Friday, June 26, 2009

The Race to 100 Continues in Seattle

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.

Boaz & Jug Band

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...

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