We seem to be hard on bikes. Probably because we use them constantly. We usually ride at least 2 bikes each every day. Cargo bikes for errands and kid-duty, electric bike for class and quick stops/commuting, and a range of "others" to supplement. Right now, the Linus is down with a broken spoke and Jose's Easton has been down with a stripped seat collar bolt.
This morning, I finally had the chance to bring the Easton in to Practical Cycle
. I rode the Bullitt to drop off the kids in the morning but found that I couldn't leave the bike at my mom's (where the Easton was hanging out) because I would need it again tomorrow. Towing bikes is pretty easy on the Mundo
and I had already accomplished carrying the folding Mobic in the bucket so I decided to give the Bullitt some more bike-on-bike action.
On the way there:
It turned out to work out pretty well. I took off the front wheel to make the bike lighter and shorter. Then, I strapped down the frame in a couple of places with some tie-downs and a bungee net for good measure.
We made it to the shop easily, just having to account for the extra bike hanging out the front and to the right. I needed a wider berth and went over the tracks slowly but the bike held. I did, however, end up with a yucky scratch in the box from the pedal (there was a rag between the chainring that minimized the damage). It really is just a little scratch and it was bound to happen anyway. As John Lucas
says "it's a sign of a well-loved and well-used bike."
On the way back, I enlisted Tim's help to switch things up a bit.
We took the front wheel off again and instead of putting the rest of the bike in the box, we tried to attach it to the frame. At first, I put the fork in the pannier but the bike swayed too much side-to-side. Then, we realized that the dropouts fit perfectly in the rack. It was as if it had been made that way!
We strapped the bike down to keep the fork from bouncing. It turned out to be incredibly stable and easy to ride! It was my own little trail-a-bike. I got lots of turned heads and thumbs-ups and even chased a roadie down with this giant bike-train. He kept blowing through stoplights so, eventually, I couldn't keep up.
It's pretty awesome to know how many things we can do with these bikes. People buy bigger cars just to do what I do--carry 2-3 kids, haul around bikes and crazy cargo, go fun places. I just hope to help change people's minds about what a bike can really do with a little imagination and enough tie-downs.
Davis ride tomorrow! We're leaving from Grant Park (22nd and C st) at 8:30am--sharp! The Cool Davis team is going to meet us there with refreshments and t-shirts. Then, we'll hit the Farmers Market for goodies. If you want to stay longer, Whole Earth Festival is also happening.
Sunday is Cyclofemme! For more info: www.facebook.com/events/465273203563939/
It's the perfect way to spend Mother's Day!
May's Kidical Mass ride is on May 26th at 5pm. We'll meet at Discovery Park near the archery field for a BYO picnic followed by a family-friendly loop on the American River Parkway.
Some bike-on-bike fun!
I took the boys out to REI this evening to get some sunglasses to prepare for the rides this weekend. I want to figure our a way to create some shade for the Bullitt and am totally up for some suggestions. I don't have the rain cover and would prefer to not spend $300 until the bike is at least paid off (in about 2 months...way better than a car!). I would also prefer not to drill into the box too much, it's still so new. Although, Little Brother did spill half a cup of icee in it when we stopped to chat with friends at a little league game.
The Bullitt just became even more practical! Tim
found a rack that had come off one of the Breezer bikes after they had done a BionX conversion and was able to finagle it onto the Bullitt. He had to use some spacers to get it far enough away from the disc brakes and I installed a set collar with rack mounts as the bike didn't come with any. After some brute force, I now have a wonderful and sturdy rear rack to offset the load of kids I frequently have in the box. I gussied the rack up with my mom's old set of Nashbar panniers because they didn't fit the rack on her new Breezer Greenway.
Brian and Monica probably get lots of admiring looks from passer-bys.
I ran into the fantastic folks behind Carsick Designs
yesterday. Monica was riding her locally built Cycle Truck
and Brian had his Xtracycle
. Both bikes were decked out in their own bags and filled to the brim! They also had E-zee electric assists and zoomed past at the next intersection.
Ice Cream For Dorie!
Good thoughts go out to our bikey-friend, Dorie, of Hum Of The City
who was rear-ended by a car while riding her Mamachari with her son. Thankfully, her son is okay but shaken up. She, however, is in for her second leg surgery. Please send her lots of healing and kind thoughts for a speedy recovery.
So, as April comes to an end, so does the 30 Days Of Biking. It was easy this year and I didn't even need to give the challenge a second thought. I just rode every day because I had somewhere to go and biking is how we get around. I was in a car about three times this month which is almost as much as I've been in a car all year. May Is Bike Month
starts tomorrow with the Kick-Off event and the mile logging starts! A huge thank you to all our Tiny Helmets teammates! We're going to be contenders this year!
Don't they look excited? I sure am!!!
I've been itching to take advantage of being kid-free and go bike camping but it's been really difficult. Since it's the middle of the week, Jose isn't able to join me and everyone seems to be insanely busy (myself included). It's a crazy time right now and I needed a bike trip more than anything to settle my brain. My energy level has been a bit low and the number of things on my to-do list has been really high. Instead of succumbing to my stress, I found a solution--KOA!
The nearest campground I could find was the KOA in West Sac, 8 miles away. It's basically the same route as going to IKEA, just on the other side of the freeway. It's actually about the same cost as camping at Beal's Point--$30 for weeknights, $35 for weekends. I invited my mom and was happily surprised that she could join me! We decided to splurge on a one-room cabin for just a few dollars more.
We left around 5:30pm, giving ourselves enough time to get things done for the day but not too late to get into camp before dark. I rode the new Bullitt so I could dump all our gear into the box and give it a camping test-run. My mom rode the Mobic because she still doesn't have a bike, yet, and that one is the only one that can adjust small enough to fit her.
All packed and ready to roll!
This is luxury bike camping at it's finest--pillows, electric tea kettle, awesome!
Since this was all pretty much on-the-fly, we didn't have a dinner plan. Luckily for us, we ran into a food truck in Old Town. Everything was coming together nicely!
Some Cajun food to go.
The ride was really straightforward. West Sac is easy to bike through even though it's pretty busy. I was happy that we were leaving slightly after the 5pm rush. We made it to the KOA just before 7pm with plenty of daylight to eat dinner on our porch swing.
What you can't see is the giant freeway right behind me.
We made it! A peaceful pond blocking the Industrial view. The ducks were pretty noisy.
Our Klassy Kabin.
I couldn't have asked for a better solution for my April Bike Overnight! My mom and I both needed a fun bike ride and a quiet night. The KOA is surprisingly peaceful for being so close to the freeway (yes, it was pretty noisy). I left my phone off and refused to check my email/facebook/twitter for the night. Instead, I enjoyed an amazing book that a kind reader, David Macpherson, sent to me this week: A Pedouin Life: Stop and Smell the Aritichokes.
A Pedouin Life! Visit: www.pedouins.org
What I think is most incredible about this book, besides the fact that this family rode 7,000 miles on a bike built for 5, is that we actually crossed paths during their journey! Three years ago, Marnie and Bekah and I, rode from Arcata to Elk Prairie
for their first experience bike touring. On our last day, we were riding South down hwy 101 when a giant yellow blur sped up the Northern side. The captain yelled out "Where are you headed?" and before I could take in everything I was seeing, I barely got out and answer. Afterwards, I kept going over in my head and discussing with the ladies, how many people were on that bike, what just happened, where were THEY going? It was seared into my brain as one of the most amazing contraptions I had ever seen. Now, three years later, I finally have the answers. It is every bit as brilliant as I had imagined and even more so.
Thank you, David, for bringing closure to this mystery and thank you, Harrison family
for the inspiration! It all feels so kismet! This book is wonderful and awe-inspiring. I'm only on chapter 8 and I just want to keep reading forever.
'Nama and I rode home this morning. A simple ride back through West Sac. We stopped for coffee at Weatherstones, running into Tara, who had just gotten a Boda Boda
as a birthday present from her hubby. As we were enjoying our mochas, I saw another Boda Boda speed by. Such a wonderful day to start with an 8 mile ride, coffee, and cargo bikes swarming Midtown!
The juxtaposition makes me smile.
Breakfast of champions.
We're already almost halfway through 30 Days Of Biking
and we've managed to keep biking every day. It's so funny compared to last year--that was a challenge, congratulating myself with each passing day. It was the beginning to our new life, although I hadn't really noticed it, yet. Back then, it was amazing to be able to count the days that the car had stayed parked. Next, we started realizing that we couldn't keep up with the number of days in a row. Now, we've come to realize that this weekend is going to be the first time since the beginning of the year
that we will be borrowing my parents' car and needing to pay for gas! I don't even know what the price of a gallon is anymore.
It is surreal to think back on how much our lives have changed just from last year. Just today, we sold the final reminder of our pre-bikecentric fleet: the yellow double Chariot. Amazingly enough, we were able to sell it for just under what we had put into it. Off it goes, like the red single Chariot and the Yepp Mini, to bring biking joys to another family with youngsters. One more family on the road, enjoying the feeling of freedom and independence that only a bike can give.
Big Brother checking out his Chariot for the first time.
Little Brother on one of his last Yepp Mini rides.
Adventures await when you have a Chariot!
So before our shed gets too comfortable being extra spacious, it's time to officially announce the next addition to our fleet: a Bullitt
We had settled pretty early on a long-john
style, mainly because we need to be able to carry our dog and because it's an awfully convenient way to carry kids, groceries, cargo. The Mundo
has been great to us. I love how it rides like a tank and plows through everything we ask of it. We already know that we can tour with the Mundo, run errands, and haul our little ones, but ultimately, we decided that it would be better to have a different cargo bike to balance out our needs. It will be fun to start trying out new adventures with the Bullitt!
Between the two bikes, Jose and I will be able to do anything! No more bike juggling just to get the kids home! The only thing that made us choose this bike over John's Cycle Truck
(an amazing bike!), was the already-designed kid seat with seat belts and rain cover. I would have never been able to come up with such a beautiful set-up and, truthfully, the Bullitt was my first love. Getting a chance to ride on with David of Convoy Cargo Bikes
, had sold me back then, Practical Cycle'
s decision to start selling Bullitts, sealed the deal. Check out Hum Of The City's thorough review
if you don't believe me (although we aren't getting an assisted one...yet...).
Our Bullitt is going to have a custom wooden box with child seats. Since it's not going to rain for another 8 months, we decided to hold off on getting the Blaq Designs
rain cover just yet. This is a huge investment for us! Last year, we felt that the Mundo was the biggest step we had ever taken and now, a year later, we are upgrading once again. Although I get some benefits for working at the bike shop, this is over double the cost of the Mundo. Still, when you think about it, it's less then the cost of a terrible car, fewer than 6-months of a car payment, more joy than we could even count, and people pay this much money (and more) for a slick-carbon-5 pound ghost of a road bike. This is not a toy for us. This is a vehicle of change, a tool to facilitate the life we feel is appropriate for our family.
Day 1 for cargo bike #1!
The only reason I continue to write--besides the fact because it gives me an excuse to push my limits and try out new adventures--is because I want to share our experience, hopefully showing that this lifestyle change is much easier than you might think. I know that it has even surprises myself to think about how smoothly this transition was. While I am a little bummed at how uneventful this year's 30 Days Of Biking has been, it's impossible to fathom how much this means to us. Luckily, I do have April's bike overnight coming together soon!
Last weekend I had the fantastic opportunity to test out a local cargo bike builder's set-up: the Cycle Truck
! John Lucas has been building bikes in West Sacramento for quite awhile now. His bikes are unmistakeable. Unlike typical long-john style bikes with a wooden box built onto the frame, his bikes are a solid one-piece design. The Cycle Trucks have linkage steering which means the front wheel is pushed forward, in front of the handlebars, and is steered by a connecting piece of metal. This was the most difficult style of bike for me to master and it takes some practice before riding starts to feel "normal." In fact, the first time I got on one of his bikes, I almost steered myself into a wall. However, with a little extra practice, I began riding like a pro. After this last week, getting back on a standard bike felt weird. My first ride back on the Linus almost made me stop to check if the fork had come loose.
I rode over to John's place in West Sac using the Mobic then folded it up and shoved it into the Cycle Truck to ride home with both bikes. The awesome thing about John's bikes is that they are made to be used. He doesn't worry about scratches in the paint and instead sees them as signs of use. Nothing on the bike is "fancy" or super expensive (although you could build one up that way if you wanted). The metal frame around the deck is so solid that you could rest just about anything on top of it to carry around.
The very first thing I did with the bike when I got home was load it up with firewood, beer, and camping gear to ride up to Folsom for a little bike overnight. I rode 30 miles that first day and didn't have any problems. The friction shifting was a fun change from the clicky index shifting that I've grown used to. The weight distribution was fantastic and instead of feeling like I was pulling a heavy load, it felt like I was lightly pushing it. It was a subtle difference from what I am used to on the Mundo but it was noticeable and it was comfortable.
I really liked being able to just throw things in the box and not have to worry about balancing the load or tying it all down.
In the kid-hauling capacity, while the Cycle Truck was certainly fun, I did feel that I needed more security for traffic riding. The open sides of the basket lead to arms and legs slipping out and a bit more wiggling around than I felt comfortable, especially with the little one. Big Brother actually had a blast and followed my instructions of keeping his body inside the box. Little Brother, on the other hand, didn't follow directions as well and we had a scary moment when he rebelled and stood up, pulling on the cables, having a fit while I was riding through a busy section of road.
There would be some fairly simple fixes that could be made to the basket to improve the kid-control, such as having a liner around the open bars and some sort of seat with restraints for the little guys.
Stability-wise, this bike is a tank. I never worried about tipping over or crashing. Even my dad gave it a test--he's never attempted to ride the Mundo, let alone carry a kid on the thing. There is something incredibly comforting to have the weight low to the ground. Steering almost feels like a dance, swooping slightly from side to side.
John is continuously tinkering with different styles of frames. He has this 20" wheeled bike coming together at the moment and has another plan in mind for a Nihola-like trike.
John built this green cargo trike while he was in China. It is one of only six that he made. It's hauling capacity is amazing--shown here carrying two Cycle Trucks and below with an entire family.
This three-wheeled trailer came together after he saw a homeless man carrying a ton of scrap in a similar style trailer. The front wheel is steered by the pole connecting the trailer to the bike. It tracked perfectly behind me and could carry as much as I could tow. The front wheel takes most of the weight so it was a really smooth ride.
One of John's recent developments to his own orange Cycle Truck is the addition of his pizza maker BBQ. The BBQ rests perfectly on the bike's frame and the propane cylinder rests on the deck inside. The way the cooker sits, the bucket is still completely free to hold the rest of the party gear--ice chest, beach chairs, basically anything you can throw in there.
After the initial learning curve that comes with linkage steering, this ride is amazing. Going up hills was not a problem for me, even packed with cargo. In fact, it rode a lot better with weight in the bucket. When it was empty, it was more rattly than I am used to. I would say that the Mundo rode better for me as a regular, unloaded bike but they were pretty equal when it came to carrying cargo. Although I loved having the kids up in front of me where I was able to see and talk to them, they had too much freedom to roam for my comfort. I felt more secure with them on the Mundo. However, with the low center of gravity, I never worried about tipping over in the Cycle Truck.
There are definitely a lot more pros to this bike than cons and one of the biggest pros is the fact that it's built here in Sacramento at an incredibly affordable price--about a third of what other "bakfiets" or long-john style bikes cost. If you are looking for something to carry pets, big kids/adults, large and unwieldy cargo, this is the bike for you. Every person I have ever seen on a Cycle Truck always has a giant smile plastered on their face. This bike is fun and useful--even as a picnic bench.
We did it! After a couple months of planning, we gathered up our group of cargo campers yesterday and embarked on our first-ever group camping trip! It was a pretty ambitious attempt to schedule a camping trip with kids in the middle of March, but somehow, a group of 24 of us on 14 bikes ventured out to ride 30 miles up to the Negro Bar group campsite in Folsom. We were a motley crew, some local, one family came from Oregon, and another from the Bay Area. As luck would have it, these guys were all incredible!
Packing up at Grant Park.
The Oregon team!
Jen and Lucas along for part of the ride.
Kristi and crew and their incredible packing job!
Kao and my mom with their minimalist loads.
Jose and I fought over the Cycle Truck
since it was our new toy (borrowed for the week), and a quieter load since it was all cargo, no kid. I kept the Mundo
pretty light (relative since it was going to carry two kids anyway). I won the Cycle Truck for this trip! You can imagine the number of thumbs-up I got from the box of beer in front. I had a bit of a panic attack the night before and imagined riding the Cycle Truck up hills and tipping backwards. I hadn't really even had much of a chance to ride the bike yet but I was still going to give it a shot.
This was the perfect route, 99% along the American River Parkway, and the most beautiful weather.
I loved seeing everyone's unique packing techniques. We were in charge of s'mores and firewood and left everyone else to pack their own gear and food.
Kao was completely self-sufficient.
Jon, Iris, and the coveted Strider.
Sami with the rest of their gear.
Melissa's bike train. Kiddo conductor upfront.
My mom goes zooming past, trying to get to Karen's before it closes.
The BodaX with BionX power!
Three generations of bike tourers!
Abbie with her sweet puppy companion.
We had a few stops along the way and a nice long lunch break at Hagan park so the kids could run out their yayas.
Dem boys, eating as usual.
I was amazed at the lack of fussing until our own Big Brother threw a huge fit when we tried to move him to our friend's trailer. Their daughter is a bit too big for their trailer so she wanted to stretch out and loves being on the Mundo deck. I wanted to give Big Brother a break from the Mundo so he could nap but he was not having it. The rest of the group continued on while we attempted to calm him down. Little Brother caused just as much of a scene so we finally relented and put them all on the Mundo.
The Mundo minivan.
Now, he was getting all the attention and cruising at quick clip--12 mph. We eventually caught up with the back of the group and met up with my folks and Kao who were lounging at Karen's Bakery.
We made Karen's even more crowded with bikes this afternoon and caused quite a scene while packing back up.
I got a call from Abbie who had made it to the campsite with the rest of the group only to be turned away by some Boy Scouts who claimed they had reserved the entire area. They straightened out the debacle just as I pulled up our reservation on my phone and had to clear some scouts out of our site. Turns out the ranger had told them they could spread out if no one showed up. However, we were unstoppable!
The kids were fascinated with the stomp rockets. Thanks, Melissa!
A couple of our wonderful friends showed up to hang out with us since they hadn't been able to ride with us (luckily they had the great excuse of being a doctor who had to deliver babies on Sunday). They brought their wonderful boys to play and picked up the 8 pizzas we ordered, sponsored by the amazing folks at Practical Cycle
! As much as we wanted to pick the pizzas up by bike, their offer was too difficult to pass up (sorry, Tim...). Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
Well deserved dinner.
See, Tim, it could have been done but we were out of gas...
Abbie and Michael were the rebels, only eating what they brought. It was pretty gourmet, actually...I was jealous.
More play time, some s'mores time, a warm campfire, it was fantastic!
Life is good.
The best s'mores face, ever!
More wonderful s'mores faces!
The actual nighttime part got kind of mixed reviews. Camping with kids usually means waking up in the middle of the night multiple times. Multiple kids means more crying. I only heard other babies when I was already awake but we had one of the fussier kiddos (*Little Brother*). Our problems included an air mattress that didn't survive the boys jumping on it and too few sleeping bags--I had thought that we could share just two. It's time for us to invest a little in our camping gear. Our site was also really close to Folsom Blvd. and the traffic noise was pretty intense. We're pretty sure that there was a motorcycle race in the middle of the night. On the other hand, the coyotes were out as well and one was yipping close by. That was really awesome.
We woke up to a clear, crisp morning. Jon got a fire going and everyone moved slowly. Breakfasts included leftover pizza, oatmeal, polenta, and fried Spam (although not necessarily all together).
Breakfast of champions.
Kristi and her family packed up early to make it to their near-by church. Most of the rest of us headed out about 10 am, leaving just Abbie and Michael to enjoy packing up in peace and meandering home via Fair Oaks.
Little Brother getting comfortable again.
G'ampa took his first cargo bike ride, complete with passenger.
Fresh-faced riders ready to take on the day!
Jose picked up a spare kid again.
My beautiful mama!
This was the speedy group. It was the last we saw of them before we ate their dust. Zoom!
The final group split once again about midway through and there was a bit of a mix-up with our lunch spot so we didn't end up catching the speed demons. Sami and her family had to rush back up to Oregon and the kids in that group were younger and less demanding. Our slower group stopped at Hagan Park again to play on the playground. Big Brother was very happy with his special spot in the Cycle Truck so fussing was at a bare minimum.
My sweet cargo buddy.
The Cycle Truck was amazing! I can see this being the perfect supplement to our fleet. There are a few things that I would absolutely need to change for it to be tailored for our needs but even though it was our first "real" ride, it preformed perfectly. The gears shifted smoothly and it took the hills with ease. The seat was a bit of a pain in the butt, however, and there were more sounds and wobbles to get used to. Other than having to remind Big Brother to keep his feet inside (which I had to do just once), we both loved it. Jose said it was heavier than the Mundo but I didn't really notice.
We had such a blast and I hope that every one else did, too! An enormous thank you to everyone who came along and made this trip so amazing. You guys all made it seem so easy to pack everything onto a bike and ride 30 miles to sleep on the hard ground and then do it all over the next day. I am so impressed! It was many people's first bike camping trip, or first with children, and the longest trip Kristi had ever ridden! You were all so organized and prepared!
It was fun to leave from our doorstep and be able to meet up with friends all along the way (Thank you Jen and Lucas, Rebecca, Pablo and sweet boys, Jennifer and Jim!). Especially with this being our first try, I think we did pretty well. I could not have asked for a better group, better weather, or a better route. There are things that I would try differently, almost all related to gear and food, but most importantly, I just can't wait to do it again!
Last night, Practical Cycle
was thrilled to host Elly Blue
, Joe Biel
, and Joshua Ploeg
on their Dinner and Bikes
tour. Joshua provided the amazingly tasty vegan gourmet dinner. Joe showed the very first public screening of his documentary, Aftermass
. Elly contributed with reports of her recent trip to the National Bike Summet. They brought their traveling bookstore, too. I got one of Joe's cargo bike shirts--"One Less Truck" and Elly was so lovely to give me a copy of her book, Childhood
, that has some of my favorite folks contributing their personal stories (Kath
!). I loved that the group stays true to their principles and tour around the country using multi-modal transportation--Amtrak and bikes, of course. Most people arrived to the event by bike, as well. I even got a chance to play chauffeur and take Joshua home on the back of the Mundo while Elly and Joe rode their Bromptons
Bringing the party bike.
YUM!!! The curry bananas were the best!
Elly and the bookstore.
Practical Cycle in full party mode.
Elly sharing the stats of change (even through her cold--feel better, Elly!).
Mundo taxi service. Hi, Joshua!
It is aways fantastic to meet members of the greater biking community, especially ones who are really getting out to make a change. One of the things that stuck me from Joe's movie was the parallels between how the Dutch got their bike lanes and the struggles that the Critical Mass riders went through before Portland became the true biking city that it is today. Everyone always assumes that the Neatherlands' bikeways were just always a part of their lives. In reality, after WWII, the Neatherlands took a turn towards an auto-centric transportation mode, making it more and more difficult to walk and bike. The number of deaths skyrocketed, especially among children, so people took to the streets in protest. The bike tracks didn't just magically appear for the Dutch, the public realized that the way the cars were taking over was disastrous and deadly so they put a stop to it. You can learn more from this video below.
Obviously, even Portland has a long way to go before their bike system can be on par with the Neatherlands but at least they are on their way. It is interesting to me that as the narrator begins to describe the bikeways of yesteryear, he is actually describing Sacramento's current state of bike paths--"narrow, of poor surface, dangerous or even absent at junctions, and not connected."
What really resonated with me was the realization that things don't change unless people take to the streets to demand action. As Gandhi said, "be the change you want to see in the world." I do see our tiny little biking family as part of the greater shift towards a more sustainable system. While we may not be as visible as Critical Mass, we are still making our peaceful waves in the community. (Speaking of Critical Mass, join our family-friendly Kidical Mass
ride this Saturday: https://www.facebook.com/events/341588125941208/
We're going to be a part of the Saint Paddy's Day Parade in Old Town!).
A huge thank you to everyone who came out and stayed up past their bedtimes, to Practical Cycle for donating the space, and to the Dinner And Bikes crew for putting on such a great event! If you find them coming to a location near you, go!
Nicole's Bread Basket liner (take 2) arrived a few days ago and it's even more beautiful and functional than I could have imagined! The bright orangey oranges and gingham sure brighten my mood every time I see it! It is so wonderful to be able to throw anything into the basket, even small things like my phone or keys. There are two handy pockets for organizing little items and a cup holder. The Mundo has become an even better cargo carrier. Thanks, Nicole! You're amazing!
Pardon my thumb but look at those cute mandarins hanging out in there!
Bike parking hasn't yet improved at Trader Joes so we're taking advantage of in-store parking, as offered for the interm.
Our morning daycare/work load--blankies, lunch, bag, cloth diaper stash.
We got behind on scheduling a Kidical Mass
ride for February but tried to throw together a last-minute ride from one park to another. It turned out to be too last-minute and no one except our friend Jen showed up. It was a terribly windy day so we ended up just staying at the first park and having a great time. We both ran into a bunch of friends while we were there. It was more playtime than ride but I think everyone was pretty happy with that.
My boys are amazed at Jen's son's bike skills.
Jen also loaned us her juicer to try out. I watched "Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead," a very compelling documentary about juice cleanses. Although it's not necessarily something I would do completely, adding more veggies into our diet sounds like a great plan. This is day 3 of substituting a few of our processed meals for slimy juice (although the boys are eating their normal food). I've learned that you can't just throw anything into a juicer and expect it to taste good, in fact, my first few attempts were pretty gnarly. It also takes a lot of prep time and clean up. I've gotten better though. We're still eating food, too, but trying to make sure it's simple and healthy. So far, it's been pretty good. Today was rough because I didn't get a chance to make as much juice as I wanted so by the end of the day, I was starving. Queue the rapid binge. This isn't a diet so I'm not worried. I just want to try to clean up our meals and focus on a more plant-based life. Considering I've probably never eaten this many varied veggies and so few sugars and processed grains, I feel we're doing pretty darn well.
Finally, don't forget that we have some awesome events coming up! March 3rd is Practical Cycle
's third birthday
! We're going to have cake and sparkling cider to celebrate at 3pm (of course). Elly Blue
and crew are coming to Practical Cycle for Bikes and Dinner
on March 13th from 7pm-10pm. A yummy vegan dinner buffet, Aftermass
showing, and Elly's radness--all for just $20! Our family camping trip
is March 23rd-24th--riding about 30 miles to the group site at Negro Bar for a fun biking overnight ($25 per family). Please contact me
if you are interested in any of these fun bikey activities.
I have now had the Bread Basket
for a few weeks, having it so thoughtfully given to me by the amazing Kate
, another Mundo Mama in the area. It took a few rides to get used to the extended turning radius as the basket bolts onto the frame and doesn't turn with the fork. It also made me a bit dizzy the first few times out, although it didn't take long to get used to it and truly appreciate it's load-carrying ability.
The Bread Basket is incredibly indestructible. It's rated to carry 80 pounds and I believe it! The solid construction and strong mounting make it the perfect counterbalance to the Mundo's
(or Boda Boda's) giant rear rack carrying capacity. Having Little Brother in the Peanut Shell in the back cuts the cargo load in half, negating the use of the enormous Go-Getter
bags. Using the Baguettes
is fair option but they can filled pretty quickly with the kid's gear alone. On our trip to Chico
, we had the bike fully packed. Camping wouldn't have been an option as there was no room for sleeping bags or a tent. I wanted Big Brother to be able to move freely between the two deck seats as he needed and adding more gear would have prevented that. The Bread Basket would have been the perfect solution.
There is one major flaw that I see in the Bread Basket's design and that is the lack of a solid or mostly solid base. I have had many shopping trips lately where I wanted to carry something up front but couldn't because it would have fallen though the huge holes in the bottom. To make it fully functional, many people have come up with a simple base rigged
out of anything from mesh to reused campaign signs zip-tied to the Bread Basket frame. It's not a difficult solution but one that I don't think should have to be done after market. So far, I have only been able to really carry things up front when they are in large boxes or a large package.
Not so pretty but it works.
My solution was asking an online Mundo/Boda Boda friend, Nicole, if she could make one of her incredible Bread Basket liners like she had done for her family's bikes and for Stacy's
Mundo and their DIY tutorial
. We communicated through Twitter, picked out colors, and within a couple of days, she had finished! It was beautiful!
All Nicole's hard work! Gorgeous!
Nicole's liner design even had pockets for keys and coffee mugs! The blue and orange scheme matched my bike perfectly. I was so excited!
The package arrived yesterday. Empty. Someone had cut open the envelope and stolen my Bread Basket liner. Some horrible, soul-less USPS employee decided that my mail was theirs for the taking. Even worse, they probably realized it wasn't anything of "value" to them and discarded it.
The offending package. I should have dusted for prints. Jerks.
So, my Bread Basket is, sadly, without flare and style and, unfortunately, less useful than it should be. It will still work well for our upcoming biking overnight where we will be bringing our sleeping bags to stay warm in our warmshower's hosts' teepee. I just wish it was finally up to it's full potential and gorgeous as it was going to be. Now I have to beg Nicole to make another for us, and this time, we'll pay for shipping insurance.
My funny valentine.