Totcycle South End Edition
My buddy Julian over at Totcycle (the most awesomest family cycling website ever) joined forces with Morgan to put on a Totcycle family bike ride in the south-end last weekend. Technically Totcycle calls the events Kidical Mass, but I like to distance myself as far as I can from another cycling group with a similar sounding name.
The weather leading up to the weekend was horrible and the forecast for the event wasn’t so hot. However, we had a glimmer of hope on Saturday when all of a sudden the sun came out of nowhere. Cliff Mass, our local weather genius described it as a forecast failure. However we made up for it with what Cliff described a northwest monsoon.
I spent the morning on the shores of Lake Sammamish racing and watching the Rad Racing GP. The weather was schizophrenic from sun to torrential down pours and lots of full on single rainbows. Things were a little behind schedule at the race and I waited around to see a friend do a lap before I left. That put me in the car around 12:30pm. I got home around 1pm and needed to be at Mt. Baker Part by 2PM.
I pulled into the driveway, tossed all my wet, muddy and smelly cyclocross gear in the garage and put the finishing touches on the new Xtracycle seat I made for Charlotte and hooked up the trail-a-bike to the Big Dummy for Thomas. We finally ended up rolling out around 1:30. The ride to the I90 lid is around 35 minutes on my road bike, I knew there was no way we’d be there by 2, but we took our chances and went for it.
At first I thought my legs would have been fried from the cyclocross race a few hours earlier, but instead they were feeling great. I think I ended cranking harder getting to the Totcycle ride than I did at the race and we made it there around 2:15, just in time to meet the group on Lake Washington Blvd. WIN!
We spent some time gawking at all the cool cargo bikes and then did introductions. It was a great mix of people from all over the Seattle plus a couple from Shoreline. After we finished chatting we rolled out onto car-free Lake Washington Blvd to start our quest for ice cream at Full Tilt.
Within a couple of minutes it started raining, so we all stopped to put on some rain gear and went back on our way. Then all of a sudden the skies opened up and we had to pull over under some trees to get the kids under cover. Then it was sunny and we were on our way. We peeled off Lake Washington Blvd and took some nice bike paths towards Columbia City, but the path sort of ended just before Rainier so we had to navigate the fleet of GIANT cargo bikes and kids along the sidewalk until we picked up another bike path on the other side of Rainier Ave. From there we followed an on-street bike path until we got back to Rainier and rode on the sidewalk another block to Full Tilt. Our armada of bikes quickly took over the parking lot and all the kids went running inside after their ice cream treat.
Thomas wanted lemon ice cream like usual and Charlotte wanted pink. This translated to Ube for Charlotte and lemon lavender for Thomas–which was so delicious that I also got a cup of it.
After all the ice cream was consumed, we headed out. Part of the group headed to the light rail, some went home and the remainder went back to Mt. Baker Park. We headed out with the Mt. Baker Park group, but got waylaid when Charlotte found a playground she wanted to test out. Once we were loaded up, we crossed paths with Amanda who put the kids and trail-a-bike in the car and I continued to pedal home.
Once I rejoined the Totcycle crew, I noticed that the rear end of the Big Dummy felt really sloppy. At first thought it was just the lack of weight from the kids, but further investigation showed the hub was loose. I tried tightening it by hand, but it still wobbled. I was a little worried to pedal it home, but there was no other option.
It made it home fine and I the next day I stopped by the bike shop to get a cone wrench to fix it. I wasn’t sure of the size I needed, but they had this spiffy set that included two wrenches with four sizes. It had to be one of those sizes…but it was 1mm larger. Fortunately Gregg’s was open until 9pm and I grabbed two 17mm cone wrenches and was able to get the bearing snug and the Big Dummy back on the road to take the kids to school the next morning.