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Saturday, July 31, 2010

I-90 Floating Bridge

I ended up taking a ride around Lake Washington and across the I-90 floating bridge. Seattle is surrounded by water on all sides. Puget Sound, Lake Union, Lake Washington and Green Lake make up the liquiscape of Seattle and provide some spectacular views. I didn't take too many pictures as the weather was cold and foggy for most of the morning. The sun eventually burned through by around 11:00am making the ride much more pleasant.

I was feeling better and more powerful in my legs, but my stomach was having a bad reaction to something. My main route was Lake Washington Blvd., the main round-lake road. It is flat, fast and filled with triathletes. Later on I will write a detailed comparison between Seattle and Taiwan riding, but I must say that for a population of under 2 million people, King County, Washington State, has a very high number of active people and especially cyclists on the roads and trails.

That does not mean the saturation of cycles could prohibit a random stranger from shouting, "bicycles are retarded!" from the passenger seat of a car.

I had to ride across the bridge, which is the longest floating bridge in the world and disastrously sunk during a storm in 1989. The road sections are built upon hollow pontoons that are fastened into place. This avoids having to anchor supports into the deep, muddy lakebed.

Good riding!

Seattle Peeks Over Capitol Hill

I-90 Floating Bridge

A Friendly Rider

Enjoying The Speed

Looking East Toward Bellevue

Friday, July 30, 2010

Marymoor Velodrome Races

Earlier in the trip we went out to the Seattle suburb of Redmond to watch the races at the FSA Grand Prix on the old velodrome.

We had a great time watching the races all evening as they started with the kids and worked up to the championships.

A little smuggled beer helped set the mood for the night.

The racers came from as far away as New Zealand, but included some local talent as well.

There were both individual and team events taking up the bulk of the nights racing.

As the night wore on the riders, who had been competing all week, looked like they were aout spent.

Lots of fun!

Why Bike Commuting Will Not Work In Taiwan.

According to this Aussie blogger commuting by bike can not work in Taiwan.


Taiwanese win medals in Commonwealth Games. Why Taiwanese were invited to a commonwealth games is beyond me, but I am glad they did well.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Taking An Italian on a Tour of Seattle

This has been a pretty busy week and I have had only a little time to arrange photos and post them. Although I have been dealing with family things, I have managed to get a couple-few rides in during this break in the weather.

The bike I am riding is a loaner from my cousin, who happens to be my exact size, so switching bikes is easy. He is loaning me a steel, Bianchi Veloce with a mix of Campy Veloce and Centaur in a triple crank. The ride is stable and smooth, but lacks the feeling of speed of my regular bike. The shifting is crisp and accurate.

All in all, I am happy to be riding in this town.

I started in Beacon Hill and took the Jose Rizal bridge to Capitol Hill and crested Broadway, which is Seattle's own little Castro... or at least it was until the junkies took over in the late 90's. The area is changing drastically with new apartments and other gentrification that heals the bad, but kills the soul. I stopped for a minute at the Jimi Hendrix statue on Pine and Broadway. I remember seeing the Hendrix family dedicating the statue many years ago. I always remember seeing Jimi's cousin walking around the Renton Highlands, just unable to let the image die.

I continues on until Aloha St. and then climbed the hill up to Volunteer Park, which used to be a prime cruising spot. When I was a kid I guess we wandered into some bushes that were in use and surprised a couple of dudes in the act.

Volunteer Park houses the Asian Art Museum where I would ride the camels. Decades of child camel jockeys had worn the originals, which now sit in the Seattle Art Museum.

After passing through Volunteer Park, I detoured into the Lake View Cemetery where Bruce and Brandon Lee are buried.
I took off down the hill to the Harvard Exit and passed through the University District and paid my respects to the University of Washington. I spent many a day enjoying all the sights on campus.

The weather was beautiful and Mt. Rainier was clearly visible from the Rose Garden.

I left campus and headed up University Way to Ravenna Park on 55th St. The cool shade of the tall trees was a welcome relief from the direct sunlight. I then took off down the hill to the University Village and headed up 25th St. to 65 and then took it all the way to Greenlake Ave. These places are all very special to me and I enjoyed the feeling of passing through them again. Greenlake is a small, urban lake that is used by walkers, joggers and cyclists for recreation.

I was quite famished after a morning of meandering, and so I headed for the closest place I could think of where I could eat and watch the bike. I knew I had to go eat Dick's.

Dick's was established in 1954, and my father was there for the opening. They have the best burgers in town and even better fries. The shakes are the only thing to wash it all down.

With a mouthful of Dick's, I took off again and headed for the former Hippie hideout of Fremont. During the 1960's, Fremont was a district full of radicals and rabble. It is now full of Techies as Adobe makes its HQ there.

One feature of Fremont is the famous troll under the Fremont bridge. I remember discovering the troll when it was first built. I was a preteen and I remembered the site as a place to take future dates. Lot's of neckin' at the troll.

The Fremont signpost proudly points toward Taiwan, so I always remember where home is no matter how long I stay.

I then took the Burke Gilman Bike Trail out to Ballard and visited my friend's tea shop. Miro Tea is in Old Ballard and they serve a huge selection of some of Taiwan's best teas. After a refreshing iced Baozhong Tea from Pinglin, I went to the Hiram Chittenden Locks, a series of locks to make boat traffic possible between the fresh water lakes and Puget Sound.

A fish ladder allows the visitor to watch the salmon swim up to Lake Washington from Puget Sound.

The Locks let me pass the ship canal to Magnolia, where I headed back on Admiral Way and then over to the low side of Queen Anne Hill. I first had to pass through the Seattle Center on Dexter and 5th.

Seattle Center was one the site of the 1962 World's Fair, where "it" happened. Many of the old "Space Age" attractions still sit. Unfortunately, the Flight to Mars is long gone.

I then climbed a killer hill on Queen Anne Blvd. to the top where the view is absolutely stunning.

After a tip toeing my way back down I stopped at Top Pot Doughnuts on 5th and Lenora for a maple bar.

Finally, I headed through town to the Pike Place Market, one of the oldest continually run farmer's markets in the US.

My escape route was through Post Alley, and the wall of bubblegum.

The Hammering Man was right where I left him in front of the Seattle Art Museum. I still like him better with the massive ball and chain the guerilla artist Subculture Joe a.k.a Jason Sprinkle, attached to his leg on Labor Day.

I finished up in Pioneer Square and Smith Tower, once the tallest building west of the Mississippi. I then returned through the International District.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Giant Comfort Bike-FOR SALE- (SPAM)

I normally don't use this space to advertise, but my buddy in Lin Kou, Michael C., is trying to unload his while Giant Ltd. comfort bike. There was nothing wrong with the bike, it was just not right for the rider. If anyone is interested in this you can get more info from the seller HERE.

*I will not be receiving any money or reimbursement for this notice of solicitation. Any agreement reached between the buyer and seller is strictly a private matter between the two parties and does not involve this blogger.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

The Politics of Cycling in Taiwan

I predicted a while back that it wouldn't take long for the bicycle to enter the political arena in stump speeches, campaign ads and policy propositions.

The Taiwan News reports that the DPP candidate for Xinbei City, Su Tseng-chang, ( chong, chong, chong!!!)
has dragged out a proposal for improving bicycle lanes in Taipei, taking a pot shot at his KMT rivals and their disaster of a Dun Hua Rd. bike lane. The article states:

Su, a former Taipei County magistrate, also reiterated a series of policy on the promotion of bicycle industry as a local governor, including a long-distance trail linking the Yingge Ceramics Museum and the Shihsanhang Museum of Archaeology in Bali Township, both of which are popular attractions.

I am all for promoting cycling, but I strongly feel that most politicians are having a difficult time wrapping their minds around the bicycle as something other than casual entertainment. The local governments need to start concentrating on safe, bicycle viaducts and bicycle corridors through urban areas to encourage people to leave their cars at home.

Unfortunately, all we ever hear about are projects to drive tourism. It really feels like Taiwan is seeking to become another Okinawa or Hainan Island; a tourism Mecca for visitors from a wealthy metropole.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Bike Walker: Ad from Seattle Craig's List

Emerald City Bicycle Walking Service

Reply to:

Hi there! My name is Brad and I am the founder and CEO of Emerald City Bike Walkers. Our team here at ECBW provides the best bicycle walking in the greater Seattle area. In case you haven't noticed there is a lot of bicycle walking happening in our city. Especially with the weather improving a lot of people are taking their bicycles out of the garage, dusting them off, and walking them through our beautiful city. If you have been on Capital Hill, Downtown or in the University District lately I bet you have seen a number of fixed gears, track bikes, 10-12 speeds and even race bikes being walked around. The committed staff at ECBW understands that you live a busy life and may not always have time to walk your beloved bicycle as much as it deserves. For a surprising low $15 ECBW will walk your bike up and down Broadway, pass the messengers Downtown and up the Ave in the Univesity or anywhere else you would like. This frees up valuable time for you to shop at American Apparel, see a show at Neumos or the new Crocodile, grab a drink or six at the Cha Cha, sit at Bauhaus, browse the Stranger personals or listen to Pitchfork's newest top rated artists. On top of adding additional time to your day, ECBW also allows your flashy fixie or tricked out track bike, race ready road machine or otherwise to be seen around town building your street cred! Don't delay, book your next bicycle walk with Emerald City Bicycle Walkers today!

  • Location: Seattle
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A Few Seattle Pics

Free Drink

Beer at the Buckaroo

Riding For Beer

The Bellevue Bike Store

Vivace Macciato

Don Katsu from Hana

Bike Parking

Learning to be Urbane

These Bikes Should Be Ridden Well, Not Well Hung

Are We Not Men?


Pigs in Blankets

Heading For Town