In Bicycling, Today's Ride on March 19, 2009 at 10:10 pm
Today’s ride took me all around north Seattle, but the highlight was riding through the University of Washington campus. I was practicing some “skinny” riding on the raised curbs by the entrance when a crop of trials bikes grommed on by. Little low-slung single speeds with no seats. I knew exactly where they were headed, because I’ve practiced moves there myself. I’m no trials rider, but it’s a good place to do wheelie drops and step-ups. The plaza outside William H. Gates Hall.
Harder than they made it look
They did a few wheelie warmups and then began hopping around like jack rabbits, up on the walls and barricades and concrete rounds, jumping from one raised object to another. At one point they scoped out a fairly tricky move but backed off. “It’s doable, apart from the low clearance and, uh, the glass,” as one put it. You miss, you crash through the window. Not good.
No raised object went unhopped
I chatted with them a bit. The one on the white bike was a student at the U; the other three were students from Western Washington University in Bellingham. I asked if they rode Galby (Galbraith Mt.) in Bellingham, but no: They only do trials. But they knew bikes. The U.W. guy pointed at my bike and asked, “Is that ti? How old? Ten years?” Yeah, he nailed it. My Titus titanium HC hardtail is pushing on the big 1-0. He said he guessed from the fork (not quite 10 but old), the Chris King hubs and the King rasta headset. Sheesh, he couldn’t have been more than a teenager when I got my bike.
He cleared the whole set of bollards
They put on quite a show, for about 15 minutes, then raced off to the next skillz set. Cool dudes, thanks for the highlights!
In Bicycle Commuting, Today's Ride on February 25, 2009 at 11:29 pm
After a disastrously downpourish morning the sun came out this afternoon. By late day things were drying out considerably. I had to be at a 6:30 p.m. seminar at the University of Washington, so I decided to pop over from Fremont on the Burke-Gilman Trail. The 18-mile paved trail follows former railroad tracks around Seattle out north to Bothell and is a major commuter route for cyclists.
To connect to the trail I climb from home up to Phinney Ave. N., circle around the Woodland Park Zoo and then drop down Fremont Ave. N. to the canal. From there it’s a straight shot to the University campus and Kane Hall, where the seminar was to be held. It wasn’t much of a ride, although I tooled around in Fremont for a bit and then did some stair drops on campus just for fun. I’m testing a new night light as well and wanted to try a variety of venues.
After the seminar I wheeled through Ravenna Park, which gets pretty dark in places, then back along 65th to Green Lake and home. I cut through lower Woodland Park, which is absolutely black at night, really stretching out the light’s capabilities. More to come on that front.
I meant to say that on yesterday’s ride I ran into Seattle’s primo cycle-everywhere, Shannon Markley, outside of Whole Foods on Roosevelt Ave. N. Shannon had been caught in that day’s gusher and was still complaining of wet feet. Otherwise she’s well prepared, having waterproof (not just water resistant) top and pants. Shannon goes absolutely everywhere by bike, day or night, and knows all the tricks. It was great seeing her and comparing notes.
Tomorrow snow is forecast. I don’t mind, a little snow can’t keep the Bike Intelligencer from its rounds.
Scaling Tiger Mountain in the white stuff