When coffeeneuring came and went last fall, Mark asked me if I was going to participate, and I told him no, because I don’t like coffee. But it turns out that I’m a sucker for these sorts of life-by-bike challenges, and I DO like tea, and cocoa, and, most of all, pastries. So this year I proposed a bakery tour to Mark, but he declined because he doesn’t like bikes. Even for pastries? No.
Well. Fortunately, there are four other members of the family who are happy to ride a bike to seven bakeries in seven weeks, but we’ll have to do it while we’re out during the week, because I like to spend my weekends with Mark. We might not qualify for a prize, but an excuse to stop at the bakeries that we so often skip is reward enough.
Bakery #1: The French Bakery, Kirkland
The French Bakery is kitty-corner from the Kirkland Library, so we see it almost every week. The kids frequently ask to go there, but it’s just annoying enough to get to that I usually say no, even though we really like it. Today’s haul: one chocolate croissant (split between two big kids), one plain croissant (split between two toddlers), one blueberry turnover, a chai tea latte, and another chocolate croissant for Dad (who benefits from coffeeneuring afterall).
Is it bike-friendly? weeeeeelllll, no. You see, Kirkland thinks it’s bike-friendly, but as soon as you get downtown, the traffic appears and the bike lanes disappear. While there are plenty of situations where I’ll control the lane, I am not comfortable doing so in most of downtown Kirkland, because the people driving are looking for parking, not for kids on a bike. And the sidewalks are too narrow to add bikes to the many pedestrians using them. For the most part, the farthest I go in downtown Kirkland is the library, and then we walk from there. So while this bakery is just across the street from the library, the intersection in question is a big barrier – it’s busy, and it’s just too close to all those cars.
Plus, there’s no bike rack. Today I dropped the bike off at the bike shop across the street (to which I’ve found a reasonable if circuitous route) to have its brakes bled, and we walked over with the trailer, then to the library, the playground, and back for the bike.