Page 1 Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30 Page 31 Page 32 Page 33 Page 34 Page 35 Page 3634 | UrbanStreets Seattle W ith interesting and eclectic offerings of food, art, music and architecture, a big city can be a great place to call home. Spend- ing time driving a car in a major me- tropolis, on the other hand, is enough to make most reasonable people absolutely insane. I know this to be fact—and yet from time to time I convince myself that it’s easier, smarter and quicker to jump in the car to get my errands done. I al- most always regret it. I didn’t grow up in the city, but rather the emerging ‘burbs of 1970s America. Like pretty much every other kid at that time, I rode my bike everywhere, and as much as I possibly could. I had a fleet- ing fling with an old jeep when I turned 16 and got my driver’s license, but I also bought my first road bike and started racing. What followed was a professional cy- cling career, an eight-year stint working for a major bicycle-clothing manufac- turer, and four years at the helm of Bike and Paved magazines. Suffice it to say, I am not lacking for really nice bicycles. Yep, I’ve climbed aboard more high- priced machines than I can possibly remember—and a couple, er, several of them, have even made their way into my personal collection. But the bike I ride most often—my fa- vorite, I guess you could say—has a cargo rack in the front, a child seat on the back, always tows a trailer and is “decorated” with more than its fair share of scratch- es and dings. It is my own two-wheeled version of a minivan, with plenty of con- vertible cargo space to carry me, my son Nico, and our groceries and gear. The bike’s make and model really ar- en’t that important. That’s sort of the beauty of buying or outfitting a bike for minivan duty: Just about any bike will do the trick, and there’s an endless amount of cool stuff being made to help you haul your kids and cargo under your own power. Nico most often chooses to ride in the trailer, because that’s the spot with space for his drinks, snacks and toy trucks. Or it could be because it’s easier for him to fall asleep there than in the seat behind me. Either way, what makes a Burly or Chariot better than a ‘Benz or a Chrys- ler is that I don’t really care if Nico spills milk or wipes his grubby hands on the trailer’s upholstery. And when he rides in the child seat on the back of my bike, we have enough room in the trailer to carry a few bags of groceries, his balance bike and our fishing poles. We’re able to use routes that include side streets, alleys, bike paths and even small stretches of sidewalk. If he starts complaining about something, we can simply stop and fix it. But perhaps the best part of riding our pedal-powered grocery getter is that we’re never, ever stuck in traffic—so I am never stressed out while we’re going somewhere. And that might just add a few years to Nico’s dad’s life. An ex-professional bicycle racer, Joe Parkin still has a large stable of bikes but spends most of his time pedaling his two-wheeled minivan. BETTER by BIKE THE FINAL MILE By JOE PARKIN The perfect tool for making traffic disappear Final Mile SEATTLE SWFIN.indd 2 7/28/16 12:28 PM