Cycling in Kirkland

by Eileen Kadesh & Doug Burgesser

Bike Commuting in Kirkland

First you need to have a bike

  • Visit a local bike shop to learn what type of bicycle will work best for you – road bike, touring bike, mountain bike, hybrid, folding bike, electric bike and the features that are important to you
  • Kirkland Bicycle in downtown Kirkland is a good resource
  • REI in Redmond also has bicycles for commuting

Then you need some basic gear

  • Helmet – this is required by law throughout King County
  • Lock – unless you want to donate your bike to a local bike thief
  • Fenders – we all know what type of weather the Pacific Northwest is famous for
  • Rack on rear of bike
  • Panniers
  • Tire pump, spare tubes/patch kit – most people wouldn’t drive a car without a spare tire, so why would you drive your bike without the basics to fix a flat

Learn the rules of the road and how to ride safely in traffic

 

Next you need a good route

You might want to link with the bus

  • Every Metro bus has a rack with capacity for three bikes. Tips for loading a bike can be found at kingcounty.gov/metro/bike. If you are nervous about learning to load your bike, you can practice with the display bus bike rack at Bellevue College, in downtown Seattle at the offices of The Bicycle Alliance of Washington – 314 First Ave S. or at the University of Washington Transportation Center metro.kingcounty.gov/tops/bike/rackfaq.html
  • If you don’t need to bring your bike with you, but simply want to access transit by bike, secure bicycle lockers are available at the following transit facilities in Kirkland:
Kingsgate P&R S. Kirkland P&R
Houghton P&R Brickyard P&R
  • Contact the Bicycle Alliance of Washington at 206-224-9252 for information on renting a bicycle locker at a King County Metro transit facility.
  • At the Kirkland Transit Center there are hanging racks available under cover on the north side of the downtown parking garage under the library

Running Errands by Bike

Bicycle racks are available at businesses throughout Kirkland. This information has been mapped by Kirkland cyclist Jim Hunt. See the link in the sidebar to the right.

You will need to have some type of bags or carrier to haul your merchandise

  • Many companies make square panniers especially designed for carrying groceries
  • There are also carriers that you can attach to the rear of your bike

Cycling for Recreation

Sure, Kirkland has hills.  But just get over them!  – Ha, ha!

You can pick routes to avoid hills, get a bike with low gears, or even consider an electric bike.

Or, you can learn to celebrate the hills by registering for the 7 Hills of Kirkland Bike Ride www.7HillsKirkland.org. It’s Kirkland’s premier hometown event, held annually on Memorial Day, starting from the Kirkland Marina, with proceeds going to provide housing and assistance for homeless families.

Here are some ideas for recreational rides:

  • Lake Washington Blvd – bike lanes on both sides. Watch out for doors opening as you pass parked cars
  • Sammamish River Trail – take NE 124th St to the Sammamish River Trail or you can wind through Rose Hill and connect via Old Redmond Road
  • Juanita Drive – a favorite training ride; riding from south to north is probably the easier direction
Advertisements

Eastside Timebank

by Margaret Schwender

“Giving and Receiving Locally”

Have you ever thought about connecting and helping your fellow neighbors, and in return receiving an opportunity to bring balance in your life? This opportunity is available right in your Kirkland, Redmond and Bellevue neighborhoods through a program called Eastside Timebank.

It is like an old-time community where neighbors help neighbors, connecting through high-tech tools. Our time bank is based on the idea that each of us has unique gifts, talents, and resources to share, and we all have needs that others can fill.

What is Eastside Timebank?
Every hour of service that a timebank member provides to someone in the community earns one “time dollar,” which can be exchanged for an hour of service from another member. All services are valued equally. An online database makes it easy to see what skills and services your neighbors have to offer, and what services they need, so you can match your skills and needs with others in the community.

What kind of services are typically offered by Timebank members?
Time Bank services encompass many forms of services, skills, and assistance: animal care, life coaching, tutoring, teaching crafts and hobbies (knitting, fishing, etc.), running errands, cooking, reading aloud, housecleaning, sewing, taxi service, hair cutting, computer help, gardening, yard work, and more…

What are the benefits of joining?
Joining the Timebank gives you access to the talents, time, and skills of your Kirkland, Redmond, and Bellevue neighbors, while giving you an opportunity to help others in meaningful ways. It’s a great way to get connected with others in your community.

Joining Procedure
Once you have completed the orientation and the application, all Timebank applicants go through a basic level of screening, including a Washington State criminal background check through Washington State Patrol, and at least one personal reference is called at a minimum. Eligible members need to fill out an application form and attend an orientation. You can either fill out the application form ahead of time, or complete an application at one of their orientations. To do it ahead of time, you can download the application off their website www.Eastsidetimebank.org.  If you use the Word Doc version of the application, fill it out electronically, save it, and print it out. If you use the PDF version, you can print out the PDF, fill it out by hand, and bring it to the orientation meeting.

At the orientation you will learn about the Timebank process and database software. They ask that you bring a photo ID to the orientation and personal reference contact information if you have not yet filled out an application.

When is membership open?
Timebank potlucks and orientations are held on the 2nd Thursday of each month.  The location rotates between Bellevue, Redmond and Kirkland.  Please refer to their website (www.Eastsidetimebank.org) for upcoming orientation site schedule.

Compostable Servingware

by Eileen Kadesh

Planning a Party? How to Find Compostable Servingware for Residential Use

In summer 2011 my husband and I were planning a wedding reception for our daughter and new son-in-law.  The party was to be at the home of our son-in-law’s dad in Kenmore, with a guest list of about 45 people.  Being the ecologically correct person that I am, I suggested that we bring our own Corelle plates and bowls and combine that with those of the hosting couple.   My husband quickly nixed that idea on the grounds that it would be too much work for our host to wash all the serving ware after the party, and, being realistic about it, everyone would already be tired from cleaning up.

So, we tried to do the next best thing — purchase compostable serving ware.  Well, not being a business that needs to buy 1,000 units at a time, that turned out to be much harder than we initially thought.  Finding compostable serving ware for residential use locally was a real learning experience.  We were seeking plates of two sizes, bowls, utensils, cold cups and hot cups.  Napkins are totally easy since they are available at Kirkland PCC, as well as most markets.  Plates were also easy to find since Chinet plates are compostable and are readily available at most markets.  We purchased ours at the Safeway in Juanita.  The rest of the stuff – not so easy.

Here are the places we tried and what we found:

  1. PCC Kirkland –  small packages of reusable serving ware that were too expensive.
  2. Costco Business Center – Lynnwood Everything that we found came in quantities of 500 – 1,000, way more than we needed.
  3. We then tried ordering cold cups and utensils from Costco online, but when they were delivered we found they were actually made from some small amount of recycled material but were not actually compostable.  We returned them to the store.

I next contacted the City of Kirkland Solid Waste Division to find out if they could refer me to some local sources for compostable serving ware.  They suggested Cedar Grove, which actually has several facilities with retail goods for sale, but the sites closest to Kirkland were in Maple Valley and Everett… too far to travel.  If you have enough advance time, they do sell compostable serving ware online at Cedar Grove Green Scene.  However, by then we were running out of time.

I then tried Cash & Carry and even calling Tully’s and the PCC Deli to find out if we could pay them for some small quantities of compostable cold and hot cups.  No dice.

  • At long last, we finally had success:My husband found compostable cold cups at Party City in Woodinville.  Their  earth friendly Fabri-Kal GreenWare cups and Stalk Market bowls are made from 100% biodegradable compostable sugar cane fiber called bagasse.
  • Redmond PCC had World Centric compostable bowls and packages of compostable knives, forks and spoons, made from sugar cane fiber, corn and wheat straw. We later found that this brand is also available at Whole Foods (and, according to the World Centric website, at Cost Plus World Market)
  • Since that time, there is another store – Fresh Vitamins — next to the Totem Lake QFC, that has started carrying all sorts of compostable serving ware.

And, if you have the time to order online, Amazon and Naturbag also carry compostable serving ware.  And there is a site called Ecocycle.org that sells items for Zero Waste events and parties.  Not only can you order compostable serving ware in packages of 25, but the package also comes with collection containers and signage.

One thing to note –  Most of the compostable serving ware, such as GreenWare cold cups, comes with a disclaimer that says:   “100% compostable in actively managed municipal or industrial facilities, where available.  Industrial compost facilities may not be available in your area.”

In Kirkland, we do have Cedar Grove composting available.  I checked, and all of the products listed above should be compostable here.

Welcome to Sustainable Kirkland!

Featured

We are the Kirkland, WA chapter of Sustainable Communities ALL Over Puget Sound (SCALLOPS). We are a new addition to the SCALLOPS community, having just started in September 2008 with a small group. Since then we’ve been meeting monthly, and growing rapidly. We’re working a few projects for next year and are looking for ideas and people willing to help!

We meet monthly on the first Thursday night of each month at 6:30 PM, for a potluck dinner, discussion, and planning. We would love to have you join us – your neighbors and fellow green community members. If you are deciding to come at the last minute, just phone or email for directions.

To get connected with the group and find out what is going on, the best thing to do is join the discussions on our mailing list at:
groups.google.com/group/sustainable-kirkland