Who wants a ride?
Now I'm a taxi! Our newest seating configuration allows space for an extra person--my favorite use for the Mundo. This was the first chance I've gotten to give it a go with someone heavier than 35lbs. I was thrilled to find out how easy it is to have a big person on the back, much better than them hanging off the very end as we've done a couple of times. The ride was comfortable for both of us, not too cramped or too intimate.
Also, we have new cargo friends! Amy and Ryan packed up their sweet kiddos and joined us this morning for a chilly Little Loop ride to Doughbots. We were lucky enough to get there just in time to clean out the rest of their last batch of yummy doughnuts.
We got to test out the many seating combinations of the Mundo.
It's great to have so many options. If either needs a change to scenery or a seatbelt, we have both available. I like Little Brother being up front but Jose can't fit behind the Yepp as easily. Sometimes they get too wiggly and need to be separated or Big Brother needs a nap and can't be trusted on the deck outside the Peanut Shell. And we now have the ability to take a full-sized adult along with us (thanks, Tara, for being a great guinea pig!).
Finally, our other exciting adventure for today--Golf Rush Days in Old Town. The road is covered in dirt, it's closed to cars, and gun fights happen on the hour, every hour. We popped into Practical Cycle so Big Brother could be put to good use and do some work. He told us that when he grows up, he's going to be a worker guy at Tim-Cassidy's.
Best part of my job!
This is our new commute. The boys have spent two days at daycare. We haven't really figured out a great way to do the drop offs without the evening pick up being in a car. If I do the morning trip, I end up with the Mundo at work and then the evening trip has been done by car (blech). I'm hoping we can dust off the trailer but my mom's not very comfortable riding with the boys. Maybe we need to be a two-cargo family.
It's been fantastic to have an activity outside the house. I'm learning more about bikes than I could have imagined. Practical Cycle specializes in electric bikes--the Pedego and BionX system. I hadn't had any prior experience with the assist options. Since that's what we sell and rent (among others), Tim thought I should take a spin. How awesome is it that I get to take a cruise along the American River Parkway (just a block away from the shop)? I was very impressed at the smooth ride and ease of riding the Pedego. My favorite part way zipping by the hardcore roadies while not breaking a sweat.
Electric bikes are the best gateway to minimizing your car trips. An electric bike takes away all the excuses you might have that keep you from riding--too far, too tired, too sweaty, etc. I'm certainly saving up to add an electric-assist bike to our fleet. The new Boda Bodas from Yuba are coming out in a few weeks and I have my eye on their BionX set up. I think it would be te perfect mix between cargo bike and ease of transportation. I would still be able to put on the Yepp Mini in front and Big Brother goes on the back.
Little Loop ride this Friday goes to Doughbots! Leave from Grant Park (22nd and C) at 9:30am or meet up at DB at 10am. On Saturday, we're heading to the Davis Farmer's Market--leaving from Practical Cycle (114 J st.) at 9am. Join us!
365 day clarification
My lovely friend Bekah wanted me to specifically explain my second attempt at the 365 day biking challenge I threw myself into a few weeks ago. She was concerned that my sanity would be compromised if made it well into the challenge and something came up that crushed my dream of biking every day. Bekah wants me to keep a careful count of my rides and try to bike as often as I can, instead of obsessively forcing myself to bike come hell or high water (I love that phrase). "I don't want to see what happens when you get to day 312 and get struck down with the flu" she pleaded.
This is why I love Bekah. I assured her that I'm just making biking every day a goal and motivator to move. Riding as much as I can is my focus this time around. In Santa Barbara, we sought out bikes and ended up having the best time, something I would have never considered if I hadn't jumped into the challenge. I am so grateful to have such caring and supportive friends!
So, there you go. My real 365 day challenge--trying my best. I hope this helps motivate others to join us. It's not about forcing yourself to bike, just doing what you can.
I haven't posted my shopping trips recently so here it is. Stopping at Trader Joe's is always fun. I made a point to ask the front desk to please consider adding curb cuts to make bike loading easier. It's really difficult to back-up a fully loaded bike off the curb and straight into terribly managed parking lot traffic. If they could make bike parking a priority, they could attract more of the neighborhood community to ride. Instead, their parking lot is a madhouse.
Unfortunately, my biking made me really hungry and I ate all the figs I brought home. It's a good thing fig season is so short. I gorge myself until I can't look at them. By then, the season's over and I have to wait a year to get them back. In the meantime, any Sacramentians have figs they want me to take off their hands?
Camping and August Kidical Mass
Camping was awesome this weekend. We managed to throw the Mobic on the rack last minute so I could take it for a spin at the campsite. I rode about 2 miles of hilly terrain around the lake and up (up, up, up) to the grocery store to buy butter. It was great to get some exercise in as we weren't getting major hiking done with the wee ones around.
Got home Sunday afternoon, straight into the shower then into bed for naps. Woke up an rushed off to Sacramento's Kidical Mass ride! I was nervous because our thee two organizers were out of town and I was on my own. Luckily, the location was super familiar as it started at my Little Loops ride start--Grant Park, and the 'parade' went through Midtown, around my parent's neighborhood.
To my amazement, we had 16 bikes, 16 kids, 19 adults, and one rocking POPcycle! Rachal makes wonderful, homemade, unique, and especially, delicious ice creams in push-up type containers. They're perfect for mess-free eating and she reuses the containers. There was peanut butter chocolate, strawberry red velvet, split banana, lemon, and buttered POPcorn, just o name a few. Kids, bikes, ice cream-- I can't think of a better combination.
We rode about 2 miles around the neighborhood (my wonderful mother leading the way!) and past the new community garden. We were a sight to behold, a jovial parade! Finishing at the park again before everyone rode their separate ways home.
Work starts again tomorrow. Boys have their first day of daycare. Exciting for all! Wish us luck!
Today was my first day off after working my 2-day week at Practical Cycle. Learning the ropes and talking about bikes all day is pretty awesome. Shipping off the kids twice a week has its benefits but I'm nervous about leaving them with a stranger all day. Luckily, I've had grandma so far but her limit is coming up. I'm meeting with a daycare provider tomorrow. Fingers crossed that she's as awesome as I hope.
One super perk of working at a bike shop--free parts...sort of. I mentioned that Big Brother needed longer handle bars because he leans over too much while riding. His favorite thing to do is to rub his face on my back as I pedal. It's sweet but a little creepy. He also decided to rest his head on the saddle one day as I stood up to pedal across an intersection. I spent the next minute asking (yelling) for him to get up so I could sit down. We had one afternoon when Jose was going to pick him up after spending the day with 'Nama and he hadn't had a nap. He was so tired that they decided to drive home since we didn't have the Peanut Shell on the Mundo and they didn't trust him to stay awake well enough to hold on. I need to put the Shell back on for situations like that. However, back to the parts...check out his "new" ape-hangers!
Also, notice how enthralled Little Brother is. I figure, the more buttons I have on my handlebars, the fewer temper tantrums he'll have. Between my Xceon Acouztic light/mp3, the bell, and my new blinky grips, he's in heaven (most of the time...). It's only annoying when I want to actually listen to an entire song. He goes for quantity over quality. However, look at this face.
And this one:
And then, look at it now:
I also wonder why little boys have so many cars to play with. Big Brother thinks they're such a novelty. Are there any toy bikes that he can zoom around with?
Still managing to bike every day. Today's adventure consisted of visiting Here's The Scoop, a local ice cream shop that my mom and I had bought Groupons for. Today was the last day to pick up our 5 punch card. Lo and behold, closed! How disappointing! The shop looks like it's closed for good which is even more disappointing. These were our sad faces. It's kind of hard to make a sad face when you're having a great morning out for a ride. Big Brother didn't quite get why we were sad. Little Brother really felt the pain.
Finally, the rest of the afternoon looked like this:
I did zip out again on the Mobic to pick up scotch tape. I really should have taken the Mundo as I ended up also picking up a gallon of milk (it was on sale). I had to ride home with the milk in my cloth grocery bag over my shoulder. Not fun! It was only a mile but so uncomfortable. The Mundo would have made that a piece of cake. Learned my lesson.
Don't forget that Kidical Mass is this Sunday. We'll will start & end at Grant Park at C and 22nd Streets in Midtown. The timing will mirror our July ride: 5:15 for a picnic, and a 6:00 ride around Midtown/Boulevard Park. We might even have Pop Cycle Creamery make an appearance! Yum!!!
Also, September 1st is our Davis Farmer's Market ride. Tamales and milkshakes await! We leave at 9am from Practical Cycle (114 J st. in Old Sacrament). Be there!
Rode out to our Mommy Group playdate with Jen, her son, and their new orange Mundo! So much fun! Our friend Sharyn rode in from the other direction with her kiddo in the trailer. I don't miss the trailer days at all. Jen's bike got to be the official test ride for our group and was enjoyed by all.
I was a little nervous going on such a long ride with Big Brother out of the Peanut Shell, especially during nap time. It's much harder for him to hang on to the seat and he certainly can't fall asleep sitting on the deck. However, he managed to last the hour-long ride home and took a nice long nap in his own bed. I keep meaning to put the PS back on the rack but it's so nice to not have it. With the seat in the back, I can't tow bikes, and I really, really love towing bikes. It also stops me from using the Go-Getter bag and minimizes the amount of cargo I can carry. However, it is nice to know that when the big guy starts getting squirley, I can buckle him into the seat and he's safe. Also, at the moment, with Big Brother on deck, he doesn't have his hand-dandy sunshade. I haven't figured out an alternative for that yet. The Pedal Powered Family has an awesome cover for their bike--they're pretty dang awesome on their own, too, check them out!
Getting home was lovely. Getting a nap was lovelier. One more quick ride this evening to return seven of the nine bottles of root beer I had bought for floats with the students. Turns out, root beer is a very American taste. It didn't go over very well. I threw together a milk crate and dumped the bottles in to ride the two miles back to the store. I feel badly for whomever opens these bottles. They got pretty shaken on the way over. I was really nervous with them behind me, expecting them to explode with every speed bump.
Back on track
It's been so great to be back home and riding again. Since Wednesday, we've already put 45 miles on the bike and not touched the car once. We had a great Little Loop ride today. We started by dropping off my cousin's bike (we had been borrowing it for our exchange students) and took her along on our ride to Temple II for a mocha.
Then, I popped over to Practical Cycle on J st and filled out the paperwork to start working there on Monday! How exciting! I haven't had a regular job since the kiddos were born. I'll mostly be in charge of keeping the shop orderly and secure, getting the rental bikes out, and general sales. I'm looking forward to getting the behind-the-scenes action of owning a bike shop and working with Tim and Cassidy. The employee discount doesn't hurt, either. Working out childcare is the most difficult part as we've never even hired a babysitter before. It's a fine balance to get good childcare and not pay more that you're actually earning. I have a meeting with a woman next week so my fingers are crossed that it goes well.
While I was in the shop, I got Tim to check out my brakes and readjust them. It's nice having working brakes again! I was also complaining about my sticky grips and decided to get these new fancy ones--they have built in lights for turn and brake signals! How cool is that? Tomorrow, we are meeting up with our friend, Jennifer, and her son to ride to our Mommy Group playdate. They just sold one of their cars to buy a Mundo. That is dedication for sure. I am so impressed!
I think we're all feeling the benefits of riding again! We have so much to look forward to--August 26th is our next Kidical Mass ride and September 1st is our group ride to the Davis Farmer's Market. So much to do! Come join us!
Santa Barbara fun!
I was disappointed to find out that the new motel we stayed at last night didn't have a bike in their "gym." The good news was that we would still have time in Santa Barbara to track down a rental bike--something I've never done before. I was so lucky that I had my five leaders also interested in joining the fun.
Jasmin from Austria, Walther from Germany, May from Hong Kong, and Edu from Spain joined Emily, our local leader, and myself on a Surry adventure. We got a four-person bike and a two-person bike and rode off for an hour up and down the beautiful Santa Barbara coast.
Biking is always more fun with friends and this was the best! I was surprised at how difficult it was to pedal and we could really tell when someone wasn't pulling their weight. However, when everyone was pedaling together, we could really get trucking. It was great fun to be able to sit side by side and carry a conversation. I had great visions of rolling around the neighborhood, picking up people and running errands along the way. Luckily, the Mundo actually covers most of those chores.
The amount of traffic on the beach pathway made it hard to ride freely but we all had had plenty of riding after an hour. At $11 per person (and we could have kept it an extra hour, if we had wanted) it was totally worth it--an hour of laughing hysterically, touring the gorgeous coast, and working up an appetite.
After working together nonstop for the last 19 days, this was the perfect way to end our perfect program. Tomorrow, our students depart--Spain at 4am and Hong Kong at 10pm, the others in between. One final crazy day and I'll be free until next year, ready to start again. I can't wait to do some more family rides and begin our weekly group rides, but I'm truly going to miss these guys! It's been fantastic and I'm so happy to have been able to share my love of bikes with some of my new favorite people.
Biking through insanity
Right now, I am in LA, with a teeny window of respite during our 14 hour day at Disneyland. August 8th was probably not the best date for me to commit to another shot at 365 days of biking for me. The following weekend has me in southern California with my exchange student program and limited access to bikes. Luckily, with the motivation and support of fellow riders, I have still been able to keep riding, even on days that seem impossible. I just figured that if I didn't start immediately, I would find a way to keep coming up with excuses. My whole point is to try to show that you can fit biking into any lifestyle and that wouldn't work if I was always too "busy."
My busiest day, the farewell party on Friday, did consist of a 3' ride in my backyard but I was thrilled to have even accomplished that that day.
Today, after 6am room checks to make sure no one had left their room last night, I snuck away to the hotel gym and got 15 minutes in on the stationary bike. Not as fun as goin somewhere with a fresh breeze in your face but I realized that had I not been challenging myself to bike each day, I would never have even tried. I would have been way too "busy." Instead, I hopped in the bike, worked up a nice sweat and felt better about starting my crazy day.
Finally, another exciting experience on the blogging front--we got the opportunity to be interviewed by Simply Bike and was featured on her "biking wih kids" series. Check out her wonderful website!
Day 1 of our new 365 days of biking and I managed to replace two car trips with the Mundo. The first trip was picking up the exchange students from the day's activities. I took off the Peanut Shell so I could tow one bike and I bungeed the Mobic to the deck. This is the first time I've ever taken more than one bike on the Mundo. I could have done a better job getting the Mobic attached but it worked and we made without many too many wobbles.
The boys were excited to see us and happily rode the 3.5 miles home.
After we got home, the boys cooled down while Randy's student got to work peeling potatoes for tortilla de patatas. I decided to sneak out for a "meeting" with the rest of the EHP staff at Burgers and Brew. I've never been but I decided that if I'm making another trip out, it had to be by bike. I've been driving way too much!
Another bonus--I got home to find this award in the mail! SACOG sent me third place for errand miles logged during May Is Bike Month: 408! I didn't know awards would be given, I would have found more errands to run. I can't wait until next May now. Until then, I'll just keep riding. I think people would bike more if they were just randomly mailed awards every now and again. I know it'll keep me motivated!
This is us. We're fun.