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.
The boys and I rode in a neighborhood parade for the 4th of July. I kick myself because we should have gone to a different parade that was more organized, we would have been announced as we passed by, and there was a vendor area afterwards that we could have gotten some exchange student attention. It was hard to decide in the morning and ultimately, I chose the parade that was a mile away from my house as opposed to the one that was 8 miles away. At the time, I just couldn't get our rig out the door in time for that long of a ride. Instead, our silly billboard of a bike got some funny looks. We ran into a few friends which was nice and we basically scooted the Mundo along the parade route since it moved so slowly. I refuse to take the sign off my bike even though I feel as ridiculous as anything and I keep imagining getting a phone call regarding my biking--sort of a "how's my driving?" bumper sticker. If I even get one host family from it, it'll be worth it. I think after my program, I'll need a new sign, without my phone number on it--suggestions?
Crazy month has turned into bat-poopy insanity...in a good way, of course. Juggling my kiddos and my job gets really difficult these days. My wee ones get pawned off on any relatives within baby-throwing reach (luckily, I can't throw a baby very far and between the hubby and my folks, my kids are pretty safe). Since I am using most of my free time to either work or pretend to work by staring at the computer, willing host families to come my way magically, it doesn't leave a lot of time for biking. I am thankful to have worked biking into a regular part of my routine already because if biking hadn't already been ingrained into my life, that would be the first thing out the window. I've already had to drive three times this week but that is compared to the 11 times I've headed out by bike instead. The heat also makes it difficult to get on the saddle, but as Big Brother said once we started moving "Hey, it's not hot anymore!" It's only hot when you stop. I wish I had more free time to go the "long" way home or to take the extra hour to make my longer trips but that's not an option for me right now. In my head, I think of all the wonderful ways an electric assist would make my life more enjoyable. I don't want to get trapped into thinking that my car is a necessary evil because then I would get wrapped into believing that I can't get rid of it. We still plan to and we still will. Each trip I've taken could have been done using a shared car program or an electric assist bike, I could have planned the timing better to account for babysitting needs. In a month and a half, I will have more time than I know what to do with (I'd like to believe) and for those times, I dream of camping trips with my boys and epic tours up to Portland. I start thinking about how I will fit in a bike trip around Sardinia and the next bike I will get once our car is gone. Those things keep me moving, even when I can't be pedaling.
Our Sunday was a lovely day of riding with friends, both old and new. We met up with some friends who had also ridden to church that morning and rode back together, stopping for some ice cream on the way. They are a fantastic family who has also recently put bike riding into the forefront of their transportation needs. Both parents have started biking to work as often as they can and the family invested in a trailer and helmets for their kiddos to ride around in. They're also planning on joining us for their first ever bike camping trip this weekend! I'm so excited and in awe of them! To go from not having/using bikes to being regular commuters is a fantastic step. An even better step, my friend got a pretty special Mother's Day gift in the form of Carsick Design's gorgeous hot pink pannier set! Now that is a supportive husband! I am so happy to have such wonderful friends who not only think that I'm NOT crazy but they decide to join me along the way.
Jose got stuck at home with a case of the Sacramento Allergies so Big Brother and I ditched him and Little Brother (who was ready for a nap by 9am). After our ice cream stop, we waved goodbye to our friends and met up at Kit Carlson Middle School for Sacramento Kidical Mass. The goal of a Kidical Mass is to make kid-friendly group rides to help teach parents and children how to ride safely in the streets (Kids are traffic, too!). Sacramento has only had about three KMs and this was our first one. We spent some time decorating our bikes and a lot of time ogling other bikes (including Kate and Warren's Mundos. It's amazing how the same bike can become very unique for each individual family's needs). Another family pulled up in a Madsen cargo bike. There were kids with training wheels and those without, some on trail-a-bikes, some in baby seats. Big Brother was out running around on his Strider. They got to go around a little obstacle course with ramps and cones, there was a sllllloooooooooowww race, and then the group ride around the neighborhood.
We had such a great time getting to know other biking families from Sacramento. Kate and I talked with the organizer, Warren (of the other Mundo), and we are planning to make it a regular event in Sacramento. There is definitely the need and the interest for monthly rides for families and I am excited to be a part of the planning.
Big Brother was fast asleep by the time the short group ride was over. We headed home, visiting with Kate along the way. This is such a wonderful community to be a part of!
I wish I could take all the credit for this idea but, alas, I stole it from another blog. Since I couldn't get my first attempt at sun protection to work, I scrapped that idea and stumbled upon a different version. After looking for the covers at REI and finding them out of stock, I searched the Great Internet to find them on sale at Rocky Mountain Trail for just $15 a piece. The blog had only shown them on a PeaPod (similar to a Peanut Shell) so I knew that Big Brother's seat was going to be a cinch but I took a gamble at trying to rig one for Little Brother's and bought two, just in case. Litte Brother was the one I worried about most as he is up front and more exposed to the elements. We had started using the Yepp Windshield again since I found a stick (yes, a stick) in the little guy's eye.
It turned out to be incredibly simple for both seats to become covered. I tried out the Yepp's cover this morning by zip tying the back poles to the seat and then tucking it over the windshield. We rode around like that all day without much of a problem. I was worried that it would impair my vision of the road in front but it didn't. When I got home this evening, I secured the front pegs with some stick on outdoor velcro and it was good to go. The back poles will slide in and out easily for quick mounting and dismounting of the wee one.
The Peanut Shell's cover followed the same instructions as Everyday Adventure's. I drilled in two 1/4" holes at the top of the seat and two more along the sides of the cross bar. My grommets were too loose so I used electrical tape to secure them. I didn't want the poles in the front of the bar because my big guy already gets stuck getting in and out from under it and I didn't want them poking him in the legs. I can't wait to give them both a go tomorrow. The weather is heating up and I think this will make them both more comfortable and willing to ride longer distances in less than perfect weather. Also, if I need extra protection from the rain or sun, I now have a support to add on the stroller shades/rain covers as needed.
This is us. We're fun.