transfer downtown (less than five minutes to wait) and arrived at Cal Anderson Park for the ride half an hour early. People finally started to arrive right around noon, and continued to gather, drinking tea (and other libations), eating snacks and playing games.  Among those who showed up were Julian from Totcycle, Tim & Anne from CarFree Days, and Eric from Tubulocity.

Me, "tweeded-up" testing my stability with that huge picnic basket on my rear rack

 My dapper bride, posing with her bike

Shortly after 1 when we headed out for the ride itself. North up the length of Capitol Hill and across the University Bridge, then on to Gasworks park where we took a break.

We left the ride here, opting out of the pub stop, to make our way home, via the Seattle waterfront. We made a quick stop at the Fremont PCC to refill water and get some iced tea. While waiting outside, I was noticed by two gals who I worked with in at the state legislature. I must have been quite the sight!

We made our way by bike along Lake Union, and then up through Belltown to the Olympic Sculpture Park, where we rested for a bit looking out across the Puget Sound at the boats and the Olympic Mountains beyond. A deisre for coffee finally rousted us from our chairs and we made our way down the crowded waterfront to a Starbucks. So we didn't have to undo the half mile (hey, it seemed like that) of rope securing the picknick basket to my rear rack, we went in singly to get our drinks. The barista (technically, in this case since we're talking about a make here, shouldn't it be baristo?) had been at the ride until he had to go to work.

We made our way to the bus stop, only to discover that we had a 40 minute wait until the next bus home (really, one hour headways on Sundays for a route that goes to Alki, Metro? What's up with that!). Since it was getting chilly out, we decided to ride home. It was a pleasant ride home, mostly on milti-use path. As we rode along the Elliott Bay shoreline, we really were reminded why we love living here in Seattle so much. The Seattle skyline, the sunset over the Olympics with the ferries crossing the sound in the foreground, the smell of beach fires.
 Seattle evening skyline from West Seattle

Seven and a half hours, and a nineteen mile bike ride later, we were home...and ready to crash!

You can read Maurie's writeup on the Tweed Ride here.

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