Saturday, August 13, 2011

Thank Goodness It Is Friday!

This Friday I hit my stride. I needed to be at work early and I had a long day ahead of me.  It was a gray morning and that didn't even bother me. Even so, I found myself prioritizing the bike commute. I did not consider driving the car a good option.  I am really getting a lot out of riding my bike: the exercise, fun times with my son, and discovering new things in the neighborhood.

There is an annual South Lake Union Block Party and every year I try to go, and every year I forget.  On my ride, I saw volunteers setting up for the block party and this is the first year I made it to the party!

After seeing the volunteers set up for the block party I rode to work and I faced a big project with a tight deadline. I am a video editor and producer. Friday, I had to edit a cooking show on a very tight timeline. I did not take breaks from the computer and I had to smooth out many production problems. I had not slept much Thursday night and on Friday I worked really hard.  My poor brain was done.  I called my husband for a ride home.  This time I did not feel defeated. It was a good decision. I was not in any shape to be sharing the roads with five o'clock traffic especially with the baby on my handlebars.  If my husband couldn't pick me up, I would have taken the bus, with or without my bike.

The lesson here is know your limits, take it easy and take other transportation if you're feeling less than whole. I think that will make for safer cycling; that could be applied to drivers, too.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Very Sobering and Very Sad Sign: Hit-and-Run

I saw this sign on a telephone pole on my way to work.  The police are looking for a hit-and-run driver who killed a cyclist.  The cyclist's name is Mike Wang and he had two children. It is very sad.

This has made me really think about what I am doing.  This happened one block up from where I ride. I do see a lot of drivers texting; they look one way to make a turn but not the other way to look for cyclists.  On a bike, I am very alert and I am conscious of everything around me.  Maybe driving should be the same experience.

My condolences to Mike Wang's family. Please drive consciously and bike carefully.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Serafina, How Long Has Panini Window Been Here?

Serafina is one of my favorite restaurants of all time.  LOVE LOVE LOVE everything about this place.  When I was pregnant I did not drink soda pop and it was hard to find an interesting drink to go with a good meal.  I don't like sweet drinks so the standard Shirley Temple is not for me. I told the bartender my trouble.

He asked me what I liked and mixed me up a special mocktail.  Actually, mocktail doesn't seem like the right word because although it was non-alcoholic, it was a wonderful drink, not a mock-anything.  I would even order one now!  It was a little savory, the perfect amount of spicy and a bit of citrus. This was the first time in seven months that I sipped my drink and did not feel left out when everyone had their pre-dinner cocktails.

Oh, I am off the subject, I have never noticed this Panini Window before.  I must learn more. This window has got to be a good thing because I love Serafina.  I love paninis.   This is an example of why I like my bike commute and it is one of the true joys of a bike commute.  I get to see my neighborhood from a different perspective.  I find new things that I don't see when I am on the freeway in my car.

Tomorrow, it is no more solo, back to me and my baby.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Riding Solo: Riding Home

I did not stop for Happy Hour.  I had to get home and start my shift as a caretaker for the little one.  Grandma had been watching him for about six hours and even Grandmas need breaks.

I did decide to try and new route.  The route I usually take is more scenic than direct.  There is a very direct route that even has designated bike lanes and I have not taken it because I like the scenic route.  We go by seaplanes on the south side of Lake Union, ride through South Lake Union and count the scooters at Scoot About.  More importantly the scenic route does not have very many inclines. Sometimes, with my baby on the handle bars, I can go two blocks on an incline.  Even so, usually I walk the bike after half a block.  On my own I decided that I was ready to try the hills.

Downhill was GREAT!  I forgot how much fun downhill was.  On the uphill, I made it over two blocks but ended up walking my bike.  I am not really proud
of that.  I have to consider that the baby is a good excuse for not being able to ride uphill but there is a chance that I am not strong enough to even get my own self uphill.

I am going to stick with my usual scenic route.  Downhill is pretty fun and I am sure my son would love it but I am not comfortable going that fast on a busy street with a baby.  I would have to break the entire way.  That would not be great for the bikes behind be and the joy of downhill is gone and then I still have the uphill to face.

Riding Solo: Found a Useful Fact

I am sure this information will come in handy.  I am not going to verify it.  I will stop for coffee.  I really need a bike lock.

Riding Solo: Happy Hour?

I love being a mom but riding solo I thought it could be nice to stop and check out a place that looked fun.  I have been riding by the Venik Lounge.  Have never seen it before.  Maybe on my way home.....

Riding Solo

Tuesday Grammy took care of the baby so our commute together was four blocks to Grammy’s house. Then I was on my own. I sure missed my companion.

Riding by myself I found that I was a little more aggressive and a little more impatient. There is a long traffic light on my route. With a baby on my handlebars, I have no trouble stopping when the light is yellow. Without a baby, I went on the yellow. I do not think I was in violation of any laws, it looked safe and technically I was in the right but I would not chance it if my son was with me. It surprised me how differently I approach the same situations when I am solo.  

Monday, August 8, 2011

Mondays Are Mondays

Monday's commute was canceled. My son had a rash that looked like it needed to be seen by a doctor. (I will not post a photo.) I was correct. He was prescribed antibiotics. I had to work from home and try and find help with childcare for the rest of the day and Tuesday. I am lucky that my work is flexible and I can work from home and change my schedule. Thank goodness for grandmas! Grandma played with the sick little boy so mommy could work. 

Even this font is messed up.  Dear Monday, please be nicer.

A Word About Safety

Of course I worried about starting the bike commute. I had read the safety reviews and other parents' comments before I purchased the child seat. The one I have is made by iBert and it is called a t-seat.

I had bought the iBert the last summer and tried it out without the baby first. Then I rode with the baby for a few blocks to test the balance before I went on a longer ride.

When I ride I know I am not strong enough to go uphill and I don’t try and push myself. I have also mapped out routes that, although they take longer, have less traffic and official bike lanes.  I tested the route on my own before I rode with my baby.