Hello, Seattle Bike Blog readers, it’s been a while since I updated you all on my daughter Fiona and my current leave from writing.
First of all, you have been amazing. So many readers have risen to the occasion to help us out, either through gifts or making us meals or sending words of encouragement and love. It has been just amazing to feel so supported by all of you. Following my initial post telling you all that I won’t be writing as often while on family leave, the number of paying reader supporters actually went up. Thank you for investing in my family. Seattle Bike Blog will someday be back bigger and better than ever thanks to you.
Special shout out to the Mama Bears, Seattle’s incredible family biking community that has been an especially strong pillar of support. Thank you.
Fiona is still in the NICU, but she’s headed in the right direction, growing bigger and stronger every day. But growing takes time, and our stay here still has many weeks left to go. I am so eager to get her home, and can’t wait until we can go for walks and bike rides together. But for now, she’s confined to this room. Kelli and I sit by her side every day, holding her and soothing her as best we can while she works hard to grow. Sitting by her side all day doesn’t sound particularly exhausting or time-consuming, but it is. In some ways, it feels like I am doing nothing all all day. Yet time flies by, and I can’t seem to find a moment to answer emails, let alone report stories.
It has been so hard not to be writing because so many cool bike things are happening:
- Neighbors in Northeast Seattle have been organizing to support safety improvements on 35th Ave NE (and getting some strong Council support),
- neighbors in Southeast Seattle have been organizing to push for safety improvements on Rainier Ave (will they get the support they need?),
- bike share companies continue to receive huge investments and innovate mobility options I’ve never thought of (Electric kick scooters?!? How cool is that?),
- major bike lanes downtown have opened or are under construction on 2nd and 7th Avenues,
- Cascade Bicycle Club is selling tickets to bike on the damn Viaduct,
- SDOT is trying out very low-budget painted bike share parking spaces to help bring a little more order to where people leave them,
- the City Council is working to improve bike parking rules for new buildings,
- Bellevue is preparing to launch a bike share permit of its own,
- sections of the Eastside Trail are opening as interim gravel trails,
- the redevelopment of Northgate Mall could be an incredible opportunity for prioritizing walking, biking and transit at this artifact of 20th century car culture,
- plans for more biking, walking and transit connections in Uptown and around Seattle Center are growing,
- former SDOT Director Scott Kubly is now working for LimeBike,
- UW’s mail services have started moving campus mail by cargo bike,
- a bike tour of Seattle’s history of redlining has sold out,
- and I’m sure much more is happening that I’ve missed while in the NICU.
Typically, I would have written a story about every one of these. And maybe I’ll still get to them as time goes on. Many have been covered by other media (and for any reporters reading this, I encourage you to run with any of these story leads). Some are stories that only Seattle Bike Blog would cover or that we would have a unique perspective about.
Meanwhile, the role of bikes in our family has been evolving in some pretty interesting ways. We bought a family bike so we were ready to start biking with our daughter as soon as she was ready. But when we found ourselves in an unexpected situation where Kelli needed to get between home and the hospital while still recovering from her c-section, hauling her on the bike turned out to be the easiest way to do that. It required less walking than the bus or the parking garage, and she got some vital moments of fresh air.
Bike share has also played a pretty cool role in Kelli’s recovery. As she gained strength, she started by biking a bike share bike downhill from our house to the hospital, then either taking the bus or getting a ride on the cargo bike to get back home. Then she started biking herself home using the new Lime-E bikes, relying on the motor to help with the hill. Just this week, we have finally started riding our own non-cargo bikes again. It has been really great to have all these options available, some of which didn’t even exist a couple months ago. It also gave me a little insight into how bike share can be a great tool for improving bicycle accessibility.
Thanks again, everyone, for reading. The sporadic posting will continue for a while longer, but we’ll be back.