Critical Lass “Women’s Bike Month” Ride

Pronto Cycle Share has declared March as Seattle’s first Women’s Bike Month and we couldn’t be happier!

There are a bunch of great events all month long, including our ride on the 21st.

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Saturday, March 21, 2015
10:30 a.m.
Meet at Solsticio (1100 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103)
RSVP on the Facebook event page

We’ll meet outside Solsticio, along the Burke-Gilman Trail, at the bottom of Stone Way. Head over early if you need coffee, smoothie, or breakfast burrito before we hit the trail.

Our ride will take us along a bit of the Burke-Gilman Trail, across the Fremont Bridge (and past the bike counter!), along the Ship Canal Trail, through the scenic Westlake parking lots/soonish to have bike facilities, with a stop in Lake Union Park where we’ll all take quick spins on a Pronto Bike Share bike (fun!), and then we’ll ride along the AMAZING new improvements to Mercer Street to reach the Seattle Center.

Then it’s picnic time! Bring food or grab something to go from one of the many eateries in the Armory and we’ll sit on the lawn by the International Fountain.

As always, we PROMISE it won’t rain…but if it does, we’ll have an indoor picnic in the Armory. Also as always, we ride rain or shine!

Here’s our route:

If some people need to leave earlier than others, we’ll arrange for small groups heading back using a reverse of our route over. And feel free to ask for route advice to reach other parts of town after the ride…or for help getting to our starting point by bike.

For women driving to the start, there is a pay parking lot by Solsticio and free parking half a mile east at Gas Works Park (four-hour time limit).

About Critical Lass
Critical Lass is an easy-paced, social bike ride for women.

Our aim is to get more Seattle women biking and we encourage both new and experienced riders to come along. We don’t want to create any barriers to your getting out there so if you need to bring kids or friend who does not qualify as a “lass” along, please do so! We ask that children be bike-ily attached to parent or guardian (trailer, bike seat, trail-a-bike, tandem bike, you get the drift…).

Critical Lass rides are Cascade Bicycle Club Free Group Rides and all participants are required to wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver.

Upcoming: Critical Lass tour of new NE Seattle bike facilities, then Bike and Pike

Saturday, February 21, 2015
11:00 a.m.
Cowen Park Grocery
Facebook RSVP

Bike and Pike

Gather up outside Cowen Park Grocery (1217 NE Ravenna Blvd, Seattle, WA 98105) at 11 a.m. They open at 9:00 a.m. and serve brunch on weekends so go early if you plan to eat before our ride.

We’ll be riding a five-mile loop to check out some of the recent and soon-to-be bicycle facilities in the northeast:

  • NE 40th Street protected bike lanes into UW
  • The latest (though not the greatest) Burke-Gilman Trail detour through UW
  • Sign about the upcoming bicycle leaning rail at Burke-Gilman Trail/25th Avenue NE
  • Raised crosswalk currently being installed at Burke-Gilman Trail/30th Ave NE
  • Protected bike lane on Cowen Park Bridge

Then we’ll park our bikes at the big car-shaped bike corral in front of R+E Cycles (5627 University Way NE, Seattle, WA) for the 7th Annual Seattle Bike and Pike for “pizza, coffee, beer, bicycles, and a chance to converse one-on-one with some of Seattle’s cycling gurus.” Admission is free! Bike and Pike runs 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

About Critical Lass
Critical Lass is an easy-paced, social bike ride for women.

Our aim is to get more Seattle women biking and we encourage both new and experienced riders to come along. We don’t want to create any barriers to your getting out there so if you need to bring kids or friend who does not qualify as a “lass” along, please do so! We ask that children be bike-ily attached to parent or guardian (trailer, bike seat, trail-a-bike, tandem bike, you get the drift…).

Critical Lass rides are Cascade Bicycle Club Free Group Rides and all participants are required to wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver.

Ride Recap: #coffeeoutside with Critical Lass

Saturday, January 31st was a terrific day for #coffeeoutside at the beach! It was cold, but unlike many of our Seattle Critical Lass rides, we weren’t subjected to nonstop heavy rain.

See all the photos, including our bicycle portraits in the Flickr album.

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We started at Theo Chocolate, one of our favorite participating Bicycle Benefits businesses. Theo is conveniently kitty corner to FreeRange Cycles where a couple ride participants took care of bike business before we set out in a pack of 20.

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Our route from Fremont to Golden Gardens took us along the Burke-Gilman Trail and the Missing Link where we were very careful to steer clear of the train rails. We headed north to utilize the Ballard Greenway rather than ride along busy Market Street, but rather than hit the big uphill and ensuing big downhill, we suffered through one block of Market. Safety in numbers!

At the beach we set up camp stoves and enjoyed hot drink sand snacks.

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Here’s our route (ignore weird jog at 58th/15th–bikes can go straight through…and we should report an error to the Google maps team to correct that!):

Our second stop was Swift Industries, local bike-touring bag makers. They have a great selection of items in their store as well as a robust heater we stood near to thaw our hands and feet. Who knew January wasn’t the best month for hanging out at the beach for a couple hours? ;)

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Swift also offers clinics and other events. Here’s the schedule. Note the Human Error Sale coming up this Saturday!

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#coffeeoutside with Critical Lass

Coffee Outside with Critical Lass
Facebook RSVP

First of all, there is A LOT of bikey stuff going on Saturday, January 31st. We hope to see you for #coffeeoutside, but make sure you know of these other awesome events we’ll overlap with:

Our ride will start at the Theo Factory Retail Store (3400 Phinney Ave N) at 10:30 a.m. We’ll gather outside if the weather is decent and inside if it’s horrible.
(Note: there are free chocolate samples inside and Bicycle Benefits discounts.)
FreeRange Cycles is kitty corner to Theo’s and opens at 10:30 if you need any bike supplies.

Our ride will take us west on the Burke-Gilman Trail, through the Missing Link, then pick up the Burke-Gilman Trail to its end at Golden Gardens where we’ll enjoy our #coffeeoutside on the beach. We’ll also have tea, hot chocolate, and snacks. And cups for all. If you have a favorite thing to mix with boiling water, bring it!

Feel free to share bike touring/bike camping stories and maybe we’ll plot a Critical Lass summer bike camping trip, who knows?!

Then we’ll pedal back into Ballard proper for retail hours at “Seattle’s bicycle adventure headquarters” Swift Industries. No purchase necessary, but hang out and check out their great locally-made gear and ask Martina any bicycle adventure questions you may have.

If you’re up for more adventure, we’ll switch from #coffeeoutside to #sandwichesinside and #beerinside (neither of those is “a thing” but Critical Lass don’t care). We’ll head over to Alison’s Coastal Cafe & Bakery for sandwiches and if we’re still out at 4:00 p.m., migrate to Peddler’s Brewing.

The fine print:
As always, helmets are a must for every head on our rides.
Children are welcome. We recommend they ride in trailers, bike seats, or on attached trailer bikes. Please check out Kidical Mass for free-riding kids.

Upcoming: Critical Lass Holiday Ships Ride meets “Bike Happy Hour”

Ladies (and gents),

Join Seattle Critical Lass and Cascade Bicycle Club Decorate yourself and your bike in holiday lights and join our merry band at Peddler Brewing, 1514 NW Leary Way TUESDAY, DECEMBER 16. Come early at 6:00 to the Connect Ballard Team meeting and “Bike Happy Hour” to hear updates about the Missing Link and a safer Ballard Bridge.

DEPART from Peddler Brewing at 7:15 sharp and roll towards the Ballard Locks to—HEAR the CHOIR: Dickens Carolers and ENJOY the festive ambiance—before heading back towards Ballard’s classic bar Hattie’s Hat.*

PERFORMANCES: 8:10-8:30 Ballard Locks;
Leave the Locks at 8:30 ride to Hattie’s Hat, 5231 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107 (Please note that Hattie’s Hat is where our ride officially ends.)

Please note: Children are welcome at Peddler Brewing before the ride (and they have a Corn-hole bean bag toss!) however, *Hattie’s Hat is “no minors” after 9PM.

As always, helmets are required for every head.

RSVP on Facebook
Cascade Bicycle Club calendar link

Upcoming: Critical Lass 2014 Ride to Candy Cane Lane

Sunday, December 14, 2014
Meet at 4:00 p.m., ride by 4:30 p.m.
Start Location: Fix Coffee (6900 East Green Lake Way N, Seattle, WA 98115)
See the route map
On Facebook? RSVP here

It’s that time of year! Bundle up and enjoy the festive lights of Candy Cane Lane. Meet at Fix Coffee (6900 East Greenlake Way N, Seattle WA)–outside if the weather is decent, inside the cafe if the weather is too cold or wet.

As with previous year’s Candy Cane Lane ride, rain does not cancel our ride. We’ve enjoyed both wet and dry holiday rides in the past Here’s a recap of last year’s ride.

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 Vios Cafe in Ravenna (6504 20th Ave NE, Seattle, WA) to warm up and have snacks or a meal.

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 roll 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.

Ride Recap: Critical Lass Gelato Ride

We dozen lasses (which included three kids) enjoyed a beautifully sunny day. It was quite warm, too, so gelato on either end was especially nice. We started at Caffe Umbria in Pioneer Square and took the scenic route along the waterfront (see map at the bottom of this post for route info) to Sirena Gelato in Fremont. Sirena Gelato is part of the Bicycle Benefits program so those of us with $5 Bicycle Benefits stickers on our helmets were rewarded with discounts!

See the full photoset and bicycle portraits here.

We stopped in the Myrtle Edwards Park rose garden for our group shot and bicycle portraits, and admired the Fremont Bridge’s in-progress paint job–you can see a little of the darker blue on the tower we’re riding towards.

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Here’s our 7.5-mile route from Pioneer Square to Fremont via the waterfront:

Ride Recap: Critical Lass rides to Pedaler’s Fair

Our May 3rd ride to the third annual Pedaler’s Fair was great! Despite the early hour and threat of rain–which held off until later in the day…when most of us were leaving the fair–our group of eight tackled the Interlaken hill for a lovely time at the Russian Community Center.

We timed our arrival to make the first Yoga for Bikers session and the wandered our way through the many vendors while our bikes were safely stowed in the covered bike valet area provided by Bike Works.

We saw tons of great products including a new one from Juliette at Hub and Bespoke: vintage ties sewn into sashes with reflective strip and small pocket for smart phone, wallet, or keys.

Pictures in our Flickr.

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

In keeping with our recent theme, it was the rainiest day every for Ride to the Sky [Nursery] with Critical Lass. Which is great for plants so we can’t complain. OK, we can complain. It was wet!

Check out the Flickr set to see evidence that six riders braved the weather.

We encountered some cars parked in the Linden cycle track, righted some fallen construction signs (go Critical Lass!), moving them out of the middle of the cycle track and between parked cars, and dried out under the cafe heat lamps at Sky Nursery.

It’s a great route and would be fun to revisit in a different season.

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