Found out that my kids don't melt in the rain! Today, we ran out the door without looking at the forecast to meet a friend at the Train Museum. We got there too late for her but just in time for the showers they had been predicting. We did stop over at Practical Cycle to check out tire options as my back tire is steadily and slowly going flat every few days. Instead of pushing me to buy the Fat Franks that I want, Tim set me up with some tire liners and a heavy-duty, self-sealing Sunlite tube (there was only one in stock but that will get my rear wheel protected which is more important). Riding home, we took the long way through Discovery Park and along the American River Trail. We got sprinkled on pretty regularly but Big Brother was loving it and Little Brother was asleep behind his Yepp Windshield. It's nice to have the windshield back on, even though it's still on with rubber bands. The little guy stayed relatively dry and was protected from the giant bug that landed on the shield instead.
Jose and I also got a little date last night. At the last minute, after hearing all the rave reviews about Breaking Away (and dreamy Dennis Quaid), we decided to head over to the May Is Bike Month's showing at the California Museum. They had free bike valet parking and a raffle for "Cutters" t-shirts like in the movie (which I won!), Carsick leg bands, and some Bike Month socks (I had won some earlier by stopping by an Energizer Station and saying the magic word of the day--derailleur). Luckily, we have some awesome babysitters who work for Fiesta Burritos so we picked up a few and dropped off the boys on our way over. On the way home, we left Big Brother asleep and took Little Brother who was not happy about being woken up but tolerated the 3 miles home. I love, love, love, riding in the dark. With kiddos, not as much necessarily, but we rode safely with our lights blazing and wearing our reflective vests. Such a fun evening!
Just some silly footage of our fun ride today. Little Brother is exhausted from his trip to the doctor's and Big Brother is helping by being my engine. So sweet! It's not surprising that they keep me pedaling. This bike is actually one of the only ways that Little Brother will actually get a nap in. He was asleep in minutes. One of the only bummers of riding with children is that you are put on display for all to see. When they are whiney and tired, everyone sees. When they have calmed down a few seconds later, you are already well past them and they are left thinking "wow, what is that mom doing to her poor children?" Just so you know, children cry in carseats, too!
Final issue of the day: Kate Burns made the Sacramento Bee with a lovely photo of her riding away from the Bike Month festivities and sadly, not 24 hours later, there is already a scathing opinion. He is immediately shot down by Kate's fantastic knowledge of the real California Vehicle Code 21204 but it is still disheartening that people really believe that nonsense. How can anyone look at that photo and not see a happy family enjoying some good, healthy exercise and using a mode of transportation that can save the world? I guess that's why were here and working to change these opinions and show these sadly misinformed individuals that biking is safe and fun--it's driving that is the killer.
May is my favorite month of all time. It encompasses my birthday, our anniversary, Mother's Day, and most importantly MY BIRTHDAY!!! And Bike Month, of course. Today the boys and I rode off to pick up 'Nama to go to the kick off for May Is Bike Month at Fremont Park. Bike Month is big in Sacramento. We have daily energizer stations along the various bike trails and at different bike shops, group rides, festivals, and over 1,000,000 miles already pledged! Just coming off the 30 Day Challenge, I wasn't ready to give up biking just yet so I'm thrilled to be able to keep challenging myself (and my children). We have all pledged 600 miles for the month and have started our very own team, Tiny Helmets (please join us!), with fun group rides planned. I figure that we should try to get close to 20 miles a day to meet that goal, knowing that we'll have days that go over 20, I just don't want too many that are under so we don't get too far behind. Big Brother and I logged in 18 and Little Brother got in 15 since he stayed at home with Papa while we went on a couple extra errands. Big Brother also got his own riding in at the park on his little Strider, making loops around the tree for about an hour solid.
Probably my favorite part of the day, besides riding around in beautiful weather with my favorite people, was seeing and meeting some great new connections in the local biking community. Rick Houston and A.J. of May Is Bike Month, Monica of Carsick Designs (the totally awesome and drool-worthy and local pannier makers...is anyone wondering what to get me for my birthday...did I mention that it's this month?), our friend Cassidy from Practical Cycle, and our Yuba-Buddy, Kate, with her littles in tow, as well as all the other friendly folks out spreading the biking love. Sacramento's biking culture really makes me happy and May really brings out the best in everyone. Whether they are dusting off their bikes from the winter (really, Sacramento doesn't have much of a winter, there's no excuse for that, but I digress and won't judge) or if they are daily commuters anyway--just trying to win some free socks, they are coming out in droves!
We are also signed up to be a part of Clif Bar's May 2012 Challenge, logging our miles in there, too. For every trip logged, Clif Bar is donating $1 to BikeWalkKC, the unified voice for active living in Kansas City. So many wonderful reasons to ride this month.
Now, the real challenge will be keeping them riding in June, July, August and beyond. How many socks can they keep giving away? Anyway, if you see us out there, give a wave or come join us! We wear our bikeyfaces with pride and want to spread the joy.
Today's ride was a quickie to 'Nama's house to take advantage of some babysitting so I could get some work done. The Mundo towed the Chariot (forgetting that the wheel was wonky from the crash in Elk Grove a few weeks ago) and after one horrible attempt where the bungee wasn't tight enough and the thing wobbled like crazy until it fell off the in middle of the road, I got it back on solidly and rode the rest of the way there without too much adjustment. We were quite the sight and I could just imagine everyone we passed craning their necks to see if I really had two more kiddos stashed in the trailer (as it was balanced precariously backwards and on it's tail).
To recap this month's adventures, all in all, it was an amazing journey! Going camping and our crazy trip to Modesto were probably the biggest highlights, but even just my everyday riding felt like a great accomplishment. Just knowing that I was going to be getting on the bike no matter what and following through on that promise to myself, was empowering. I ended with a total of 534 miles, well beyond the 400 I had set for myself at the beginning of the month. My computer tells me that I spent a total of 53 hours in my saddle and that calculates out to 28041 calories burned (not that I lost any weight, it's just fun to know)! Who needs a gym when you can get that kind of burn just going to the grocery store?
Now that April is over and all the excitement of the 30 Day Challenge comes to a close, I'm not at all disappointed. I now have May Is Bike Month to tide me over! I spent time this afternoon planning our team, Tiny Helmets (of course), various rides for the month. The boys and I have pledged 600 miles each, a huge stretch for us! If we are able to average 20 miles a day, we should be fine (eek!). Tomorrow is the Bike Month kick off and I feel totally ready to go! The Mundo and I are at ease with each other. I feel that we know each other very well now and we're both ready for this newest challenge.
This is us. We're fun.