Saturday, March 13, 2010

To the Bike Expo: German Acrobatic Cyclists, Hasidic Jews, and IC3

It was a cold morning on our way to Bike Expo. but the promise of more than 300 exhibits of bikes, gear, travel, health and fitness plus three stages of speakers and performers kept us moving. Our route along the Burke-Gilman Bike Trail into Seattle wasn't too eventful until we passed Matthews Beach Park and I passed three pedestrians that were dressed a bit peculiarly. As I neared them I realized it was an Hasidic Jewish couple and their daughter. The tell-tale black broad-brimmed hat, long coat, and untrimmed beard gave him away. I wondered if we had cycled too far and were now in Crown Heights, Brooklyn.

We rode on into Fremont, crossing the Fremont Bridge and into Seattle via Dexter Avenue. I had not ridden along Dexter before and recognized some familiar businesses like KING TV's broadcasting studios and a few radio networks. After missing a turn, we rode a bit deeper into downtown than we needed, but retraced our path back into Belltown and then westward to the Olympic Sculpture Park and then along the Elliott Bay Trail that would take us to Cruise Terminal 91.

The view across Elliott Bay was stunning as the sun began to emerge from the clouds and warm up our late morning. Cascade Bicycle Club was routing us around some commercial property that borders the Cruise Terminal so our route to Expo for the final mile or two wasn't as direct as we had hoped. We turned onto the pier and passed other cyclists, pedestrians, and buses. And two kids on unicycles.

After entering Expo, we could tell we wouldn't be disappointed. Two floors of exhibits with booth after booth with cycling gear, organized ride info, cycling tour operators, food distributors, and so much more. My first stop was at the International Christian Cycling Club booth where Mike Leaman and Jay Bonner were greeting attendees and giving away Hammer Nutrition samples. They were getting plenty of visitors on this busy Saturday morning and early afternoon. The place was a zoo. I was glad I brought my backpack. I filled it with cycling grub samples, fliers for upcoming rides, and free cycling magazines being handed out. It also limited me to not buying anything more than what I could fit INSIDE the backpack!

After making my rounds upstairs, I headed downstairs to make sure I didn't miss the German Artistic Cyclists, Corrina Hein, Stefan Musu and Lukas Matla. These three cyclists were absolutely stunning to watch. The video at the top of this blog shows some of the amazing tricks this athletes are able to do with a bike. Needless to say, I did NOT attempt any of these moves on the way home.

On our way home, we headed north toward Discovery Park but turned to take one of my favorite hidden bike routes—a walking bridge that crosses the Burlington Northern RR and connects W. Government Way to W. Commodore Way. When you exit, you are south of the Ballard Locks. We walked through the Locks, remounted our bikes, and returned back to Eastside Foursquare Church along the Burke-Gilman Trail once more. It was a day of sights, tastes, and tricks... and plenty of miles.

More photos here.

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