Girlfriend in Tacoma

May. 16, 2008 at 9:31pm


(wear it. and then love on community)


Beautiful days in Tacoma: weather, people, love.  Art.  and more love.

Add a gorgeous farmer's tan, complete with watch-line, and you have a glowing me, feeling...inspired.

Inspiration #1, probably the cause of the burn, the sun.  Okay, definitely the cause of the burn.  Bu also the lure, like a moth to the flame.  Mmmmm, sun, must get out there... Ow, quit it.  Mmmmmmmmmm, sun... ow, quit it.

Inspiration #2, the scale, making me get my butt out there in a physically moving way.

Inspiration #3, May.  Zeit Bikes.  Bike to work month.  Green trees, blue skies, warm weather.  Combined, it all makes me want to garden, to plant a raised bed or two, to grow tomatoes not cursed by blight (heh, she laughs cynically) to plant living organisms purchased at local farmers markets, to nurture them, to revel in their success...  It makes me want to be healthy, to nurture my own cells, to breathe the oxygen created by all those living things.  It makes me want to use less icky stuff, to put the reduce reuse recycle adage to work for me.

Inspiration #4: spandex skort.  me in Spandex?  some kind of bad, artificial fabric sausage-y thing. (My legs, yo.  I'm not a hermaphrodite.) --in public, as a human spandex-ausage?  Ew.  Throw a little skirt coverage in the mix, and, meh! It's doable!!

Pop 'em all in a blender, and you have me on my lovely titanium Merlin, discovering the terror and exhilaration of riding into downtown (note: it's hard to signal intentions with one hand while grasping handlebars for control on potholes.) --and you have me doing a roughly 12 mile round trip tour of the ride-a-bility of Tacoma.  (note: North Tacoma is refreshing.  Downtown? Not so much.)

But downtown: Beauty.  Community.  things expressed in chalk and blog-love much better than my mere words can articulate.

and then, homeward?  Bombing down the seminary hill, the magical point at which Stevens meets N 46th, where Russell millions meet working class, where the spring of the river meets the saline of the sound, where the sails meet the motors, where the Olympics meet the sky.....oh, man.  

Moments like that one, that brief, oxygen-filled, glorious, vivid, colorful breath in history.... THAT, my friends, is God, Zen, Om, and any other Good I'll ever cherish.  (and it'd not have anywhere near as good, if not wrapped in teh context of the rest of the afternoon.)

so, yeah.  I heart my farmer's tan.

comments [71]  |  posted under bikes, Frost Park, Spring, Tacoma


by ensie on 5/17/2008 @ 12:15am
I am so impressed that you biked to Frost Park today!

by jenyum on 5/17/2008 @ 8:18am
I know, all the way from your house! So impressed.

by jcbetty on 5/17/2008 @ 9:17am
heh. I wasn't feeling that impressed going up the hills out of tacoma (despite walking up to Broadway, there was a bear of a hill-- by PSP) that wasn't. fun. At. All. (and yes, my butt and thighs do hurt .)

But it was good! And I loved seeing you two, and I loved the luminous stowe mama-eyes, and the freitaki, and the Chickadee and the rubber duckies and all the rest of it.

I think next, I'll try to ride a bus or something. I think I'm on a "what's my carbon footprint?" kick. ???

by jenyum on 5/17/2008 @ 9:42am
I think the 11 will get you downtown from your neighborhood.

by intacoma on 5/17/2008 @ 9:56am
I biked to Frost Park, wheres my props?

by intacoma on 5/17/2008 @ 9:57am
The 11 will indeed get you downtown if your a northender

by AP on 5/17/2008 @ 10:58am
Big props. Huge.

by jcbetty on 5/17/2008 @ 12:48pm
:D thanks! --In-- aren't you, like, several blocks away Still, riding in the city is pretty impressive, even at short lengths. Hills, man. cars, man.

by ensie on 5/18/2008 @ 12:33am
I didn't even see you on Friday intacaoma? Where the hell were you? Equal props to you, my homie.

by izenmania on 5/18/2008 @ 4:21am
He was sitting next to me whilst I guitared. His bike's handlebars figure prominently in the picture of bike handlebars I took...

by intacoma on 5/18/2008 @ 6:21am
ensie you were sitting right next to me, that was my bike on your right :P

Indeed I am several blocks away I did have to bike to work too though :P So that would totally put me to around as if I biked to proctor :P

by ensie on 5/19/2008 @ 11:08am
I was blinded by the sunlight. I apologize.

by Heather on 5/19/2008 @ 12:02pm
I biked too... and not for the first time...from Westgate, where are my props?

I honestly don't need props, because I get the same overwhelming happy feelings that Girlfriend expressed when I ride around T-town. The ride is it's own reward. Well, except for the hills and the potholes.

The chalk off was delightful, the weather was amazing, and I only felt the need to flip-off one backstreet, engine revving, speeding SUV driver.

by Heather on 5/19/2008 @ 12:03pm
Oh, and my point... I loved your post, Girlfriend.

by thriceallamerican on 5/19/2008 @ 12:31pm
First props to jcbetty and heather on their rides. Much longer than my piddling 2 mile bike commute.

Second: I noticed that damn near every bicyclist I saw out on the roads on Friday was riding sans helmet. (I even saw one them run the 4-way stop at 6th and St. Helens.) What's up with that?

by chrism39 on 5/19/2008 @ 1:28pm
try market, it has a gradual hill that will lead to division and then you could jump on I street.

by ensie on 5/19/2008 @ 2:53pm
I offer props to all who rode. But if I don't know who the hell you are, I can't offer props to you. You must introduce yourself and at least let me know that you rode a goddamn bike on the day of!

I'm done with the props. If it's going to cause turmoil I'm finished. :)

by intacoma on 5/19/2008 @ 3:25pm

lets do this next week

by AP on 5/19/2008 @ 3:34pm
ensie, i'm riding a bike over there tonight just so that i may demand props from you later. Sound good?

Oh, and I'll re-introduce myself when I get there. It'll be fun.

by ensie on 5/19/2008 @ 3:43pm
AP - Who are you again?

by izenmania on 5/19/2008 @ 4:08pm
Eh, he's just some guy.

by intacoma on 5/19/2008 @ 4:11pm
Just two guys having a good time

by Heather on 5/19/2008 @ 5:02pm
I've seen a lot of helmet-less riders lately too. I thought maybe the laws had changed. But no, still illegal to ride a bike in Pierce County sans helmet. I think that many of the helmet-less are UPS students, but I also saw a friend riding without his helmet twice last week and he just laughed off my scolding. He is a teacher in an elementary school and definitely knows better.

Speaking of laws, we saw a policeman drive his patrol vehicle down the esplanade across the water side of Thea's Landing to chase down some teens who were skateboarding by the MOG. Any idea what law the kids were breaking? It was Friday night, beautiful weather, and the kids didn't seem to be causing any damage.

by intacoma on 5/19/2008 @ 5:09pm
I'm ironman

by KevinFreitas on 5/19/2008 @ 5:15pm
Yea, riding without helmet = stupid. Don't care who it is but that's the easiest safety measure to embark upon to save your ass (which, in this case represents your head sans helmet, asses). My buddy from high school got knocked off his bike in Seattle and he slid about a 100' down a hill. Got pretty scraped up but his helmet kept him alive. Thing was shattered.

Maybe red light cameras can be modded to look for offenders so we don't have to dedicate cops on the street toward this measure?

by izenmania on 5/19/2008 @ 5:49pm
Maybe red light cameras can be modded to look for offenders so we don't have to dedicate cops on the street toward this measure?

Doesn't really sound feasible... Red light cams work because they can wait, and just take a picture when 1) the light is red and 2) something is spotted crossing the line, and they automatically have an offender. Bikes, you'd need some kind of complex pattern recognition to detect a helmetless head, or else a dedicated "look at all these photos" officer". That and a unique identifier on the bike, of course.

by jcbetty on 5/19/2008 @ 6:18pm
Ooooooh! a plethora of activity here, where was I!?? (oh yeah, hangin' with the man.)

--props to all riders, period. 1 more bike= 1 less car, and that's a fine thing. As to helmets...some things are just common sense, for sure, and laws help to protect, for sure, but just b/c there are leash laws, doesn't mean I don't see dogs out roaming sans leash (and human) -- as to being on two wheels, in Tacoma, land of potholes and interesting parking, well, that just screams, maternally, in my ear, "WEAR YOUR HELMET, BUBBALAH!!!" --if you want to be dumb enough to ignore your mama, then I guess you almost deserve to get your bell rung?

(and thanks, Heather, for the post-loving. we should try to ride together sometime, as it sounds like we're in adjacent 'hoods!! (I'm out by Bargain World, in the super-posh part of North Tacoma ;) )

by izenmania on 5/19/2008 @ 7:58pm
I rode to the Red Hot tonight. No bloggers were there to give me props, though.

That's okay, though. I had hot dogs and Jones cola and my two favorite bartenders to fill the propless void.

by intacoma on 5/19/2008 @ 8:09pm
who were they?

by intacoma on 5/19/2008 @ 8:10pm
oh heres some props

by ensie on 5/20/2008 @ 12:04am
Sorry Izenmania. There was the much discussed, oft debated hotdog break.

We were having a cereal party. More details to come.

by AP on 5/20/2008 @ 1:44am
I dare someone to eat a large bowl of Kevin's cereal.

by HD on 5/20/2008 @ 2:33am
A cereal party sans marshmallows?
Stop eating sugar loaded cereal and you people would'nt be up so late.

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 8:06am
Stop eating sugar loaded cereal and you people would'nt be up so late.

Usually I drink a couple beers on Monday night and have no trouble falling asleep. This time I had no beer, and three Jones colas (with pure cane sugar). Suffice to say, I was *twitch... twitch* until about midnight.

by thriceallamerican on 5/20/2008 @ 8:39am
Dear everyone,

Sorry for unleashing the word "sans" into this thread. It seems to be taking over.

Now, to continue the props: Props to all who rode through the wetness this morning. First wet weekday of bike month, I think?

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 8:43am
Yeah, I wussed out on the wet riding. I was all set to ride into work. Maybe tomorrow.

Of course, for me wussing out on riding through the rain just means I have to walk through the rain... so perhaps I've just gone slightly mad.

by Heather on 5/20/2008 @ 9:06am
Izen- Walking does not leave a brown stripe up your back - so I'd say leaving the bike at home on a day like today just makes sense.

Girlfriend - oh, yah, we are practically neighbors. I'm about 13 blocks southwest of N 21st & Pearl, so it is about 2 miles from here to your spot. That is where the new mini Indochine is, right? I've been wanting to try that. We could get together and ride or just hang out and complain about all of the potholes in our oh so posh neighborhood!

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 9:11am
As they get longer and longer, my recreational rides have stretched into the neighborhood just east of there. The crappiness of the roads are balanced a bit by the somewhat minimal traffic (compared to, say, Pearl itself)

by AP on 5/20/2008 @ 11:17am
I rode over 6 blocks last night (sans rain), and have yet to receive pro-rated props from ensie. To what is this world coming?

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 11:26am
Are you sure you don't just need to get propped UP after all that exertion, old man?


by jcbetty on 5/20/2008 @ 11:34am
props, yo, to AP. --riding in the muddy rain, in addition to leaving that lovely little muddy/oily brown strip from rump to neck, also leaves me soggy in ways that aren't fit for polite conversation; that's on top of the slickery roads, where the roads are good and not pitted out and puddled.

(fair weather rider, am I. I know there are things like special clothing and fenders to help, but, meh. Gimme sun, if I'm in a seat.)

-Jamie-- sans is a lovely, lovely word, never apologize for unleashing loveliness :)
-Heather-- I do like the mini-'Chine; it's great inside and I have yet to have an unenjoyable meal there (and totally walkable from my house, which I love.) --maybe we should plan for an afternoon ride and an after ride bite, sometime, open to all blogger types willing to brave two wheels?


Points to ponder...

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 11:49am
I'm plotting a ride from Wright Park out to Point Defiance, around Five Mile Drive, and back for sometime in the next month or so. Nothing super-epic, but a good workout, and going through the blogger-rich north end. Anybody who feels like joining in at any point could certainly do so.

by jcbetty on 5/20/2008 @ 12:05pm
sounds de-lovely. I'm in!

by AP on 5/20/2008 @ 1:15pm
@Izen: Definitely in...amid the storm of old man humor that has only just begun. I'm now invested with something to prove. Oh, and I'll bring scissors in case your hair should accidentally get caught in your chain. :P

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 1:22pm
The old man humor will no doubt continue up until the moment we discover that you are in far better shape than I.

by jcbetty on 5/20/2008 @ 2:38pm
oh, hell--if AP's old, what am I? A relic??

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 2:45pm
Couldn't rightly say. But upon learning I was a full decade younger than him AP declared that he felt old, so I've decided to run with it.

by AP on 5/20/2008 @ 2:53pm
I feel old.

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 3:38pm
Only because you are not young, my friend.

by jenyum on 5/20/2008 @ 3:40pm
AP and I are the same age. I guess that makes me old, too.

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 3:41pm
It's possible. I leave that up to you.

by Heather on 5/20/2008 @ 4:35pm
Oh, lord, I think I'm older than AP... but I'm definitely in for joining a blogger ride. A few stops for beer would help me to feel younger (hint, hint). If the route is circular we could each join and finish along the way. If we each recruit a neighbor or roommate, no one would have to ride completely alone. I've been thinking of a route myself, but it did not include the five miles in PD. It did include, however:

1. my pedestrian bridge
2. Cloverleaf Pizza
3. Red Hot
4. Satellite Coffee/Wright Park
5. Hub/Doyle's
6. Rosewood
7. Terry's Office Tavern
8. Unicorn
9. Goldfish
10. Westgate Inn

Too much pizza, hot dogs, coffee, and beer?

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 4:40pm
Probably too much compacted together to make you not want to puke at the end of the ride. Best bet is to do multiple rides, with one or two of those stops each time.

Goldfish would definitely be a good spot to hit after Five Mile Drive (which is a beautiful ride, with low traffic and low car speed limits... on a couple of the downhills you can break the speed limit on a bike).

Dare I suggest... a feed>>tacoma weekend bike club?

by AP on 5/20/2008 @ 4:56pm
I'm pretty sure you're way too young to be suggesting things.

by Heather on 5/20/2008 @ 5:02pm
Yea, I suppose it is more of a pub crawl than a bike ride ;)

Thanks for the laugh, AP

Dare I suggest... a feed>>tacoma weekend bike club?
How about Sunday morning? It could also be...a feed>>tacoma church.
Oh, but I'm not so into beers for breakfast.

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 5:03pm
I'm pretty sure you're way too young to be suggesting things.

Dang. In that case I will exert my right to youthful rebellion and just go for a ride as soon as I get home tonight, and all you old farts can eat my dust!

Or something...

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 5:05pm

How about Sunday afternoons? Usually on Sunday at around 1 PM I'm already sitting with my bike at N 20th and Alder, having just gotten done with band practice.

by jcbetty on 5/20/2008 @ 6:34pm
Sunday afternoons or (late) mornings would work for me. I dig the idea of a one-ish ride, pre-lunch, descending on either an eatery or my home post-ride for food

by jcbetty on 5/20/2008 @ 6:35pm
--and drink :)

by jcbetty on 5/20/2008 @ 6:37pm
....and also note. I am an old chick, leaving AP in my dust of ages, and I can leave you all to eat my geriatric bike dust. Do you dare? ;)

(I kid. the idea of a pair or a group of two wheeled happy people meeting up has me smiling with optimistic glee!!)

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 6:53pm

Just back from an hour and ten minute post-work ride. S 12th sucks... mostly uphill, no bike lane, no parking space... nothing to make you not in the way of cars. Whee.

by AP on 5/20/2008 @ 7:23pm
Seriously. Is there a geriatric chat room around here where i can go and not be disturbed by juveniles?

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 7:25pm
Nah, we weasel our way into pretty much everything.

by jcbetty on 5/20/2008 @ 9:10pm
dude. 12th ain't nurthin'. 15th?? now that's a hill ;)

by izenmania on 5/20/2008 @ 9:59pm
Ah yes, but I am a wuss, you see... :)

Anyway, the hill wasn't that bothersome. Just width of the lanes.

by KevinFreitas on 5/20/2008 @ 11:00pm
Sunday afternoon (sans this weekend) would be fun. May have to do some pre-rides though to at least pretend like I'm in some kind of shape other than not. Desk job doesn't lend well to cardiovascular supremacy.

by ensie on 5/20/2008 @ 11:06pm
Just tell me where your bikes will be meeting up and I'll drive there.

by AP on 5/20/2008 @ 11:40pm
Bike. Flash. Mob.

by izenmania on 5/21/2008 @ 6:50am
Yeah, not this Sunday, I'll be on the wrong side of the state.

by intacoma on 5/21/2008 @ 7:15am

by jcbetty on 5/21/2008 @ 8:07am
I'm not going to be around this Sunday, either-- Should we start the two wheeled fun & games May 31? location tbd by that point?


musing her way through arts, culture, dining, shopping, exercising, and parenting, all while wearing a pungent, truffle-like aroma.

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