Biking continues to get more popular west of the Duwamish. White Center’s DubSea Bikes has been holding monthly community bike repair parties, and April’s was the largest yet. For a neighborhood without a bike shop or much bicycle infrastructure, DubSea Bikes utilizes the support of volunteers and a growing list of supportive businesses to try to fill that gap and promote cycling.
From Dub Sea Bikes:
On a lovely sunny day, White Center Food Bank clients turned out in good numbers for the April DubSea Bikes. Others heard about us on the West Seattle Blog, the West Seattle Herald, and even alterna-weekly The Stranger. Most were White Center residents, kids from Hazel Valley, Beverly Park, Concord, Lady of Guadelupe and Arbor Heights schools. Adults came from Burien, Delridge, South Park, Ballard, and even a couple from Shoreline.
Seven kids got their bikes worked on. At least one had *major* issues, and we failed on parts ($3 brake pad, anyone?), but the bikes were all running when our mechanics were done. When clients could pump tires themselves, it expedited the work mechanics could do. Paul, a regular food bank volunteer, worked steadily on many bikes that day, even sustaining an injury in the line of duty. One of the DubSea clients, an acupuncturist, quickly stepped in to provide healing. Brian, aka DJ GoBriGo, brought smooth tunes and a can-do attitude. Aaron, a late arrival, was not fazed by the fact that we had 3 mechanics and only 2 stands – he produced a device designed to suspend a bike from a door frame and quickly got up to speed. Sixteen people total signed up but two got turned away due to time. One guy, a former auto mechanic, raided the West Seattle Tool Library’s Bike Tool Kit for allen wrenches and did the work himself.
Thanks to our awesome mechanics who worked wonders and to all who just came by to give moral support. And thanks to the White Center Food Bank for supporting our mission to promote safe cycling in White Center! We collected 6 cans for the food bank. One client brought a case of water bottles and offered them to all. That parking lot takes up half of a dead-end street and backs up against the trails of Lakewood Park. When the weather is good, it is a lot of space to spread out in. Executive Director Rick Jump confided that it would be a great location for a Food Truck Roundup, with proceeds going to the Food Bank, of course. It made us wonder what else could happen in that open White Center space while bikes are getting some love?
Look for DubSea Bikes at Cambodian New Year, Saturday, April 28th, 10:30 am – 5pm, on SW 98th Street at a table sponsored by Noise w/o Sound. In 1 month we’ll be greeting AM cycle commuters at Dubsea Coffee *and * Caffè Delia on Bike To Work Day, Friday, May 18th and celebrating their return to the neighborhood with a massive Afterparty at Proletariat Pizza.
West Seattle Greenways meeting April 22
Join us for the next West Seattle Greenways meeting, this Sunday, April 22, 3pm at Pearls Coffee and Tea (4800 Delridge Way SW).
Last meeting we heard from Tom Rasmussen, chair of the city council transportation committee, who answered our questions and gave us ideas about how to best advocate for safe routes through our neighborhoods. He encouraged us with the information that this summer is the perfect window to influence the city’s next budget, which will be approved by the mayor this fall. He assured us that transportation planners in the city are prioritizing greenways and seeking input from those who know their neighborhoods best.
Stu Hennessey and Jake Vanderplas, the founders of West Seattle Greenways, have been working with other advocates throughout the city to come up with a master plan for greenways in Seattle, led by local groups like ours who know their neighborhoods best. This Sunday, we will begin the process of mapping out potential routes to connect neighborhoods in West Seattle. If you have any ideas about how greenways can best serve West Seattle Neighborhoods, we’d love to see you there!