Upcoming: Critical Lass and Friends Ride to Candy Cane Lane 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016
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)
Route map, 3.8 miles
On Facebook? RSVP here
* Light up your bike!
* Donate canned goods!

Candy Cane Lane

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 years’ Candy Cane Lane rides, rain does not cancel. We’ve enjoyed both wet and dry holiday rides in the past. Here’s a recap of 2013’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 back to Green Lake to Tacos Guaymas (6808 East Green Lake Way N, Seattle, WA 98115) to warm up and have snacks or a meal.

The more the merrier: bring your friends!

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.

About Critical Lass
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…). Note: rides with “and Friends” are open to all! Read more about Critical Lass.

This ride is a Cascade Bicycle Club Free Group Ride and all participants are required to wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver.

Ride Recap: We Bike, We Count!

Our October 8th We Bike, We Count! ride was terrific. For a day predicted to be non-stop rainy, we really lucked out with a completely dry ride on the way over to West Seattle…not so much on the way back, though.

See the Critical Lass: We Bike, We Count Flickr album for all the pictures.

The forecast kept our numbers low, but we five riders has a lovely time together. Our ten-mile route to West Seattle took us by all three bike counters with displays: Fremont, Downtown, and West Seattle swing bridge:

Critical Lass at the Fremont Bridge bike counter

Critical Lass at the Fremont Bridge bike counter

Critical Lass at the downtown bike counter

Critical Lass at the downtown bike counter

Critical Lass at the West Seattle bike counter

Critical Lass at the West Seattle bike counter

Our one problem (besides the weather) was the threat of tacks on the Westlake Cycletrack. Our last ride, Critical Lass cycles through the seasons, left one rider with a flat from Westlake so this time we took a vote ahead of time: Westlake or Dexter? The consensus was to risk it. We even checked our tires for tacks after!

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But still, Lisa fell prey to a tack poke (no leftover telltale tack this time, though). Silver lining: we were delighted by her flat fix technique, complete with little blanket upon which to rest the saddle of her upside down bike.

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The rain started right as we arrived to Marination Ma Kai for lunch. We had an hour to eat before the next (2:00 p.m.) water taxi so the timing was perfect. That rain never let up, but the 5.5-mile ride back to Fremont wasn’t too miserable given the cheery company. For most of us, this was our first time on the newer water taxi vessel and the bike accommodations are amazing–so much space!

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And then pedal pedal pedal rain rain rain blah blah blah. Let’s do it again soon!

We Bike, We Count!

October 8, 2016
10:00 a.m. depart
MiiR Flagship
(3400 Stone Way N, Seattle, WA)
Facebook RSVP

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Did you know there are three bike counters with displays in Seattle? October is Pronto Women’s Bike Month so what better time to show we count than ride by the counters?

And we’ll also hit a spot for Java Joy Rides: Coffee + Bikes and coffeeneuring for those participating (details below).

Meet at the Miir Flagship in Fremont; organizers will be inside sipping coffee starting at 9:30 a.m. if you want to mingle and caffeinate. There’s plenty of bike parking outside on Stone Way and lots of room inside.

We’ll ride through the three bike counters with displays (and stop for pictures even if it’s raining): north side of the Fremont Bridge, near the bottom of 2nd Avenue protected bike lane downtown, and on the east side of the West Seattle swing bridge.

Here’s the 10-mile route there. This route has us ending at Marination Ma Kai, but if the weather is great and everyone wants to bike the two miles to Alki for additional food options, we can do so. We’ll hang for about an hour before we head back.

As we’ll have noticed on the way down, East Marginal Way South really isn’t bad on weekends when there’s no freight traffic, however, we’ll skip it on the way back and catch the West Seattle Water Taxi–$5.25 cash or ticket, $4.50 with ORCA card. The water taxi only runs on weekends through October so this is too good a chance to pass up!

We also want to avoid traversing downtown on the way back–the protected bike lanes on 2nd Ave are nice, but after that…not so much. So here’s our 5.5-mile route back. Riding along the Elliott Bay Trail will be particularly nice because we can look across the water to see where we came from (provided it’s not too grey out, of course). And we’ll take the flat-enough way up from the waterfront through the Seattle Center (and go right by La Marzocco Cafe if anyone is super serious about #JavaJoyRides and needs to hit two places in one day).

#coffeeneuring
The Chasing Mailboxes Coffeeneuring Challenge runs October 7th through November 20th and is about taking seven separate two-mile-mininum bike rides to seven different coffee places. There are lots of fun and finicky rules so click the link.

#JavaJoyRides
Java Joy Rides: Coffee + Bikes runs the whole month of October, hosted by Public Bikes + Gear Seattle. Get your punch card at Public or any of the nine participating cafes.

About Critical Lass
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…). Read more about Critical Lass.

This ride is a Cascade Bicycle Club Free Group Ride and all participants are required to wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver.

Pronto’s Women’s Bike Month Group Ride + Social is October 4th

Fun event for women who ride bikes coming up! Pronto Cycle Share, our awesome bike share system, has declared October 2016 to be Women’s Bike Month and is hosting another #WomenWhoBike Ride.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Lake Union Park Pronto Station at Westlake & Aloha
Facebook event

From Pronto Cycle Share:

This October, Pronto Cycle Share is holding its 2nd Annual Women’s Bike Month. With only 33% of Pronto Annual Members identifying as female, we want to raise the profile of women who bike and increase female ridership within Pronto and Seattle as a whole.

Similar to last year, the month will include giveaways, discounts, and a celebratory group ride consisting of Seattle’s most influential women in bike advocacy with an open invitation to female riders citywide.

Join Pronto in celebrating Seattle’s 2nd annual Women’s Bike Month with a short group ride along the new Westlake Cycle Track.

We’re inviting female riders citywide to share a bike lane with the State’s most influential women in bike advocacy. The Pronto #WomenWhoBike Ride will include leaders from: Cascade Bicycle Club, Bike Works, the City of Seattle, and more.

Added bonus? All attendees will be entered into a raffle to win one of ten $100 Timbuk2 gift cards!

Meet us at 5:30pm on Tuesday, 10/4, at the Lake Union Park Pronto Station at Westlake & Aloha. Don’t have a bike or can’t bring one with you? We’ll have Pronto bikes and helmets on hand to use for free! The ride will be 15-30 minutes long, ending at the same location. After the ride, we’ll migrate to Art Marble 21 where folks can purchase food or drinks and chat with fellow riders.

It’s going to be fun! Last year’s Women’s Bike Month was in March with a 12.5-mile #WomenWhoBike Ride on March 5th that ended at City Hall. This will be shorter and flatter🙂

#WomenWhoBike Ride 2015

#WomenWhoBike Ride 2015

Ride Recap: Critical Lass cycles through the seasons

See all our photos in the Critical Lass Cycles Through the Seasons Flickr album and see our 14-mile loop route on Ride with GPS.

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I may have forgotten our all-four-seasons theme described in the upcoming ride post, but we twelve participants had a marvelous ride and enjoyed a lot of Seattle’s bike infrastructure, some of it brand new!!!

  • Burke-Gilman Trail, multi-use trail in the Rail-Trail Hall of Fame
  • Separated bike lanes on N 34th Street (new!)
  • Bike counter on the Fremont Bridge
  • Left over markings from Park(ing) Day Plus on Florentia Street
  • Ship Canal Trail, multi-use trail
  • Westlake Bikeway (new!)
  • Dexter Ave N separated bike lane
  • Mercer Street/5th Ave N separated bike lanes
  • West Thomas Street Overpass
  • Elliott Bay Trail, multi-use trail
  • NW 58th Street Ballard Neighborhood Greenway
  • Bike counter on Ballard Neighborhood Greenway
  • All-way stop sign for NW 46th St at 14th Ave NW of the Missing Link (new!)
  • Missing Link bike lanes on NW 45th St

Of particular note was the newly-completed Westlake Bikeway. It’s such a nice way to get south after crossing the Fremont Bridge. Unfortunately it doesn’t connect to anything yet (like most of our bike facilities) and it’s been sabotaged with tacks…but it’s great! Only one of our 12 riders picked up a tack and went flat several miles later.

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I rode the bikeway the night before, looking for tacks and seeing none…and brought a dustpan along in case I spotted any this day. But now I think I’ll avoid it and not bring group rides here until I hear things are all cleaned up. Now if you get a flat, file a report online with the Community Online Reporting Program (CORP) tool.

To avoid the worst part of the Missing Link we took just two bad blocks of NW 54th St/NW Market St (safety in numbers!) and then climbed up to the Ballard Greenway…although we started one block south of the Greenway because it’s easier to cross 24th Ave NW with the stop light on 57th than with the push-button pedestrian flashers (called an RRFB for Rectangular Rapid Flash Beacon) on 58th.

We left the greenway at 14th Ave NW because that’s a good spot to reenter the Missing Link and I was quite pleased to discover a new four-way stop that made it much easier to cross the street at NW 46th St, by Trader Joes.

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Not bike related, but none of us had seen jumping salmon at the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks before now. One of the locks workers stopped by and told us those were the “smart” salmon who cruised through the locks with boats rather than struggle their way up the fish ladder. They were just hanging out acclimating to the fresh water before continuing upstream. They don’t generally jump, but he said there was a seal in there, too, and it may have been related to that. Sea lions are much more of a threat, though.

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Upcoming: Critical Lass cycles through the seasons

Saturday, September 24, 2016
10:00 a.m.
Solsticio
(1100 N Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103)
Facebook RSVP

Whoa, summer sure disappeared suddenly. Let’s celebrate the changing of the seasons…and all four seasons (cool & rainy | warm & rainy | brisk & rainy | cold & rainy) as we ramp up for bicycling through increasingly short and cold days. We’ll see what we can do about arranging some rain so you can test out any new rain gear, but right now the forecast is looking pretty nice, bummer.

Our ride will start from Solsticio (SUMMER) along the Burke-Gilman Trail in Fremont at 10:00am. Go early if you want coffee or breakfast–they have a great breakfast! Organizers will be there for eating and hanging at 9:30am.

Our ride will be be a 14-mile loop (in the shape of an American Goldfinch because it’s our state bird, it’s a cheery sunshiny yellow, and it hangs out in our region year-round), hitting some spots that will evoke the four seasons.

Here’s our route.

We’ll end at Fremont Brewing, where there is plenty of indoor and outdoor seating. Our ride ends at this point, so we’ll be off the clock and on our own to hang out. Note: our ride is two days after the release party for Cowiche Canyon Fresh Hop Ale, a sure sign of FALL!

About Critical Lass
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…). Read more about Critical Lass.

This ride is a Cascade Bicycle Club Free Group Ride and all participants are required to wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver.

Girls of Summer alley cat race coming June 11th

2016_GoS_flyer_4webJust wanted to let you know about a super-fun event coming up, put on by our friends at Menstrual Monday (a monthly Seattle ride for women). Now, this is a race, but not all participants are there for competitive reasons. It’s also a fun ride around the city, either with a pre-arranged group of friends, or new friends met just before the word “Go!”

And there are always SOMANYPRIZES. Like, enough prizes for each participant. The checkpoints are great fun, too. Hope to see you there!

From the 6th Annual Girls of Summer 2016!!!!! page:

Menstrual Monday is pleased as punch to announce the SIXTH ANNUAL ALL-Girl Alley Cat, Girls of Summer! Save the date, we race on Saturday June 11th!

Join us for another year of miles, smiles, sweat, and laughter! Last year our number of racers swelled to 90 women who came together to celebrate bikes, the city, and each other.

As always, we will have prizes in fun and creative categories to encourage new or non-competitive riders (a MOUNTAIN of prizes, thanks to our incredible sponsors!). In the tradition of road racing we will have a Master’s category but this year it will be 45 and up. That means the first person age 45 and up will get a sweet prize.

Register at Gas Works Park starting at 2pm and race at 3pm sharp. Things to bring: map of Seattle, a lock, a pen, and a helmet.

If you are super supportive of getting more women enjoying bicycle adventures and want to help run a stop email menstrualmonday@gmail.com.

After party at The Boxcar. Awards 6:30 (ish). They will have $2 PBR specials for everyone. Plus there is Karaoke starting at 6. Who can say no to Karaoke? No one that’s who.

Want to get jazzed about the race or relive the good times last year? Check out our flickr group or read the 2015 race wrap-up.

Ride Recap: Seattle CycloFemme 2016

What an amazing day! 55 celebrants for CycloFemme in Seattle.

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See all our photos in the Seattle CycloFemme 2016 Flickr album

THANK YOU!

Thanks to Public Bikes + Gear Seattle for greeting us at Cal Anderson Park with coffee from Stumptown Coffee Roasters and doughnuts from Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts!

Thanks to Detours for beautiful flowers from the Capitol Hill Broadway Farmers Market!

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Thanks (again) to Public Bikes + Gear Seattle for the generous gift card to PCC Natural Markets and to Morgan Scherer of Familybike for collecting and carrying-by-bike all the picnic fixings.

Photo by Jack Tomkinson

Photo by Jack Tomkinson

Thanks to Pauh who took over bike portraiture while his adorable kids helped by climbing on him😉

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Thank you to each and every participant who joined us! This day wouldn’t have been nearly as special without you.

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And big thanks to the entire CycloFemme Global Women’s Cycling Day movement. #weridetogether

CycloFemme is May 8, 2016!

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Sunday, May 8, 2016
11:00 a.m.
Cal Anderson Park
(1635 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122)
Facebook event

CycloFemme is coming up, as always on Mother’s Day! It’s also Seattle Critical Lass’ birthday–we held our first ride on the first CycloFemme four fabulous years ago.

Join Familybike Seattle, Critical Lass, Public Bikes + Gear Seattle, and Detours to celebrate women as the powerful forces we are in our families and communities! Let’s celebrate our commitment and choices in creating healthy, sustainable, stress-reducing, safe, community-building, congestion-free and enjoyable ways of living.

The ride starts at Cal Anderson Park (after coffee from Stumptown Roasters and doughnuts from Top Pot Doughnuts provided by PUBLIC! And flowers to brighten the surely-already-sunny day from local bicycle bag maker, Detours!). We’re riding to Madrona Beach via a scenic route alongside Volunteer Park, Interlaken, and the Arboretum. Ride with GPS link to route.

CycloFemme is a Global Women’s Cycling Day created TO HONOR THE PAST and the emancipation of our grandmothers and great-grandmothers, for the freedom to choose and the chance to wear pants. TO CELEBRATE THE PRESENT and the riders who keep it rolling, bringing women’s racing to the forefront, pushing the limits, breaking down barriers and sharing the love of the bike with everyone along the way. TO EMPOWER THE FUTURE of women in cycling and the opportunity for positive social change. Encourage women to ride and they will change the world.

WHO SHOULD COME?
This ride is designed to be welcoming to those who identify as female, but open to all.

Per CycloFemme:
“At the core of CycloFemme are the women, children, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and friends who join us, support us and give this movement momentum. We ride together.”

From the About Critical Lass page: “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!”

Our CycloFemme ride is open to everyone because we wouldn’t dream of turning anyone away, BUT the focus is those who identify as female. BUT part two, it’s also a regular Kidical Mass ride at the same time and we want all non-female-identifying family bikers to feel completely welcome. Basically: come ride! And if you don’t identify as female, it’d be awesome if you could convince a friend who does identify as female to come out for the ride. This is a slow-paced social ride and a wonderful way to get back into bicycling.


This ride is a Cascade Bicycle Club Free Group Ride and all participants are required to wear a bicycle helmet and sign a waiver.

Ride Recap: Critical Lass Celebrates Spring!

We had a perfect Seattle March day for Critical Lass Celebrates Spring! on this first day of spring. (That means it rained…but not the whole time!)

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See the complete Flickr photo album.

Our four-mile ride (route here) was was flattest, most pleasant way to climb up Capitol Hill from UW. We used 40th to leave campus, much of which is two-way protected bike lanes, separated from the car lanes with flexiposts. That took us under the University Bridge so we could U-turn and climb up to the bridge to get and Eastlake Avenue, for a few busy blocks before climbing one block of Hamlin up to quiet-yet-potholey Franklin.

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From there, we introduced many of our riders to the path through the I-5 Colonnade mountain bike park:

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and the Melrose Promenade:
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Then a few blocks up Pine and we were there!

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We received a warm welcome at Public Bikes Seattle with snacks and refreshments, not to mention coupons, a flat fix and wheel truing for one rider (Public Bikes might look like just a showroom, but there’s a full bike shop for all your repair needs, too!), and pleasant conversation out of the rain.

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Our ride was part of Public Bikes’ “Spring into Gear” multi-day event. Coming up on Thursday, there’s a free basic maintenance course…
from Public Bikes + Gear Seattle – Spring Into Gear Facebook event:

Dust off that bike and get rolling! It’s time to #SpringIntoGear. Join us March 24th at 6 PM for a free basic maintenance course to get you ready to ride for Spring with our rock star mechanic Ryan.

He’ll go over basics such asfixing a flat, adjusting brakes and checking your headset, with time for Q&A. You’ll also enjoy brews from Peddler Brewing Company, a complimentary patch kit, and 30% off all full-priced service items, including tubes, pumps, chain lube, and more.

Can’t wait to see you!