Fringe Sport Weekend

18 05 2015

Some weekends, everything happens at once. There was so much happening this past weekend that I couldn’t even do half of what I wanted. On the calendar: the Mutual of Enumclaw stage race, the LA Aviators visiting Seattle for Ultimate, a backyard BBQ at our house, Beat the Bridge (had to skip it), the University District street fair (too busy to go), the CF walk (sad, but couldn’t make it).

This wound up being the Fringe Sport weekend; my time revolved around bicycle road racing and Ultimate frisbee. I know very little about road racing. However, my cyclocross team hosts the Mutual of Enumclaw Stage Race each year, and all team members pitch in and volunteer. This year I helped as a corner marshall on Saturday and doing road race setup on Sunday. 

Men's Pro/1/2

Sunday, we watched the visiting LA Aviators play the Seattle Cascade in Ultimate frisbee. My college roommate Frankie coaches the Aviators and we had a fun-but-short visit before the game. 

At the Ultimate game

The kids had a blast at the game. While spectating was fun, the highlight was getting to play capture the flag on the field at halftime. 

An awesome weekend overall. I just wish the calendar spread the awesomeness around a little more!

The Weekend in Pictures

6 05 2015

Everything came together for an awesome weekend. We had clear skies and warm (for Seattle) weather both days. Work didn’t intrude (too badly) on weekend time, so we got to go out and enjoy our city. So what did we do?

Saturday morning, the boys and I started the weekend on our bikes, of course. We first rode to QFC for bagels, then headed to the Montlake cut to watch the Windermere cup.

Women's Winderemere Cup

Women’s Windermere Cup: University of Washington (far boat) versus University of Virginia (near boat). UW won the close race by 3 seconds.


Alex at his perch by the Montlake cut for the race. The racing didn’t hold Patrick’s attention and he wandered off onto the grass.

When the racing was over, the boys headed over to the “Husky Rock”, a concrete rock-climbing sculpture south of the stadium. The boys confined themselves to the “steeply slanted” concrete instead of the “vertical with tiny, far apart handholds” walls. Climbing the slanted walls was still a challenge, though. It took Alex dozens of attempts to learn how to get to the top, and Patrick never made it (though also never got bored). This was the highlight of Alex’s weekend, and he and I made a return trip on Sunday so he could climb some more.


Alex climbing the Husky Rock.

Saturday night, the boys & I camped in the back yard. (Molly decided to skip this craziness.) This was mostly a trial run to see if my small, 20-year-old tent still works (it does, although one of the poles shows its age) and if we all fit in it (we do). I’ve been dreaming of doing at least one bike camping overnight trip with the boys this summer, which motivated the gear check.

Backyard camping

We spent several hours Sunday working outside at the boys’ school, helping restore/reclaim the unused trails and land that lead from Villa’s hilltop perch down to the lake. I was nervous heading into this. I don’t garden at home, so the idea of gardening at a large scale intimidates me. Luckily, my assigned job was just brute manual labor; it required only strength and not skill. I had to help load and move wheelbarrows full of mulch down the trail to the “sanctuary,” which will be an outdoor classroom space.

All in all about as nice a weekend as you could hope for!

Happy Belated Spring Break!

27 04 2015

So yes, spring break was 3 weeks ago. Happy Belated Spring Break! 

End of Trail

We spent 5 days in Phoenix, Arizona. It was everything we wanted in a spring break trip: Sunshine, swimming pools, and lots of unstructured time. We spent at least two hours a day in the water. I got a lot of pleasure reading done. We shared a hotel room with the kids and wound up going to sleep at the same time they did, so I was really well rested at the end of the vacation, too. Perfect.

Because Arizona is a short flight, in the same time zone, and has reliably good spring weather, I bet we’ll be back. 



Alex’s First Piano Recital

31 03 2015

Every famous concert pianist started with a simple polka.

Every junior high piano dropout started with a simple polka, too.

Time will only tell which camp Alex is in.

(Do not watch this video unless you’re a relative, or prepared to be bored.)

Errandonnée 2015

30 03 2015

A total stranger on the Internet made the challenge: On your bike, run 12 errands in 12 days. Minimum total distance, 30 miles. This is the 2015 Errandonnée. “Why not?” I thought. Most of my bike riding is because I need to get somewhere in the city, not about “exercise” or “training.” The errandonnée fits into my daily life. The most challenging, unnatural part was remembering to take pictures. (“Pics or it didn’t happen!” as the kids say these days.)

Well, probably because I didn’t view the errandonnée as a challenge, I had only 8 different errands at the end of the 12 days. For posterity, this is my snapshot of 12 days of city-life-with-a-bike:

  • I biked to & from work for 7 of the 12 days. (By the rules of the errandonnée, I can only count 2 of those.)
  • Kids & bikes go together well! I rode with the kids to school, to a soccer game, to a playground, and to Baskin Robbins.
  • Need to run to a store but dread finding parking? Bike! I made two shopping trips (Chrome and Swift Industries).

So, while I may not qualify for a cool errandonnée patch this year, my thanks to the Chasing Mailboxes blog for putting the challenge together. I love seeing people celebrate the practical side of biking.

Biking to and from school in the nice weather! #errandonnee #latergram

A photo posted by Brian Dewey (@frozenphoton) on

Alex’s 9th Birthday

27 03 2015

The phone started ringing at 7:00 AM last Thursday, as distant relatives wanted to wish Alex a happy birthday. “Does it feel any different to be nine?” Grandmom asked.

“No,” Alex answered.

These days, I have a hard time writing anything about birthdays (one of the reasons it took so long to write anything at all). The kids’ first few birthdays feel amazing. “Oh my God! I successfully kept this thing alive!” Now things are on autopilot. Alex on March 18 isn’t noticeably different that Alex on March 19. A eight-year-old in the house doesn’t feel different than an nine-year-old in the house. What is there to write about now that our lives just gradually accumulate small changes?

Why pick this day to celebrate out of the steady stream of days?

Well, whatever the answer to that question, Molly planned another great party this year — lots of jumping at Elevated Sportz. The kids all had fun and the birthday boy felt special. Maybe that’s all that needs to be said.
The Cake

We Went to the Zoo

18 03 2015

We went to the zoo on Saturday; our first trip in a long time. Clouds and the threat of ran kept most people away. I wanted to see the zoo’s new lion cubs. Patrick’s the one who spotted them first: All asleep in a ball in the edge of their enclosure. Disappointing — I was hoping for frolicking.

Three Brothers

Make sure you look carefully. There are three lions in this photo.

Of course we stopped at the Zoomazium so the kids could play. There, Alex discovered that growing up has its downsides.

Someone learns there are drawbacks to growing older.


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