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.
Loading up! They said 8:30 am--sharp! We got there at 8:33. Close enough. Note the three kids on my bike, we rode like this for 3 miles.
Saturday: Rode to Davis! I chose the Bullitt so our friend, Randy, could take his kids on the Mundo. The ride there was quick and pretty painless, even going across the causeway. I love this ride. It's not very pretty--lots of urban cycling through West Sacramento, stinky highway, noisy cars, and a recent obstacle of Caltran's takeover for a section of the trail.
Quick pit-stop at Practical Cycle.
No thanks, Caltrans...
Big Brother got squirrley around mile 18 and since we were on the bike trail, I decided to let him move around. It was rough for all of our bottoms and I didn't want him to be too uncomfortable. Little Brother loved cuddling with his big brother.
My cute boys. Little Brother kept shoving Big Brother's head down and singing him to sleep.
Difficult to ride with him wiggling but we stayed upright.
When we reached the Farmers' Market, we were greeted by Chris and Jon from Cool Davis with strawberries, pastries, and ice cold water! We even got new tee shirts! It was awesome!
Thanks, Cool Davis!
Plenty of delicious food, fresh fruits and veggies, and playground time followed and created some very exhausted children. It was getting really warm by afternoon--93 degrees. My boys were cozy in the Bullitt and Randy's son quickly passed out in the Peanut Shell. However, his daughter was sitting at the stoker bars and started looking pretty tired. She was resting her head on Randy's back and starting to doze when we decided that we needed to move her into a secure seat--the Bullitt.
Yep, we had three kiddos in the Bullitt bucket. Little Brother was not happy to have been woken up but after some very loud singing and distractions, he realized that we were the party bike. Fifteen miles with a 120 pound cargo and a slight headwind. It was a good thing they were so cute or I might not have made it. The kids were quite squished but had fun. Everyone was really tired and uncomfortable.
I love this photo!
Getting ready to reconfigure. This was the last bit of shade for about 10 miles.
Little Brother was not happy to have been woken up.
Now they're happy in the party bike!
One more obstacle--couldn't ride the long way home because the bike path access was blocked off by trains for an event.
We made one last stop about 2 miles from home. The little ones were worn out and we didn't want to leave them with grumpy memories about our long adventure. So, we stopped at Suzy Burger for dipped ice creams. That revived everyone to last all the way to home where the sprinklers were waiting.
Sunday: CycloFemme! Last year's CycloFemme wasn't quite what I was envisioning so this year, I enlisted the help of some awesome ladies. We planned a route that had two sections. The first was a bit easier and the second was more challenging but ended at the Sunflower Drive-In in Fair Oaks--13.1 miles total, each direction. We started with 28 riders, coffee, Doughbot Doughnuts (thank you!!!), and lots of bikes.
I chose the Mundo because I like riding it unloaded better than the Bullitt. It was loaded down with doughnuts, coffee, and snacks.
Eliana and I rocked our CycloFemme tats.
Check out this awesome group!
Look at my beautiful mama!
Tiniest munchkin on the ride, chilling in his seat like he owns the place.
Jen and her son, our Mundo buddies.
Gathering at the Guy West Bridge and getting to know each other.
They may be small but the put on some miles!
Tatting up the kids early.
Our new friend Anna Marie.
There were some new-to-riding folks, some new-to-the-area folks, little ones on their own bikes, little ones on their parent's bike, and everyone was ready to ride! It was so wonderful to meet such great new friends and catch up with old friends. Everyone cruised at their own pace, ranging from speedy to strolling, whatever was comfortable and fun.
The cutest mama-daughter biking team in matching floral dresses.
Our second stop was at William B. Pond. We lost a couple of riders, one due to a bee sting and another to a little bike crash (she's okay). The little ones on their own bikes headed back to meet back up in Fair Oaks while their mama giddily zipped back and forth along the bike trail, kid-free. There were cookies (made by my own mama!), fresh fruits (thanks, Randy, for hitting up the Farmers' Market before the ride!), and more coffee (I was begging folks to drink it up. Next year, we go with cold mimosas!).
Victoria showing off her CycloFemme pride!
Sharyn and Jen's CycloFemme biceps!
Little guys taking a break.
Love the spandex-baby combo.
Quick picnic break in the shade at William B. Pond.
The next 7.9 miles had more rolling hills but we pushed on happily, again at differing comfortable speeds. The last half-mile of pure uphill made the ride even more satisfying and the Sunflower Drive-In even more delicious.
Sharyn and kiddo made it up the hill!
Jen and kiddo, too!
Anna Marie and Rich--thanks for many of the great photos!
Resting up before heading back.
Mina and her little one.
Look at those CycloFemme calves!
The way home was a lot harder for me. It was hot again--95 degrees today and even though the ride had more downhill in this direction, we had a headwind again and long stretches of tree-less path. I think the two rides in a row got to me, too. My legs felt like goo. I made it back home in our little break-away group of Jen (kid-free now!), my sister-in-law Eliana, and our new bikey friend Mary.
I am so grateful to be a part of this great biking community and to be constantly meeting new folks who are already in or just joining the biking fun. I'm already looking forward to start planning CycloFemme 2014 and bringing more people into it so Sacramento CycloFemme can continue to grow and evolve into something huge!
The best Mother's Day I could have asked for!
And these guys are pretty awesome, too!
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.
It's been crazy around here. One child down with a stomach bug, monsoon rain (for 20 minutes), 90 degree heat, May Is Bike Month, next child down with stomach bug, bike shop work, exchange student work, blogging, CycloFemme! I feel like we're bouncing all over the place.
The weather cooled down for a couple of days and I was excited to get the kids into their cute rain clothes and not feel like I was constantly sweating. For a minute, I almost wished I had gotten the rain cover but then realized that it'll be a thousand degrees in about a week and we didn't need the Bullitt turning into a greenhouse.
Of course, a few minutes later, it was hot again.
Yesterday, we were hanging out at the park and I thought about Dorie's
secret third seat on the Bullitt. I thought Big Brother was a year or two away from having long enough legs. Turns out, we've got a brand-new seat!
Then, just for fun, I thought I'd take a rest while the boys played at the park.
It's a snug fit and I'm not sure if I'd try it for transport, yet. Especially since I'm the only one I trust to ride the bike at the moment.
We stopped by my parents' house to show them our new discovery but to my surprise, they didn't even seem surprised. They must be used to my crazy bike-antics and just assumed this was totally normal.
See, we're normal.
Today, Big Brother woke up with a sore tummy. I was worried since Little Brother has been sick (although he seems totally normal everywhere except his diaper). Big Brother doesn't wear diapers and I was nervous about going out but we gave it a go anyway. First to Doughbots (where he didn't touch his doughnut...) and then to Bike Fest.
Of course, they mostly seemed fine but the crowd and the heat wore on both of them quickly.
However, we got to visit with lots of our friends and check out fun bikey things. Big Brother threw up his ice cream (part of the Bike Fest freebies) in the grass so he spent the rest of the time (a half hour or so) sitting in the shade while we waited to hear the raffle winners (bummer, not us this year. THERE WAS A BROMPTON UP FOR GRABS!!!).
Little Brother was asleep before we even packed up to leave and we rode home with a giant bouquet of balloons.
I had to do a few more errands this evening and I actually used my mom's car for part of it because it was at our house and I needed to bring some of my bikes back from their house. It worked out well but I ended up having three very close calls while driving. I realize that the biggest factor in crashes is speed. I was really grateful that I was going so slowly when one car backed out of a parking space in front of me without looking and another turned left into my lane mere feet from my bumper. This graph stays in my mind constantly, especially when I'm driving. I really think cars should be limited to 20mph in populated areas, max.
Out of the four bikes at my parents' house, the Mobic, the Linus, the Motiv, and Oscar (check Our Fleet
), I chose to bring home Linus. Halfway home, I heard a "ping" and thought--I wonder if I just broke a spoke?
My first spoke, ever. I love my Linus but these wheels are crappy.
I spent the rest of the evening installing new bar-end mirrors to the Bullitt and Mundo, fixing and replacing some bells, and putting an older mirror on the currently-defunct Linus. That's about the extent of my mechanic skills--if it requires more than an allen key, I'm usually out of luck.
Although, Tim did let me put together this pretty Boda Boda for the shop! I learned about truing wheels, adjusting brakes, screwing on pedals, and fun stuff like that. It may not be huge repairs and I did need quite a bit of guidance but it's given me a better understanding about how bikes work. I love working at Practical Cycle
Dropped off Big Brother at daycare then rode over to the dr. with Little Brother. Seems like he's got a stomach bug that's been going around. We took the Mundo because Jose came along to stay home with the boy so I could go to work. He rode the electric bike but realized the BionX rack was missing a bolt. Good thing I'm taking it in to Practical anyway. Sad thing is that Jose's Motiv is also down because the seatpost bolt is stripped and too loose. Good thing these are bikes and all their repairs are so inexpensive! I can't imagine having to keep up a car (*bumper* =$1000).
Right at home!
Of course, my Bullitt had to be left behind. For the first time, it actually felt fine to swap to a "normal" bike from the longjohn, even though I've ridden it exclusively for about a week. No more noodle arms! Jose still needs some practice with the Bullitt.
I don't care for bikes that are "just" road bikes, or "just" commuters/cruisers/single purpose uses. I'm all about practicality and versatility. The Bullitt has been just that.
First, drop off my kids at daycare.
Next, ride out to Ikea to have breakfast and shop--13 miles roundtrip.
Thanks for the great parking, Ikea...
Just picking up 80 lbs of pet food, no biggie.
This weighs more than my kids but is much less wiggly.
Get ready to go to a work conference with all my luggage.
Our dear friend Bekah showed up early this morning for an extremely quick visit before she had to hop back on a plane. We had to get to my mom's house to get the car and drive to the airport so of course, we went by bike. She had come straight from work and had all her crew gear, not her usual light-packing job. Thank goodness for that awesome rear rack! The perfect way to start a day--Bekah and bikes!
Next, my mom and I rode over the Freemont Park for the May Is Bike Month
Kick-Off! Cassidy was there showing folks how to replace their car with a bike. I left the Bullitt
hanging out there to show how easy it is to replace the family minivan. Our friend Jarrod
showed up with his crew on his decked-out Mundo
. Big and Little Brothers found the fountain and thoroughly enjoyed it. The Big guy was hand-selected by the Mayor-of-Davis to choose the raffle winners. He also got to throw out a few pairs of socks (although not to me) and to an aspiring Buster Posey, this was heaven! The best part was when he threw raffle ticket and then also threw the prize. What an arm!
It was a long, busy morning. I knew that Little Brother was going to fall asleep on the way home but didn't realize just HOW cozy he'd be. I ended up leaving him in a shady corner in our backyard for about an hour so he could get a full nap.
Big Brother told me that he couldn't sleep so I said that he could take a book and rest. A minute later I found him like this:
My final trip this evening was another 4 miles on the BionX Breezer for a meeting. 11.7 miles total today. I have a ways to go to reach my pledge of 500 but it'll be a fun adventure to get there!
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!!!
We had a blast riding around in the Bullitt and it's been so easy not having to juggle bikes or deal with the trailer. The boys love being able to see everything as we ride but I can tell that we're going to have to figure out a sun shield solution for the bike. My plan is to get them sunglasses in the meantime and hope that they keep them on. We decided against getting the rain cover from Splendid Cycles to save a little money and since it's not going to rain anytime soon. However, it probably would have been a good frame to create some shade. I still haven't let Jose take the kids on the Bullitt, yet, although he took it for another test ride and did fine.
Bullitt mechanic and failed attempt at installing a rear rack (my try, not his).
Not kidding around.
I ended up driving quite a bit (25 miles) on Friday to take care of a couple of appointments in Natomas that evening. It was longer than I wanted to ride and later than I felt comfortable riding home. It was only my second time driving a car this year. I realized how much more aware I am driving. I feel like I don't take it for granted and try to drive with purpose and awareness, moving pretty slowly.
We're not quite here but Little Brother loves testing it out. He climbed up on his own.
Yesterday was our April Kidical Mass ride. Because we have the extra cargo bike, we were able to let some friends use it because their kids are a bit big for their trailer. Randy rode the Mundo and Jen took the BionX. She was thrilled to find the little red button but kept the assist low so she still got exercise. Their kiddos had a blast on the Mundo. The little guy hadn't ever ridden on the back and his face lit up the second they started moving. Their daughter is a pro, having shared the deck numerous times with our boys. I love having extra bikes to allow for spontaneous bike parties.
We quickly stopped at the new Midtown Farmer's Market where SABA
was offering free bike valet parking. There was really delicious food and great music. It's going to be a great addition to the fun summer weekend activities. Then, we met up with some friends at Grant Park and let the kids play as we enjoyed catching up. Our Kidical Mass
ride was a short trip up to the river at Sutter's Landing. We locked up the bikes securely and wandered down to the river where the kids had a blast playing in the river and getting sandy.
The Mundo's temporary family. Look at those smiles!
Cargo bike parking at Sutter's Landing.
The rock-throwing portion of Kidical Mass.
Heading back with tired, sandy kiddos.
Last night, Jose and I had a fun night out with a group of bikers riding around for a Progressive Dinner Party. The boys got to stay at 'Nama and G'ampa's house for a slumber party. Jose and I dropped them off and then met the others at the first stop--Edible Pedal
where John Lucas was whipping up some crepes on his cargo bike
cooker. After about an hour, 20 or so of us pedaled about a mile over to an apartment courtyard where someone else had made turkey burger sliders. Another stop was a couple miles away and we had our main dish, followed up by a short ride over to our neighborhood where a couple of neighbors had desserts and homemade beer. It was a great evening of lovely folks and beautiful bikes, delicious food and good times. I love that biking was part of the whole adventure of the evening.
The chef and his kitchen.
Amazing! Check out the new bi-partable quick releases!
A blurry trip of our speedy bike mob.
Today was another fun biking morning. Jose and I had an early start to pick the boys back up. He took them home along the American River where they saw turkeys. I left a bit later to check out the route for our CycloFemme ride on May 12th. I got to ride my original touring bike, Oscar, for the first time in about a year. Jose had put it back together a few weeks ago so that I could have a long distance bike that didn't weigh 80 pounds. I was so impressed at how light it felt and how smooth it rode. I averaged over 13 mph the whole ride, only getting passed by a couple of the serious roadies out on the trail.
ride looks fantastic. We're starting at the Guy West Bridge on the American River Trail, making a stop at William Pond where people can either join us then or head back. The second half of the ride is a bit harder as the rolling hills pick up and we end with a steep uphill to the Sunflower Drive-In in Fair Oaks. I was sad that the drive-in was closed until 11 and I didn't feel like waiting around. I turned back around and rode back, stopping at William Pond for a quick bite to eat and a little rest.
This piece of artwork is on the bike trail, made by one of the cool guys at our dinner party last night.
Made it! Looked yummy! Can't wait for CycloFemme!
Rest stop. I need a kickstand.
I was bummed to get off the trail for the last section to my home. Having to deal with cars after all those blissful miles is never fun. One one quiet neighborhood street, an older woman got within a foot of my bike, trying to pass where there wasn't room. When I turned around and yelled out of shock, she just looked at me and shrugged as if to say "What else am I supposed to do?" She obviously had no idea of the width of her car or that she could try NOT passing me until it was safe to do so. Farther down, another woman opened her car door without looking but thankfully, I was well out of the door-zone. Overall, however, it was an awesome ride. It's always a shock when I get to ride without the heavy bikes and kid/cargo, I'm in pretty good shape! I love that feeling.
May is my favorite month! Mother's Day, our anniversary, and my birthday all within a lovely set of 31 days.
It's also chock full of May Is Bike Month swag! I love May Is Bike Month
! Two years ago, I won my beautiful Linus at the Bike Fest (and it just happened to be on my birthday, too). Last year, I reached my pledge of 600 miles by the skin of my teeth and won 3rd place for the most Errand Miles!
This year's going to be even better than the last! They've even started the Energizer Stations already! However, I need some help. Jose's threatening to drop my Tiny Helmets
bike team unless we start racking up some real points. That means, I need as many folks out there who are willing to log miles for our team. I don't care if you pledge 10 miles or 1000, just join our team and log your miles! Our goal is to beat 350 Sacramento's team. I think we can do it. Who's in? Go to www.mayisbikemonth.com and sign up. If you've already joined a team, ditch them and ride with us! You can be a part of your Employer's challenge and still be on our team. Sign up your kids! Both Big Brother and Little Brother pledged 500 miles, who's going to challenge them? They're really competitive. I might even have them challenge each other. That would be pretty funny.
We're the most fun team, ever! Today, my mini team and I ran off to check out an Energizer Station (although we had the day's location wrong) and then hit up Doughbots for some delicious goodies. Bacon chocolate doughnut and an iced mocha is the best way to start a day (although admittedly probably not the best way to keep a day going). We rode around in the Bullitt together quite a bit, getting used to our new set-up.
The boys already love it. They are so happy to jump in the box. I still need to get the seat dialed in and add a rear rack. Similarly to the Mundo, once you add two kids to the bike, there's not a huge amount of room for anything else. Adding the Bread Basket to the Mundo was what made it more functional so I'm looking forward to getting a rear rack and adding panniers/bags to even out the load. The Bullitt rides even better with the boys onboard and it's very entertaining to have them up front.
Oh, and we saw a raccoon today. How awesome are we?