Seattle to Kitsap Memorial State Park (30 mi)

Image: The gorgeous card my friend and *sister* Keiko made me before my departure. It will stay in my map case for the duration of the trip.

There’s no soundtrack to the off-balance loading up of your bicycle, no crowd cheering you from the sidewalk, nothing special about taking pretty much your work commute route toward the ferry that will carry you closer to your first campground destination. You can’t feel anything peculiar about this ride, in fact, this thing you’ve anticipated for months.

Even when other people marvel at your setup—the encouraging pair in line for the ferry, the older man leaning out his van window on board and telling you about the iron bike he got “during the war, when they’d make bikes out of anything they could!”—you smile and nod your head, but feel just as incredulous as they at the route you’ve just told them. Continue reading “Seattle to Kitsap Memorial State Park (30 mi)”

Bike Terms Pronunciation: A Semi-Guide

Image: Seattle Summer Parkways Central District Event with Bike Works, by Seattle Dept of Transportation, cc.

One of the gorgeous things about new hobbies is the new vocabulary they come packaged in. As a self-proclaimed word nerd, I deeply enjoy the sharp specificity of a newly learned term. (Aside: Another thing I deeply enjoy? The Dictionary.com app’s Word of the Day, complete with audio pronunciation, example sentences, and etymology. Mmmm, etymology….)

Okay, so, one of the things I’ve been doing while pretending to know anything about bikes is actually learning about bikes at the fabulous Seattle institution, Bike Works. They have loads of rad youth programs—so rad in fact that lots of other places use their freely available curriculum to teach kids elsewhere about bikes. Fortunately, Bike Works also endures adults like me, for whom mechanics is far from intuitive. I highly recommend their Bike Repair 101 course, and I further recommend my teacher Liz, who I’m pretty sure could build a bike with her mind if she felt like it. But I digress. Back to pronunciation. Continue reading “Bike Terms Pronunciation: A Semi-Guide”

And Then Your Marvelous Mom Visits

Image: Great mornings start with great decks.

It’s been a string of VIP visitors for me this summer (first my younger sister Celeste, then my cousin Maureen). Following in that fortunate tradition, my mom came out for a good long week at the end of June, joining me to celebrate my 31st birthday, taking me out to breakfast and a museum when the ex wanted to grab his TV from the apartment, and basically just orchestrating a perfect balance of productivity (as in, all the planning and gear-grabbing and map-studying I need to do before I take this trip) and relaxation (as in, “I think I’m going to take a late-morning nap now” or “Sure, pour me another glass of wine with dinner”). Continue reading “And Then Your Marvelous Mom Visits”