Riding Around Small Seattle

Over the last couple of weeks I’ve been taking you along to various scenic and ethnic districts located in MY Town. Unfortunately, I’m not particularly familiar with the ACTUAL places they represent. I’ve been to Death Valley and eastern Illinois, but not enough times to say that I truly know the character and depth of those fine lands. And I’ve NEVER been to Australia, Great Britain or Germany.

Today, all that naivete goes away. I’ve been to Seattle, WA about a dozen times, and most of those times I’ve had my bike with me. That pretty much makes me an expert on that great city. I love it. I love the moderate climate. I love the scenery. I love the cultural sites. I love the music scene. I love the seafood, beer, and coffee. I love the hip, urban aura of Seattle. Plus, my son lives there, so there’s THAT.

I know it’s almost impossible to imagine that MY Town has a neighborhood called “Small Seattle,” but by the time you’ve finished reading this (assuming you DO read this) you’ll be a true believer.

My plan is to build up enough oom-pah-pah to ride around Small Seattle and take some pictures. For each of those pictures, I will show equivalent photos from my trips to the original Seattle. I figure that’s the least I can do for those of you who aren’t experts on Seattle, Washington like I am.

My favorite place in all of Seattle is the Pike Place Market. I go there every time I am in the city for the international vibe, the people-watching, the clam chowder, the vendors, the vegetables, and OMG, the fish.

SMALL Seattle has what might be called a “Farmer’s Market” and this is the site. Unlike Pike Place, it’s not open year-round. The vegetables tend to freeze after a few minutes of exposure to Minnesota winter. If the people wanted frozen vegetables, they could just go to the supermarket.

This is Puget Sound as viewed from behind the Pike Place Market.

This is Puny Sound as viewed from a place in SMALL Seattle.

This is one of the crazy-steep hills that rise up from the Puget Sound up into neighborhoods with names like Capitol Hill, First Hill, Cherry Hill, Fremont, and Admiral. They’re easy for all those auto drivers, not so easy for a cyclist like me.

Up ahead I face SMALL Seattle’s steepest hill. (It’s much steeper than it looks, as any any cyclist who takes pictures of hills can appreciate.)

Are you familiar with the huge glass orbs that were recently built by the Amazon Corporation? Locals call them “Jeff Bezos’ balls.

SMALL Seattle has some spheres that I call “Bozo’s Balls.” (I have no idea why I just came up with that meaningless name, but it’s too late to erase it now.)

On a clear day in Seattle, WA, which is pretty damn rare, you can see Mt. Rainier looming over the city’s skyline from 40 miles away. (This is a stock photo because I’ve never been there on a clear enough day to capture this awesome vision.)

Similarly, Mt. Snowier rises above the skyline of MY Town. (Right now I am seriously patting myself on the back for that Mt. Snowier pun.)

Probably the most iconic landmark in all of Seattle, WA is the Space Needle.

LITTLE Seattle’s most famous landmark is probably this very realistic space needle.

On the way up to Seattle’s Fremont District, you can find this weird sculpture called “Troll Under the Bridge.”

Not to be outdone, SMALL Seattle has a “troll under the bridge” of its own. It’s a living sculpture. (I work for tips. You can send yours to my PayPal account. Thank you in advance.)

Sad to say, I haven’t been able to explore the Puget Sound communities north of Seattle on my bike. I’ve heard they are very nice. One of them is the birthplace of two Cycle-365 Challenges — The Holiday Challenge and this month’s Empty Challenge. But I think SMALL Seattle has some suburbs with similar features.

One thing I’ve learned from Nancy is that people up there like to decorate their yards for the holidays. Same here.

And empty tires are just one of the many empty things one can find in the bedroom communities of SMALL Seattle.

Hi. My name is Greg and I ride my bike a lot. That is to say, I ride my bike almost every day. I go on long rides and short rides. Sunny rides, cloudy rides, and rainy rides. I like commuting, errand-running, day-tripping, overnighting, and touring on my bike. I ride on city streets, highways, gravel, single track, and snow with equal enthusiasm. Sometimes I ride fast and sometimes I ride slow. I try to keep my feet on the pedals at stop lights and I do not dismount when I hop up on a curb. I have a roadie bike, a mountain bike and a touring bike. I try to accept any challenge a bike ride can throw at me without complaint. But I don't like bugs.

16 response to "Riding Around Small Seattle"

  1. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: November 29, 2020

    You make an excellent troll Greg. I’ve been to Seattle twice and it was interesting in a strange way. I do remember Mt Rainier hovering in the distance. Also apparently ‘Frasier’ was all done in LA…disappointing.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 29, 2020

      Led, you’re banned for life for calling me a “Troll.” Oh, wait, I guess you meant an ACTUAL troll. It’s okay then.
      Yes, it kind of bursts your bubble to learn that most of those TV shows aren’t really filmed in the cities they claim to be set in. Only the opening & closing credits to The Mary Tyler Moore Show were filmed in Minneapolis. Sad.

  2. By: NancyG Posted: November 29, 2020

    You DO know Seattle Greg! And what good parallels you have in YOUR town. Wow. You have outdone yourself ;’-). Thanks for the tour.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 29, 2020

      I cannot BELIEVE you overlooked clever Greg’s inclusion of an unmistakable Seattle areas 365er’s hallmark!!! (Or at least you didnt mention it)
      Took me a while to recognize it to be honest.

      • By: gregblood Posted: November 29, 2020

        I too am slightly surprised she didn’t notice my hidden tribute. Maybe your comment will initiate a second look.

        • By: NancyG Posted: November 29, 2020

          My saddle!!! I did miss it the first time. That in itself should win you the prize. Any prize.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 29, 2020

      Thank you, Nancy. Of course, I realize you don’t live in Seattle proper, but I do recall seeing a few posts from you while cycling in that fine city. You were definitely in my thoughts as I rode around Small Seattle yesterday.

  3. By: BobinVT Posted: November 29, 2020

    YOUR town certainly has a lot to offer. Just think, we could just go visit YOUR town, and save ourselves the trouble of travelling to all those other places. By the way, save that photo of the rusty car with the flat tire. It would be very appropriate when you do your Vermont in the mid-west segment.

    • By: Rich-Illinois Posted: November 29, 2020

      Completely off-topic but that rust on the Chevy Lumina really hits a nerve for me — for a few extra bucks I would be MORE than willing to pay for, why not shoot some cosmoline where they know damn well vehicles will rust. Rear wheel wells on pick ups particularly.

      Ok, I feel better now ( a little) 🙂

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 29, 2020

      Ah, so you have a lot of those rusty cars too. I guess being lucky enough to live in the wonderful icy climate of the north country has to have at least one drawback. Like I said before, the Vermont of Minnesota is going to be a tough one because our states are so alike. People are just going to look at my post and say, “So what! It’s just another bike ride in Minnesota.”

      • By: BobinVT Posted: November 29, 2020

        Yeah I realize the challenge. Small towns, rural roads, corn fields, farms, all pretty similar. We’re just a smaller, more hilly version of Minnesota. Or Minnesota is a bigger, flatter version of Vermont depending on your point of view.

  4. By: Scooter Posted: November 29, 2020

    Hey, my home town! I grew up near the UW, and lived off and on up on Capitol Hill after college. The next time you’re in the Pike Street Market post-pandemic, watch for my nephew Stewart. He’s one of those big strapping guys flinging salmon through the air. You can’t miss him. He looks like, and is, a mountain man – he used to work for an Everest expedition outfitter.

    • By: gregblood Posted: November 29, 2020

      That is so cool your nephew works there. The first time I walked into Pike Place, I didn’t know anything about it. I was pretty naive, I guess. I went in by way of the main entrance and the first vendor you see is the Pike Place Fish Market. I couldn’t believe what I saw: A bunch of guys in fisherman slickers throwing great big King Salmon, talapia, and even halibuts from behind the counter, out to the purchasers, and then back to the counter to be wrapped up. It was the first and only place I’ve ever seen a whole octopus available to purchase. It was amazing. I sat there and watched the spectacle for about an hour. Those guys like your nephew were as much entertainers as they were fish mongers. I remember thinking, “Man, I wish I had THAT job!” The idea of having a 20-pound salmon thrown at me almost made me want to buy one — even though I was on a bike and was 1500 miles from home.

  5. By: The Navigator Posted: November 30, 2020

    Very well done; you’ve certainly managed a very artistic parody in this one. – I’ve only been to Seattle once and it was a hot, clear day and you could see all the mountains in the distance that were on the signage at the Space Needle Observation Deck. Definitely seemed like a cool city (it was 25 years ago though!) but I would not be able to withstand all the rain after living in so many sunny places in my adult life!

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