Saturday, October 25, 2014

Coffeeneuring trip #4 and more stuff to do on November 8th

     Its fast approaching the end of October, and people here know that means soggy weather and slippery pine needles. I'm currently suffering a nasty head-cold, but with the fever broken, I decide I'm well enough to ride. My dog, Mac, was less than enthusiastic. Being half Chihuahua he's made for sunnier climates and resents the cold and damp. Nevertheless, swathed in sweater, he joined me as we set off for The Bounty in North City.
     North City sits right next to Shoreline, but not quite Mountlake Terrace. It hosts free bluegrass on Tuesday nights, which I might check out sometime, I do get nostalgic for what is easily the most popular music among Alaskans. We set off down Meridian Ave. N, to the ever sketchy 155th. Though Meridian Ave. N boasts of two schools and several parks it only has sharrows, but hey cars get street parking on both sides the entire way. 
     155th is one of my pet crusades. Though emails about its inclusion in the Master Bike plan have gone ignored and I've sort of despaired of its ever being a reasonable passageway for cyclists. There's a bike lane right until you hit 5th Ave., then of course, parking for cars on both sides of the street. I ride in the parking lane. Sure, I could own the lane, but the street parking is rarely ever used. You can pretty much count on it being empty most of the time, but for whatever reason this parking is preserved. 
     We turned left onto 15th Ave. with very little trouble, cars understood via signaling, and no one seemed in a particular hurry. We sailed into the bike lane on 15th with no trouble, but the bike lane on 15th is no picnic either. Branches dipped down dangerously blocking the view. I'm a less than 5'2, if I am ducking branches they need to be clipped! The bike lane vanishes once 15th meets crosses 175th, and you know you're in North City. Four lanes for cars, but no bike lane. It took a lot of courage to make the left turn into the Bounty's lot, but we managed.
    I circled around, confused by the street parking and lots of lower parking for cars, but no rack. Maybe I missed it. The drizzle was dying off and I locked up to head inside.The Bounty's home page

did my best not to block the stairs
   I ordered a 12 oz Americano, and asked if I'd missed the rack. The barista told me "Most guys just lock up to the railing," telling me two things; 1) the expected cyclist is still male and, 2) they are content with locking to railings. The interior of the place was warm and otherwise welcoming. Plenty of comfortable seating, a fireplace. A mixture of antique and modern furnishings. However, with the break in the weather I couldn't resist taking my drink outside on the patio. The seats were metal and easy to dry. Mac and I sat down to enjoy the sun coming out for a brief appearance.
espresso and a friend

cute logo
     The area was full of apartments, shops, and I noticed they all were somewhat situated off the road. Peering at the nearest shops I noticed not one had a bike rack or bike rail. The 347 bus breezed past and I mused how many residents of the nearby apartments must use the bus when they could take one of the most easy to cycle streets in the area. Well, easy in terms of the overall terrain. The way back was filled with lumps of asphalt creating gnarly humps. I sighed, finishing my drink. Overall the Bounty is a nice enough place and I might come back, but much like the other places I've visited the lack of parking makes me reluctant to stop by the actual shops in the area.
snug for traveling
     Clouds resumed their clustering, but the rain held off until we arrived back home, (about 5 miles altogether), and the ride itself wasn't too bad. Oh 155th is no picnic the other way, but as we made out way to the intersection we waved at passing pedestrians, gently pedaling in time to the music in my ears (Susan Justice and Poe if you're curious). We decided through the neighborhood instead of just jumping to Meridian, its less of a climb and always nice to go past JA's Bamboo shop. Birds flock to the area, though its patrolled by numerous cats. Overall just a lovely fall ride.

     Now, news and events! People, volunteers are still needed for Washington Bike's Annual Auction and Gala, all Washington biking folks benefit by supporting this group. I know most of you are wondering if you can still get tickets though, and I'd quit putting it off while they are still available, now is the best time! Here's the info, November 8th at the Seattle Merriott Hotel, doors open at 5:30, and oh my gosh, you totally need to check out the other stuff that's been added to the auction since the last blog update. So much coolness. 
      I haven't found any info on a Halloween ride for Shoreline, if you are leading one please let me know. Unfortunately, I do not have time to organize one myself this year, but next year... Interurban trail down to Darrel's Tavern would be a blast. 
      In the meantime, also on November 8th at 10:30am its the November Kidical Mass Halloween Candy Buy Back and Party! Now you might be confused because its meeting up "at Meridian Park" and there are two Meridian parks at least. The Meridian Park in this case is on Sunnyside Ave N. You don't need to bring candy to participate and its good fun for the whole family. More info here.
     Lastly, there is a little sharing library on the Interurban Trail around the 170th mark. It is badly in need of books, this library is heavily used, but because it is only accessible through biking and walking it is rarely filled. If you would like to donate to the sharing library please contact me and I will bring the books to the library. 

And don't worry, that bike rack rant is still coming, I'm just gathering steam.


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