Bastille Day! C'est Magnifique!

In case you don't already know, (I didn't) Bastille Day is like a French Independence Day, but without Bill Paxton or aliens or fireworks or anything, just a remembrance of rebels arming themselves for violent monarchal overthrow and non-French people dressing and talking all Frenchy. I was out of town for two weeks, in Portland, learning more about bike repair. I came home for the weekend so that Little Oil and I could be together on Bastille Day. And what a day of Bastilles it was!

And being the Pedaling Family that we are, what better way to celebrate French Independence (or whatever) than the C'est Magnifique! bike ride and picnic with Hub and Bespoke?

ONE of these people won a "Best Dressed" competition at the day's end.

Dozens of nice folks gathered at Melrose Market on Capitol Hill for the ride. Little Oil loves group bike rides, although she continues to refer to all of them as, "Kikoo Max." I guess riding in CriticalMass has made an impression? Super-cute!

Already starting to doze.

I wasn't sure that we were gonna stick with the ride for the duration, but Little wound up going down for a nap pretty soon after we'd departed and we were locked into staying on the bike for at least an hour or so. We stuck with the group. I had a lot of fun and Little Oil had a lot of sleep.

Le Zzzzzz.

Juliette took us on a nice route including the Colonade path under I-5 and part of the trail that runs paralel with Easlake. I love it when social rides include useful commuter links. Fun and learnin', together! We made some stop-offs for wine and snacks and wound up at a picnic on Kite Hill at Gasworks.

At this point, Little Oil awoke and my job became keeping my kid from leaping into Lake Union. Luckily, I really like that job. Good times!

Juliette gave Little the Bastille Day Balloons! Nice!

And we were off!

On the way home, we came up through Interlaken, which Little calls "the Woods." The ride was stunning and pleasant, as usual. Truly, Interlaken Blvd is a gem of a bike route. Despite the fact that this route is an apparently endless, unrelenting hill, the musk of the loam and the calm of the swaying ferns goes a long way towards making the climb bearable.

Unfortunately, at the top of the greenway we are still a few blocks and a few dozen vertical feet from the top of Capitol Hill. This is the third time in a row that Little Oil somehow convinced me to just power up the three heart-bursting short, steep climbs straight up Galer to 15th. I don't know why I fall for it, she just reassures me, "You can do it, Papa. Go up!" and I can't imagine going the other, in no way longer or slower, perfectly reasonable route up 18th Ave to Aloha.

It was a glorious climb. My eyes were tearing as we hit the top. Drivers tried to give me my turn at the three-way stop and all I could do was wheeze and wave them on. I stood there for at least a couple of minutes. We finally continued on through Volunteer Park. Some friends called out to us from the playground, I just panted at them and Little Oil took care of the pleasantries. As we hit the parkway by the Asian Art Museum all my energy came rushing back in one quick bike spotting.

Is that a tall bike I see before me?

No,even better, it's an Ordinary Bike! I'd just been writing about Penny Farthings the other day and here one is, in person! Rider, Barefoot Ted was super eager to talk with us and a really nice guy.

Little Oil was as thrilled as I was to spot this charming, retro gem.

Nice Bike, Nice Person!

All in all, another great, bikey day with the kid!