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!