The Greenwood explosion is becoming a memory, as the community heals some things will never be the same, other things will be there, but not in the same way. Much to everyone's, not just myself I swear, G&O Family Cyclery will be opening a temporary location just a wee bit north of where they were before (the address will be 8554 1/2 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103), so its no hardship if you regularly ride your bike to the shop. As of yet they are not open, so please watch their blog, Twitter, and Facebook for updates.
Sadly, I wasn't able to get Scamper back, and up and running, in time for this year's #30Daysof Biking. I had debated a LOT about whether or not I was going to do it this year. On the one hand, it does support a great cause. On the other had I already ride my bike pretty much every day. It was one of the problems I had last year, which was a lot of biking up and down the driveway to be honest. You see, I don't own a car, and I rely a lot on my bike, with public transit bridging the gap left. So if I don't have to go anywhere one day, I'm not going to invent an excuse to go for a ride, nor make my probably-hurting-body go someplace it doesn't want to go. After all, 30 Days is about the joy, not a punishment. But with the addition of supporting the World Bicycle Relief Fund I had considered doing it again this year.
I also missed out fulfilling my literal dream of biking on the freeway. It broke my little heart quite sincerely, as I have dreamed of this since I first rode Seattle's freeways. And, rhetorical aside, isn't the moniker "freeway," ironic since it is neither free to build, nor does it connect, in fact, it usually divides neighborhoods, puts up walls, and indentures us to the fossil fuel method. However, Scamper's mishap on the Georgetown train tracks, followed by being in an explosion, and then the epic day of washing, did have one or two positive effects.
For one, I don't really care for Barry, (my husband's bike), with all respect, he's just a big boy. I thought it wouldn't be an issue since both our bikes are very adjustable, but my poor knees disagree. So much for making my back up bike a Miami. But it made me aware of just how much I put into making Scamper shine. Sure he's got a lot of stickers, but each one is a story, his stickers are his tattoos, and every dent I hammer out of his fenders, a hit he took for me.
Secondly, it made me rethink what bike events and challenges I want to do. If Scamper had been operational, I probably WOULD have done 30days, and that would be a shame, because regularly joyful riders are probably the only ones who don't need to participate.
Also, it's made me eager as hell to be out on my bike. A Trader Joe's opened by my home, but too far to walk, though I guess I could walk to transit. However, I despise having my shopping on a schedule. or pushing a clerk to make a faster check out so I don't miss the bus. So we waited. A new pet supply store opened. We waited. We needed to go to other stores to grab other things. We waited. (You can see why, even though I really wanted to wait and go to the temp location for G&O this wasn't really feasible).
This brings me to the last positive thing to come out of the mess. I recall, some time ago, Critical Lass ended their ride at R+E Cycles, which had this amazing bike rack out front showing how many bikes could fit in a car slot. I was reluctant to take Scamper just anywhere, not just because he's a folding bike, but I want to support local bike shops that are inclusive and foster the kind of cycling culture I want to see carry forward. From what I could vaguely remember (be fair, there was some really good beer) the people were nice, so after a brief call I took a freshly scrubbed Scamper down to see if they could help. Not only were they able to get him back up and functioning, but they stuck around until I could get back down to get him. They understood that Scamper wasn't just a bike, he's my independence, my freedom, and without him, I'm goddamn SOL.
Its not everyday you find a great bike shop, especially not when your local one has been exploded. Having a chance to go back and get to know the folks at R+E was the bit of silver lining I needed to this cloud.
And so my friends, I am back in the saddle. Right where I belong.