If you did not “hear” me say this before, Seattle has some big hills. I mean BIG!
During my first visit to the city, I found this out the easy way (said no one ever!). I wanted to ride my rented bike from the south side, up to Fremont to see the Fremont Troll. I had to; it was in the movie “10 Things I Hate About You!” There are references if you search my blog. https://zuludelta45.net/2018/04/24/underwhelmed/
I “kicked” it old school; I took out my trusty paper visitors map that I got in the lobby of the hotel. “Hmmmm, there seems to be one long street that will traverse the city and take me almost all the way North until I have to cross the Lake Washington Ship Canal.” Clever, these old paper maps. Yea, but there is one thing they don’t include; elevation reference. I biked Queen Anne Ave, but let me tell you, yes, it’s long and straight, but it’s also a serious, serious climb……..for a long way. I was not expecting that!
When I returned the bike to Paul; the guy who I rented it from, and the same guy who had taken me on a 3 hours bike tour of the city, I told him the route I had traveled. He burst out laughing. “Dennis, you ‘mad urban bike warrior’ (he’s the one who gave me that expression), we only take that route every few years…..if we have to!”
I’m glad I took that route, I’m glad I added this bike adventure to my “bike resume,” and I’m glad I had the mental reference so I was prepared for the wildly ridicules, and fun “couch surfing” video down Queen Anne Ave, I came across several years later on Youtube.
I also remember Paul, our tour guide for something else. Paul wanted to take us “somewhere,” I don’t remember exactly where. He told us we were going to “cut through” the Convention Center. It was a novice bike tour, so I think the idea was to enter the Center on one level, and take the elevator to another level and bypass the steep and busy hill climb of the street outside. Just as we were about to go into the Center, I sheepishly asked; “is it OK to take our bikes in here? Will we get in trouble?”
As noted, I’m all about rouge bike missions, but I like to know ahead of time to prepare my lies as to why I’m there with my bike. Did I just say that? I meant to say I never want to flaunt the rules of society and look forward to being an upstanding bike citizen! (Hahahahahah…..good one Zulu!).
Paul, almost jokingly indignant replied “Of course we can take our bikes in here. This is a public building, paid for with public taxpayer money, and there is no way we won’t be able to walk our bikes through here!” Did I ever tell you that I love Seattle!
Paul’s comments did change the way I saw bike paths and places in the future. My bike in the elevator here and there, my bike stored in my hotel room, my bike on the subway. It’s a whole new world out there and I’m excited about it.
I will leave you with the couch surfing video. There are so many things I love about this video, but it goes out to every kid who ever sat down on a sled, their bottom, or a piece of cardboard to slide down a hill; especially Queen Anne Ave.