Happy Bike to Work Day! Remember, there are still a couple after parties if you haven’t gotten your fill of hanging out and talking bikes (as though that were possible!).
This morning, I caught the Beacon Hill Local Service Bike Train, one of five rides starting around the city and ending up at Union Station for the official rally. Makes me want a Seattle Bike Train network even more. We could do this all the time!
Councilmember Mike O’Brien brought the smiles, as usual. Did you know he was out in a kayak yesterday protesting the Shell oil rig? And now here he is, along with Councilmember Sally Bagshaw, spreading the word about biking and the city’s responsibility to make it safer.
“We do not need to accept any injuries and fatalities,” he said, referring to the city’s Vision Zero plan. “We’re going to stop that right here.”
Across town from the rally, Mayor Ed Murray and Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett went on a bike ride. Bennett scored another set of Seattle Police wheels like he rode around after the NFC Championship game.
But Bennett wasn’t there to talk about football. He wanted to talk about biking and creating healthy opportunities for children. He said he bikes at least twice a week, saying it’s one of the main ways he exercises.
“I come from Texas where biking is not that big,” he said, noting that things are so spread out it’s hard to get around by bike. “Here in Seattle, biking is just so much fun.”
Another reporter pressed him on whether he feels safe biking in Seattle, and he said people need to “respect the integrity” of each other and understand that some people like biking and some people like driving.
“We need to make sure that we live together,” he said, because “biking is part of what makes Seattle great.”
Aside from riding bikes, he also laid down a challenge that every restaurant should at least offer a healthy kids menu option beyond just the standard chicken nuggets or mac & cheese.
The Bennett Foundation launched earlier this month and aims to fight childhood obesity.
Do Skittles count as a “healthy kids menu option”?
I don’t follow sportsball but I think that’s a different ‘Hawk that has a thing for Skittles, isn’t it?
I hope Bennett doesn’t get put on a different team (not sure how that works in sports because that would require me to pay attention) but if he does end up back in Texas (a fate I wouldn’t even wish on my ex) he’d be happily surprised how much progress they’ve made in cycling. In fact, now that I think about it, didn’t that big time (i.e. successful) bike coordinator for Portland originally come from Texas?
So glad I skipped it this year. Bunch of hype and lemming riders. Heh.
I dunno, all the gear I saw would have indicated a lot of recreational riders to me. But then somehow I managed to get into work before any of the Cascade rides started and leave after most of the after parties were over. (That “somehow” has more to do with having a two-hour run from my office than actually working too long, I guess…)
It was great seeing commuters biking in “civilian” clothes, and biking at casual speeds — it reminded me of biking in Europe.
All the +1’s to your comment. One of the more enjoyable commutes I have had in recent memory simply because everyone seemed to be a little more aware, considerate and courteous to one another while riding.
Dunno. On my ride home under the viaduct, I got to watch two 50+ dudes, fully rando-kitted with panniers, map holders and 87 blinkies throwing elbows and jockeying for position all the way through myrtle edwards. Hilarious. And sad.
Win the commute, gentlemen!
Ha! point taken-
it is amazing how someone can seem to find a way to take something that should be one of the best parts of their day (a wonderful ride in good weather) and make it suck just because in their mind winning is everything.
I guess I just didn’t see as much of that as is usual, like this morning for example.
You’re totally right looking at the bright side, Ints. My bike commute is almost always the best part of my day. I feel lucky to be able to do it.
I guess I should be happy that those stressed-out knuckleheads weren’t in cars. At least they’re far less likely to hurt other folks on the road!
GBallard, how did you monitor the bicycling behavior of the 50+ dudes from the “viaduct . . . all the way through myrtle edwards,” i.e., a distance of several miles, if you weren’t going nearly the same speed yourself? Don’t sell yourself short–at minimum you earned a spot on the podium!
Actually, this whole thread strikes me as another unfortunate example of bicycle tribalism, which always seems to be involve slower riders venting their spleen against faster ones and not the reverse. I understand the safety concerns on crowded paths and don’t condone fast riding in that context, but where that’s not an issue I don’t understand why the slow-and-steady riders would begrudge the more competitive-minded the pleasure of a little friendly rivalry on the ride home. People enjoy bicycling in many different ways and no one is forcing anyone to participate. So what if some of these “Cat 6” riders are past their athletic prime? As long as they’re having fun–and they must be, or they wouldn’t do it–I say the more power to them.