Finally, a warm, sunny spring day in the Pacific Northwest. What a perfect “Chamber of Commerce” day to ride down and check out the Seattle Pedaler’s Fair in Ballard. Before you ask, “what’s a pedaler’s fair”? Look up pedalersfair.com and that will clear up some of your questions. The short answer is, a fun display of local bicycle related craftsmanship.
I had a nice easy ride from Gasworks Park, along the Burke Gillman Trail, following the Ship Canal to the Ballard area. Stopping for a 360 degree view at any one time would reveal, cyclists, runners, walkers, baby strollers, kayakers, float planes, and loads of people just lounging around. Oh, speaking of stopping…this was a photo walk type of bike ride, so you gotta bet I stopped a lot.
Eventually I rolled up to the warehouse type building where the Pedaler’s Fair was located. The place was buzzing with activity. As a lifelong cyclist I have always enjoyed events like this and I feel it keeps my cycle interests balanced out. My past history of racing mountain bikes and several years spent as a bike cop in a “street drug unit” might have had tendency to make a guy somewhat narrow-minded if they failed to explore the rest of the wide world of bicycles. Hey, where were all these custom utility bike fabricators when I was toying with the idea of making a bicycle mount for my CAR-15?
I spent some time wandering around the different venders and examining all the unique products. Everyone was delighted when I asked if I could photograph their stuff. I guess I didn’t look like I was clever enough to copy any of their ideas and make them myself.
From the Pedaler’s Fair it was back out into the glorious sunshine. I found a little mocha shop with some outside seating of the sunny side of the street.
I took that self timer shot (of me at the mocha shop) with my camera placed on a trash can looking west. The colorful flowers were taken by simply rotating the camera to the north. I like to think I’m pretty “artsy” when I find these colorful photos surrounded by trash cans, graffiti, and general urban decay.
Once I was sufficiently fortified with caffeine to face the perils of the Burke Gillman Trail and all of it’s undisciplined Saturday morning traffic I was back in the saddle. This narrow ribbon of urban asphalt works pretty well if all of the trail users follow the rules of the road and keep their heads up as they navigate the twists, turns, starts, and stops. Unfortunately that rarely (never) happens on a sunny spring saturday morning. No worries! It was just gonna be up to me to ride defensively and be extra careful.
In the two images above, taken just seconds apart, one can get the sense of how busy the trail is. Think of it as an Urban Stunt Circus, or better yet visualize a Gladiator School.
That’s about it for this little slice of urban adventure. I’ll leave you with a portrait of my faithful steed. Cannondale T-2000 touring bike, Ortlieb panniers, Vaude handlebar bag, and SPD campus clip-in pedals.
Happy trails, Kat