Upcoming: Critical Lass rides to Pedaler’s Fair

Critical Lass rides to Pedaler's Fair

Ride with Critical Lass to the 3rd Annual Pedaler’s Fair: marketplace for Washington-based, bicycle-inspired small businesses. We’ll meet at Fuel Coffee in Montlake (2300 24th Ave E, Seattle, WA) and wind our way up Interlaken to Russian Community Center on Capitol Hill. Meet at 9:30 for a quick coffee so we have time for a quick look-around before the bike-specific yoga demonstration at 11:00.

May 3, 2014
9:30 a.m.
Fuel Coffee in Montlake
(2300 24th Ave E, Seattle, WA)
Facebook RSVP

Bonus: Jessie Kwak, bicycle crafter extraordinaire, will ride with us so if you have any bicycle craft issues or questions, ask away! But we’re first in line with a couple questions about frame painting after oohing and aahing at her March 22nd Bicitoro post.

Food from Sugar Bakery & Cafe and beer from Elysian Brewing will be on site, too!

Bicitoro Craft Table
Drop by the craft table hosted by Jessie Kwak of Bicitoro to make keychain fobs, zipper pulls and pendents out of inner tubes and reflective materials. Crafting will be available from 11am to 5pm.

Bike Yoga
Join Kelli Refer of “Pedal, Stretch, Breathe” for bike specific yoga demonstrations at 11am and 2pm.

Full schedule | Exhibitors | Food and drink

Upcoming: Ride to the Sky [Nursery] with Critical Lass

Spring has sprung! Let’s get out there and ride our bikes amongst the beautiful flowering trees. There’s still a lot of green on the greenway, but it’s joined by red, pink, yellow, and orange right now.

Meet at Greenwood Park (N 87th St and Fremont Ave N, Seattle, WA) at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 19th.

Facebook RSVP

Ride to the Sky

Hey, did you know it Greenwood Park used to be a commercial nursery and greenhouse? How fitting because we’ll ride five miles to Sky Nursery to look at even more spring blooms.

We’ll ride along the Fremont Avenue Greenway which will connect us to the Interurban Trail and Linden Avenue cycle track.

Then let’s hang out at Sky Nursery for about an hour before heading back south. Sky’s coffee stand features organic, fair trade espresso beans from Burlington’s Fidalgo Bay Coffee Roasters and pastries from local bakeries. And from the Sky Gardening Calendar, April is the month to start planting carrots, beets, leeks, Oriental greens as well as summer bulbs like dahlia, gladiolas, and lilies. Or swing by the end of the “Make Your Yard Wildlife Friendly” seminar.

Children (attached in bike seats, trailers, trailer bikes, shared tandem bike) are always welcome!
Helmets are a must for every head on our rides.

Ride Recap: Critical Lass rides to Bike Expo

After February’s very rainy Bikes + Chocolate + Drinks ride (but what a cold/wet bonding experience!), we promised clear skies for our March 2nd ride to Seattle Bike Expo. Unfortunately, Mother Nature didn’t cooperate and we apologize for having lied.

We gathered at South Lake Union Park at 9:30 a.m. Sunday morning–all three of us! The weather and early hour made for the small turnout, but we wanted to arrive to Bike Expo in time for the panel discussion, Cycling Wisdom by Women, for Women.

Lake Union Park ride start

Our ride had planned to use the new temporary Mercer walk/bike path under Aurora, but the Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Run was taking place (and was nearly done, it appeared) so the street was closed to cars and we were free to take the lane. On a regular day, the rightmost section in the picture below is a wide pedestrian/bicycle way. It’s most comfortable to use in the westerly direction, flowing with the near car lane and it contains several metal plates and wooden planks, creating lips that could cause pinch flats to underinflated tires.

Taking Mercer under Aurora

Our route map has a bypass up Roy Street in case 5th Avenue felt too congested with cars:

But 5th was closed to cars, too! So we took the direct route, alongside the last of the Hot Chocolate walkers.

Taking 5th Ave by Seattle Center, no cars!

The Seattle Center wasn’t too packed with the run aftermath, but our Roy Street bypass could be useful when navigating through bigger crowds.

Cutting through the Seattle Center

We swung by the International Fountain–in nicer weather we’d take an extra lap around and stop for pictures here–and finished cutting through the Seattle Center.

Cruising past the International Fountain

The West Thomas Street Overpass pedestrian and bike bridge took us down to the scenic Elliott Bay Trail, lovely even in heavy rain. We stopped here, by the Elliott Bay fishing pier to add layers to our littlest rider.

Warm-up stop on the Elliott Bay Trail

And shortly thereafter we were at Bike Expo! Great panel, great exhibitors, exciting products. Come with us next year–we promise it won’t rain.

Upcoming: Critical Lass rides to Bike Expo

Ride with us to Seattle Bike Expo!

Sunday, March 2nd
9:30 a.m.
South Lake Union Park (860 Terry Ave N, Seattle, WA)
Facebook RSVP

Critical Lass rides to Bike Expo

Love bikes? You’re in the right place. This year’s Seattle Bicycle Expo will feature more than 175 vendors showing off the latest and greatest in bikes, accessories and more. Plus, Expo has three stages of how-to presentations, panels and expert demos. Whether you’re looking to learn how to go car-free, meet your favorite authors, watch graceful bicycle acrobats or even make some pedal-powered art, Expo has something for everyone.

Our five-mile route will utilize the new temporary Mercer walk/bike path under Aurora, cut through the Seattle Center, and use the West Thomas Street Overpass to get to the beautiful Elliott Bay Trail.

We’re setting out on the early side to arrive in time for the panel,
Cycling wisdom by women, for women:
Featuring: Kari Studley, P.T., Jan Acuff and Windsor Lewis, hosted by Gina Kavesh
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.

Calling all ladies! This presentation is specifically geared toward answering all things bike riding that might be intimidating to ask at a group ride or bike shop. Topics include:

  • What parts of a bike can be adapted to insure a better/more comfortable fit?
  • Why cycling is more fun with friends and how/where to find other women to ride with.
  • Saddles/Shorts and why we love to hate them and what can we do to not hate them.
  • How to overcome internal fears that may keep you off your bike or intimidated by riding alone.
  • And lot’s more!

Please bring every question you have that you’ve always wanted to ask an experienced female cyclist. This talk will feature four female expert guests from the local bicycle community, including Gina Kavesh.

Note: you don’t have to attend Bike Expo to join the ride! But our one-way ride will end at the bike valet booth outside the Bike Expo entrance.

See the Cascade Bicycle Club Seattle Bike Expo webpage for ticket price information. There’s also a two tickets for $9 deal on livingsocial.

Here’s our route:

Children (attached in bike seats, trailers, trailer bikes) are always welcome!
As always, helmets are a must for every head on our rides.

Ride Recap: Bikes + Chocolate + Drinks

Brake pads are red
Rain drops are blue
No matter the weather
We want to ride with you!

That poem tweeted and Facebooked this morning proved all too true as the rain began shortly before noon and never let up. We’re so impressed with the eight riders who came and happily rode today:

Critical Lass February 15, 2014

Even with grey skies the ride was scenic, but photos from Wednesday’s route testing showcase it a bit better.

We met inside Theo Chocolate at noon to enjoy free samples and purchase more for later, then followed this route in the counterclockwise direction:

We hit a variety of trails and streets:

  • starting with the Burke-Gilman Trail
  • and then part of the new two-way bikeway on The Missing Link,
  • using busy 14th Avenue NW and its stop lights to work our way north
  • to the Ballard Greenway (here’s the data for the new bike counter we passed–use the green Visualize button to better see it),
  • and then bombing down 32nd Avenue NW to return to the Burke-Gilman Trail at the locks.
  • We walked through the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks
  • and took our rain-drenched bicycle portraits just outside the south gates.
  • West Commodore Way wasn’t too busy this day
  • and the bike trail and rest of Fishermen’s Terminal were great. We chose the ship Vampy for our group shot above.
  • Then a long stretch of the Ship Canal Trail
  • took us to a block along Nickerson’s sidewalk
  • to the Fremont Bridge and bike counter.
  • And then a few quiet street blocks took us to Brouwer’s Cafe.


Check out all the pictures here.

We’ll ride again to Seattle Bike Expo on Sunday, March 2nd (disregard previous mentions of a Saturday Bike Expo ride). Details coming soon!

Upcoming: Bikes + Chocolate + Drinks

Seattle biking ladies: will you be our valentines?

Critical Lass Feb 15th

Saturday, February 15th, 2014
Meet inside Theo Chocolate Factory Retail Store
(3400 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA)
Optional: RSVP on Facebook

As we learned last July during Ladies Heart Bikes and Critical Lass–Pedaling for Wine and Chocolate, there’s nothing better for your heart than biking, dark chocolate, and red wine! OK, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but biking is terrific and dark chocolate and red wine are fine in moderation. So let’s go biking and enjoy some moderate chocolate and drinks!

The Theo Chocolate Factory Retail Store entrance is at the southeast corner of Phinney and 35th. We’ll have a red rose on our lapel or helmet to be recognizable. Partake in free chocolate samples and those with Bicycle Benefits stickers on their helmets get 1/2 off a classic chocolate bar (Bicycle Benefit stickers are available at Theo and all participating retailers for $5).

Once we’ve all arrived and had enough chocolate, we’ll head outside for introductions and safety spiel. Our seven-mile, slow-paced ride will take us along some great bikeways and scenic viewpoints:

We’ll finish up at Brouwer’s Cafe (where that Bicycle Benefits sticker will save you $1 off drafts and well drinks) which features five heart-healthy-in-moderation red wines and lots of other food and drink.

Children (attached in bike seats, trailers, trailer bikes) welcome during the chocolate and ride portion, but Brouwer’s is 21+. As always, helmets are a must for every head on our rides.

Ride Recap: Critical Lass 2013 Ride to Candy Cane Lane

Here are some [very dark] photos of our most recent ride: Sunday, December 15th to Candy Cane Lane in Ravenna. The day started out dry and well above freezing, but as luck would have it, the drizzle started shortly before 4pm and quickly turned into light rain. Despite the inclement weather, 11 riders gathered inside Cowen Park Grocery and while we waited for darkness to fall, the skies cleared.

Critical Lass at CPG

A short mile jaunt brought us to Candy Cane Lane–here we are crossing above the Ravenna Park ravine on the 20th Ave NE Bridge. Bikes and feet only!

Car-free bridge

Candy Cane Lane was great. We easily found an opening to enter the one-way circuit and there was plenty of room to stop for a group picture in front of the traffic circle.

Candy Cane Lane

We saw a few families walking through the light display, but the majority of visitors were car bound. We maintain that biking is the best way to appreciate the show.

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane

Candy Cane Lane

Like last year’s ride, we hit the food donation bin on our way out. Meeting at a cafe/grocery store turned out to be a great idea.

Candy Cane Lane food donation bin

And then we were off for a two-miles ride to Green Lake.

Back across the bridge:

Car-free bridge

Through the neighborhood (where we encountered an oncoming car on our one-way street…grr):

Critical Lass riding through Ravenna

And finally along the buffered (by paint) bike lane of Ravenna Blvd:

Critical Lass on Ravenna Blvd

We ended the evening at Forza Coffee Company for warm drinks.

Critical Lass at Forza Coffee Company

Here’s our route:

Upcoming: Critical Lass rides to Candy Cane Lane 2013

Sunday, December 15, 2013
4:00 p.m.
Meet at Cowen Park Grocery (1217 NE Ravenna Blvd, Seattle, WA)
Facebookers RSVP here

Critical Lass rides to Candy Cane Lane

It’s that time of year! Bundle up and enjoy the festive lights of Candy Cane Lane (description by Red Tricycle, pictures from 2013 by Ravenna Blog). Meet at Cowen Park Grocery–outside if the weather is decent, inside the cafe if the weather is frightful.

As with last year’s Candy Cane Lane ride, rain does not cancel our ride. And it can’t possibly be as rainy and cold as last year, right?!

Be sure your bike is equipped with lights and earn bonus points for extra lights and decor! We’ll create our own rolling holiday light display–the brighter and more colorful, the merrier.

After a circuit through Candy Cane Lane, we’ll make our way up to Green Lake to warm up at Forza (6900 East Green Lake Way N, Seattle, WA).

The more the merrier: bring your friends and family. We recommend children ride in trailers, bike seats, or on attached trailer bikes.

We’ll meet at 4 p.m. while it’s still a bit light out and hit the road by 4:30.

There’s a food donation bin at the end of Candy Cane Lane–much more easily accessed by bike than car–so bring canned goods to drop off if you’ve got them.

As always, helmets are a must for every head on our rides.

Here’s our route:

Ride recap: Critical Lass rides to the Broadway cycle track and goes Coffeeneuring

17 riders gathered in Fremont yesterday for a coffee-shop-to-coffee-shop ride (Milstead & Co. to Black Coffee Co-op) to celebrate the last day of the Coffeeneuring Challenge and check out the completed portion of the new Broadway cycle track.

Critical Lass - November 17, 2013

The following photos of our ride are from the return trip north since the sun was at our backs, but you’ll get the gist. And there’s the added benefit of seeing the afternoon’s blue skies; the morning was grey and drizzly.

After an uneventful flat 1.5 miles along the Burke-Gilman Trail we climbed to the University Bridge and discovered the wind. Fortunately, wind isn’t a frequent occurrence in Seattle. We bravely leaned into it and made it across the water to “enjoy” several blocks of busy, but wind-free Eastlake Ave.

Windy Fremont Bridge

Upon leaving Eastlake, we were rewarded with this adorable Little Free Library on Franklin between Edgar and Roanoke. All LFLs are wonderful, but the ones that look like their houses are especially cute.

Little Free Library in Eastlake

Then we wound our way up the path through the I-5 Colonnade mountain bike park (where our group shot at the top of this post was taken), hopped down the curb to avoid a pile of broken glass, and rode past the historic Egan House.

Egan House

We found more wind on the Melrose Promenade, but also lovely views of the city below.

Melrose Promenade


Our climb up Pine was met with a road closure, but after a one-block jog to the south, we found our way to THE CYCLE TRACK! And…uh…a big truck blocking it.

Broadway cycle track (and truck)

Broadway cycle track (and truck)

But it was smooth sailing to the north. Street car construction had the road closed to cars, but the cycle track remained open.

Broadway cycle track

Broadway cycle track

While we toyed with the idea of taking our bicycle portraits in front of the illegally parked truck, we opted to use this public art as a backdrop instead. Find your bicycle portrait in the Flickr set.

Public art along the Broadway cycle track

And then just to liven things up, Jen of Ballard Greenways and Loop-Frame Love discovered her Burley Piccolo trailer bike’s rack had shed a bolt. An amazing team effort got the bike up and running: Kelli of Yoga for Bikers had a spare bolt (!!), Barbara of Seattle Neighborhood Greenways had a multitool, and Transportation Nag (and new Cascade Bicycle Club board member!) Merlin Rainwater fastened it all together while Jen played surgical assistant and steadied the rack. And it appears Barb Chamberlain, Executive Director of Washington Bikes, is documenting the event with close-up pictures.

Impromptu bike repair

Excitement over, we made our way a few blocks to Black Coffee Co-op for warm drinks and very tasty vegan sandwiches. It’s a big space with plenty of seating and we nearly fit on the many bike racks outside.

Critical Lass at Black Coffee Co-op

We varied our route slightly on the way back (shown in red on the map below) to avoid Eastlake Avenue. By continuing along Franklin (but uphill after we promised “All downhill on the way home!” oops) we could utilize a little trail beneath the freeway to emerge on Harvard Ave and ride an acceptable amount of Eastlake.

Watch this awesome video of our ride by Rebecca of Woman – Bicycle – Helmet Cam – Etc.:

Join us next month for a repeat performance of Critical Lass and Friends Ride to Candy Cane Lane. Details coming soon!

Upcoming: Critical Lass rides to the Broadway cycle track and goes Coffeeneuring

Sunday, November 17th is the last day of the Coffeeneuring Challenge and the perfect day for a coffee-shop-to-coffee-shop ride! Note: no need to be a coffeeneur nor purchase coffee to ride!

Critical Lass goes Coffeeneuring

We’ll meet at Milstead & Co. in Fremont (770 N 34th Street) at 11:00 a.m. (come early if you want a pre-ride coffee) and head to Capitol Hill to ride the new Broadway cycle track and then have a post-ride coffee at Black Coffee Co-op.

RSVP on Facebook

Here’s our route:


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