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« A Day by Bike, A Day by Car »

Tim over at Car Free Days has a nice post up on Every Day Adventures®, and the serendipitous, relaxed pleasures of getting there by bike. It was well-timed, as this weekend was kind of a case-control study of the Every Day Adventures concept for us (also in Tacoma!).

Yesterday Drew and Luc & I rode the MADSEN to a 10am performance of the all-day all-over-town all-bike-powered (literally) Seattle Bicycle Music Festival ... we got to cross the Ballard Locks before the tourists hit, wave to friendly train guys as we rode through the trainyard, startle big flocks of crows in Elliott Bay Park, ride by a huge cruise ship and several tugs, and check out the Sculpture Garden en route.

Like Tim and Anne, my festival-attending was considerably impacted by being outnumbered by kids, but we lasted for two lovely bands, with a quick Seattle Aquarium hit in between, and some picnic lunch. I spotted Kipchoge Spencer (Xtracycle co-founder) in full-on Joaquin Phoenix leaving-acting-behind-for-his-hiphop-career mode (scruffy), but was too shy/encumbered to say how much I admire his company or to ask about their upcoming kid carrier.

How Tall is Tallbike? Sooo Tall!Aaron, Army Bike Carl, the nice lady from the “drinking club with a biking problem”, and other Seattle cargo ride faves were there. It was that kinda scene. Some very weathered and musical xtracycles, and this longtail tallbike:

The ride back was delightful as well. While Luc napped, as he is wont to do back there, Drew convinced me to stop for blackberries along the road about five times. It’s just so easy to pull over, whip the bike up on the centerstand, and eat ourselves silly! We never do that type of thing in the car. In all, it was good cheap fun, and the journey was as memorable as the destination. In the evening we biked over to our friend Mike's and cooked 42 freaking pizzas in his backyard woodfired oven! A perfect end to a big bikey day.

That was yesterday.

Today, we had the nieces. Wanting to “go big”, and having coupons, we drove the clan to Wild Waves, a homongous water/amusement park. 2 cars were necessary, since neither of our families have gone minivan yet. Got gouged for parking (and everything else inside the park). Did have fun while we were there, definitely memorable, but exhausting and trying and over-stimulating and whatnot.

Kids were starving as we headed home, so we pulled off the Enchanted Parkway for dinner. I think the "Enchanted" refers to the magical spell automobiles have cast over that landscape. I’d be scared to walk, let alone bike on that strip. Kim suggested Olive Garden. I acquiesced. The girls wanted "noodles". Besides, when in Rome ...

I thought it would be cheap ironic eats, but sweet jesus on a breadstick that place is expensive for what it is! And when Kim tried to get something the baby could eat it became clear that they did not possess a kitchen so much as a frozen food assembly room. I got the "never-ending pasta bowl" but really just wanted a never-ending pint glass.

Tears were shed. Children rolled on the floor under the table. There was a barefoot trip to the bathroom. Zeppoli saved the meal, but Luc barfed on the way out as we hauled bawling overtired children out past a long line at the door.

Back to the cars. Fights over seating. Kim almost gets run off the road by a “hey that’s my exit” driver. Fights over radio. Kids passed out in the backseat covered in a sugary glaze.

And such was our yin/yang weekend. Next time we want to “go big” we’ll go by bike, down to the Seattle Center amusement rides before they disappear for good. And splash in the International Fountain. Or hit up Pop Mounger pool on the way home. Cost? About $100 less. Bike interludes and impromptu fun? Priceless.

MADSEN picnic

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Reader Comments (5)

Ha! Two absolute gems:
"Drinking club with a biking problem" and "I got the "never-ending pasta bowl" but really just wanted a never-ending pint glass"

Great stuff, Julian. Thanks for sharing the adventure!

August 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTim K

What!? The rides at Seattle Center won't be there any more?! That's what I remember most about my trips to Seattle as a kid. I was planning a weekend trip to Seattle next summer just for rides and fountain. Please tell me the fountain will still be there,

August 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPippi

Crap, the rides are going away?! What's up with that?

We biked both days this weekend with our 19-month-old. One day in the iBert and one day in a Burly trailer. Gad, the Burly was a lot of work! I wonder how it compares to riding around town in a Madsen, weight/balance/etc.-wise. Surely having the weight closer to you and as part of the bike is better?

I could cry for having missed the big bike music thingie! We saw Caspar Babypants right off the Burke-Gilman on Saturday, so that was cool. We really should stop for blackberries sometime.

August 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterTasha

You and Kimmi are officially saints. The girls had nothing but rave reviews for every adventure. Thank you for letting us get away and especially for not making us go to the Olive Garden.

September 13, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

I am absolutely amazed at how terrific the stuff is on this site. I have saved this webpage and I truly intend on visiting the site in the upcoming days.

January 6, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBicycle Trailer Reviews

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