I started yesterday morning on foot with 86 modes of transportation under my belt, but by the end of the day I would surpass 90. I headed down to Westlake Center, a shopping center in Seattle, where I met up with Paul and Chris, two former co-workers and current friends. Paul's written all the original songs in the Un-Road Trip videos, and Chris filmed the very first Un-Road Trip promo video. Paul was going to provide me with my 87th mode of transportation:
Piggyback ride! On Paul's back, I traveled about a block down 5th Avenue as Chris documented the ride. Next I was headed to Play it Again Sports, who generously loaned me a bike for the day. I biked along Lake Union to The Electric Boat Company, who offered to take me across the lake in one of their Duffy Electric Boats. That's also where I met up with Michael and Mark of KING 5's Evening Magazine. They were joining the journey for the afternoon to film a piece for the show. I wheeled my bicycle onto the boat, and we were off across the lake.
I was dropped off at a dock on the other side and rode over to Inner Space Skatepark in Fremont. I've never been on a skateboard before, but I was excited to learn. Mike, who started the indoor skatepark a few years back, gave me a few tips and coached me as I took my first few kicks and rolled forward a few feet.
The skatepark was full of dozens of preteens zipping by and over various ramps. I was the annoying beginner, zig-zagging through the room, but everyone was amazingly supportive. The kids would clap for me when I didn't fall off, told me I was doing great, and one ten-year old even offered, "you're better than I was when I first got on a skateboard." I took a few tumbles, but I managed to skate across the room and even down one of the small ramps. As I successfully made it down that ramp, the kids took their skateboards and banged them against the ramp in triumph. I was not only pretty proud to call myself a remedial skateboarder, but I felt like I was part of the gang.
Next I headed to my friend and jugband colleague, John Brown's house on the other side of the bridge. He had proposed a pretty unique mode of transportation on twitter a few days before, and I couldn't pass up the offer. My 89th mode of transportation would be puppy-pulled longboard. As we were about to head out with the puppy, I noticed a wheel barrow in John's yard and fit in another quick mode of transportation. Then we headed down to the Burke Gilman trail, I fastened my helmet, stepped onto the longboard, and took the leash from John. John instructed Zulu, the puppy, to run, and I was suddenly zooming down the path. I was still figuring out how to balance, and after a few seconds I stumbled off the board and was simply running behind the dog. I decided to try again, and within a few seconds I was speeding down the path again. I was going pretty fast as I noticed Zulu veering a bit towards the grass and dirt... Next thing I knew I was sliding across the ground in a sudden wipeout. I sat up, then stood up, then decided to sit back down again. I was pretty winded and a little out of it. I wasn't too badly bruised, except for the rough patch on my elbow.
I felt better after a few minutes and hopped back on the bike to head back over to Fremont and the Dutch Bike Company. Fritz and Stephan invited me to take out their 7-person conference bicycle. But first, I had to find six friends to bring along. I didn't have to look very far. I realized it was the perfect opportunity to reunite The Dexter Street Stompers, Seattle's jugband sensation, for whom I play kazoo. We loaded our instruments on board- easy for a kazoo and jug but not so easy for a washtub bass.
Then we hit the streets, playing our tunes as we pedaled up and down Ballard Avenue. People seemed pretty happy to see us- even the motorists who were forced to slow down as we blocked most of the lane.
I'm really looking forward to seeing video of this. We returned the bike to the store, and I chatted with Fritz and Stephan about their range of vehicles.
They sell a true cargo bicycle, different from most of the cargo trikes I've seen as it only has two wheels. I took it for a test ride before I hopped in the front and became the cargo as Fritz pedaled. And there I had mode of transportation number 92. I think I can almost see 100 now. Stay tuned...