As summer inches closer and the sun has finally agreed to make a few appearances, I’m getting excited for a few months of outdoor fun, alfresco dining, and campfire conversations. One of my favorite activities is Bikes and Brews: a fun bike ride followed by snacks and drinks at a local brewery. Today was a great kick-off to the season and gave a great glimpse into summer adventures ahead.
Running Season is Upon Us
Yesterday was a great kick-of to the summer season. The past 10 weeks I’ve been coaching a team for Girls on the Run and it has been an amazing experience. We’ve worked on developing our running abilities while also learning about finding your inner strength, making friends, and using strategies for dealing with life experiences. The grand finale to the program is completing a 5k event and I reveled at seeing each of our girls – including my daughter – accomplish this goal. There was dancing, silly string, giggles, and fun. I love the atmosphere of race days and the joy people exude. It was priceless to be able to share that experience with our team of girls.
If you’re looking for a way to get involved with your community, I highly recommend you check out Girls on the Run. They rely on volunteers for coaching, running buddies, event planning and prep, and program maintenance so there are plenty of options. If there’s not a local council near you, consider starting one!
After a celebratory lunch (brunch and Bloody Mary’s after every race, right?), I got prepped for my first bike ride of the season. Since I recently bought a new car, I was pretty sure the roof rack bike holder wasn’t going to work for me. And I was proven right. Although I can lift my bike up easily, reaching the bike rack while stepping into the door frame while holding the bike above my head and getting it into the proper place wasn’t really going to happen. With a little help from my friend, it worked for the day. But stay tuned for more bike carrying solutions as I figure out how I’m going to transport all our bikes this summer!
Better to Prepare than to…
Other than pumping up my tires, I hadn’t done much to prep for our ride since it was kind of a last minute decision. It quickly became apparent that I probably should have spent 5 minutes ahead of time planning out what I needed. I was missing my tiny storage pouch under my seat which meant between my bike and my clothes, I had not one single storage option for my phone and wallet. Good thing for the make-shift bra-pocket I guess. Not ideal, but it worked. I usually bring my backpack on rides with kids so I have a place for snacks and clothing layers. Next time! And I really need to get my bike maintenance taken care of soon!
I think there’s two key elements to your first ride out for the season: (1) have an entertaining destination and (2) don’t ride too far because your seat’s gonna start to hurt. So with this in mind, of we set on our adventure down the trail with a vague turn-around point of…somewhere near the taproom.
Checking out the Local Craft Brews
I’ve been hearing about the 192 Brewing Co. and Lake Trail Taproom just off the Burke-Gilman trail for awhile so I was happy to finally check it out. They have a huge patio with tons of outdoor seating, a great selection of beer, delicious looking food, and a kid-friendly atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot to spend some time talking over a good beer, enjoying the sun, and occasionally listening to the live band playing in the background. I’ll definitely be going back this summer!
We rounded out the afternoon at Redhook Brewery, which is where all my running/biking adventures began with a baby in tow 9 years ago. They recently announced they’d be closing the brewery and I had to do some investigating about what that meant. Luckily, they plan on keeping the Forecaster’s Pub open indefinitely while trying to sell the brewery portion of the facilities. (Top fact-gathering information comes directly from our waitress, so take the accuracy of our source as you will). This has always been a great location to come with a kids or a larger group after a run or ride on the trail and I’m hoping it will remain that way!
It was a great day celebrating accomplishments, riding the trail, getting re-acquainted with my bike, and celebrating the approaching summer. The only thing that would have made the day better was if we could have walked across the street to join everyone at Chateau St. Michele watching John Legend’s concert! Maybe next time…
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