Wednesday, December 5, 2012

My Dream Bicycle Holiday Wishlist

I was treated to some great service at the hospital last night (not baby, just me related) I had something gross taken care of and alas I am off a bike for about two weeks. So in the mean time I am going to fantasize up my perfect blue sky budget holiday wishlist.


Bike: 

I am mainly lusting after the Yuba Boda Boda at the moment. I love the midtail length and in my dream life the upgrade to the e-assist would be excellent for the hills around our home. I think the colors are very sharp in crisp white and apple green too. The basic bike is $999 which is a fantastic price point, I think adding a double kickstand for kid safety, the peapod seat and the bread basket make it an adorable addition to my wishlist. (PS I have never actually ridden this bike so this is purely superficial reasoning) 

Yuba Boda Boda

Trailer:

I prefer box bikes and kid seats, but with number two on the way a trailer would be a great way to pull a carseat on a bike. After some searching and discussing with other bike mamas, I think the Wicycle has won my heart. Priced between $299- $599 there are a lot of options for families. I really love how tall they are for visibility reasons and of course longevity. 

Wicycle

Bags:

I am going to admit the last thing I really need is more bicycle bags but what the hell! I love the styles from PoCampo. The connect system makes it so a bag can connect to a stroller, to a bicycle etc. I love things that have life after babies too. 

Po Campo

And shout out to a Philadelphia local company, Fabric Horse, they have some cute bags for the ladies and gents. 

Fabric Horse

Books:

These might likely wind up under the tree for me as books are pretty affordable! But on my list this year are two bike titles: Bike Tribes: A Field Guide to North American Cyclists and Bicycle Diaries

Bike Tribes, Photo by Amazon

So what is on your holiday list this year? & of course Merry Everything!!





Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Pictures from our Thanksgiving Ride

Quick blog and run but I wanted to unload some pics of our Thanksgiving ride to the Philly Parade. The 11 mile round trip ride was perfect mid 50s weather. I was stripping off layers by the time we got down there. Being 20 weeks pregnant also keeps a girl toasty!

I rode the little guy down on the Halsted with the Yepp Maxi. It's nice to be able to stand out of the saddle with him on back and he napped leaning forward into me on the way home which worked well. But the mini was great for instant smiles and communication with the little, I miss it!



Friday, November 2, 2012

Installing a Yepp Maxi on the Civia Halsted

Wednesday morning my husband was back at work following Hurricane Sandy and I was itching to get the maxi on. For the past couple of days we had been using the box as an indoor slide. So first things first I had to deconstruct the box.

I bought the seat used off of eBay so I had to take inventory to see if anything was missing. One extra bolt and the key to lock the seat were both missing, bummer. I need to contact Yepp, I hope they can replace the key.

I "read" the Ikea like instructions and realized this wasn't as simple as the Yepp Mini's adapters (we used the standard on my road bike and the alternative for the Halsted). I moved all the items to the kitchen. I have to say the installation on a female step through looks way easier. I followed the instructions for male bikes. This includes taking the extra step of taking the adaptor apart to fit it over the seat post. More parts.

Yepp, like Ikea includes a tool but it was too big for me to maneuver taking bolts off so I used our Park Tools tool. My little helper grabbed the Yepp tool and worked on tightening other parts of the bike. Thanks dude.

So of course nothing is straight forward with me. Clumsy central. I drop a tiny bolt behind our radiator. Like beyond hand reaching distance.
Fffffffffffff. I was pissed at my slippery hands and for working right next to the radiator. Well cue genius I use magnets and a bottle opener and magnetic force came to my rescue. Thankfully we have a bottle opener nearby.

I finally get the rest of the adaptor back together. I curse a bit more getting the seat on. Because easy things get hard when you already have been frustrated.

I get everything tightened and go to put the little guy on. I realized we need to reverse our kickstand to lift the front instead of back wheel. I tipped it back putting M on. Jeez. Little guy though was jazzed and I had to break it to him we weren't going anywhere as we were still in our pjs.

Both seats fit fine on the Halsted and shockingly at 5'3" I could easily mount with both seats on although I think I'd prefer a step through but I know they aren't best to support loads. It is good to know when baby two gets here/big enough for the mini it will be option to ride with both yepps.

As I told my mom while she was searching for gas in wake of the hurricane issues in my hometown I have an apocalyptic bike ready.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Monday, October 29, 2012

East Coast Families

Hope everyone is safe during this crazy storm. Clearly we aren't on our bike today and we may be using our new Yepp Maxi still in the box as a slide for the little guy during this forced indoors day. Hopefully I will have the new seat on the Halsted by midweek and I will let you know my thoughts.

Keep Safe!




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Winter Riding Prep

We have already had some blustery days here in Philly. This time last year it was actually snowing (one of our only storms of the season which was odd). I have been slowly gathering winter gear for me and the little guy.

The biggest thing about biking in winter is layering! My most likely body part to get cold are my hands. I highly recommend wool glove/mitten things. I find them so warm in the wind but easy to move in. The other is my face a warm scarf is good for keeping your face warm. Otherwise basic layers like long johns are great for winter, I also like a fleece under coat layer and a wind/weather proof over coat layer.

For little guy moving him to the backseat should help cut down on direct wind. But no doubt the little ones can get cold. I'm intending to use my stroller snuggle me on his bike seat as the outer most layer of warmth. I've seen family ride use a snuggy for her little guy. Next up I purchased some snow pants that are fleece lined at REI on clearance for 12 bucks! These slip Over pants too so if our destination os warm he will not over heat. For lighter needs we have our rain pants. For upper body his shell we have Polarn O Pyret is a great coat lasting use two years! And like mama he has a fleece jacket inner layer. Little guy also has an array of fleece hats for under his helmet. Fleece hats are great for warmth but not bulk. Finally he can keep his hands inside the snuggle me but they'll also be in wool mittens!

So that's are winter clothing stock for now. I'll keep you guys updated when November hits!

PS I got my tracking number for my Yepp Maxi. Cannot get here soon enough.

PPS Here we are biking last February we originally had the Yepp windscreen which is great for wind protection in the mini. But it isn't useable with the adaptor for the Halsted so we returned it.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Back to Posting!

The past three weeks or so I just haven't been biking. Well biking with the little guy. See I am currently 15 weeks pregnant and my growing stomach just didn't like the discomfort of a front mounted seat. And to be honest weight wise M was technically out growing it. We have been relying on walking and public transportation, which like any method has its drawbacks. Aka me waiting for late buses. Dislike.

After stalking eBay for the past two months (I knew the front seats days were numbered) I have finally nabbed a Yepp backseat for a great price!! Cue excitement that M and I will not solely be relying on the buses. Also cue me being sad he won't be between my arms anymore when we bike.

I'll be back on Wednesday with our cold weather plan for the little guy. Until the bike seat gets here M will cruise around on his balance trike.




Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Kidical Mass Philadelphia

Last weekend a friend and I planned, I think the first Kidical Mass ride in Philadelphia. Kidical Mass is a play on Critical Mass, a ride that is often known for crazy bicyclists that are not too family friendly. However both are to draw attention to bikers on city streets. Kidical Mass is a fun, legal and safe ride looking to remind our neighbors that kids are traffic too.

We had a great turnout of thirty or so people. Including kids in bike seats, kids in trailers, on cargo bikes and big kids on bikes also parents riding too. It was a great 3.5 mile route and at the pace with the kids we did it in about a hour.

Everyone had a great time or so it seemed. I got a great email from a fellow parent biker ( and owner of a lovely big dummy) yesterday letting me know that one of the big kids who had never ridden off his own block gained so much confidence riding with the group he rode back home from Rittenhouse to West Philly. I know adults scared to bike in the city. That little guy is awesome!

Join our Facebook group or follow our Wordpress for more future rides.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Kidical Mass Philly tomorrow!

Join us at 1030am at Fitler Square tomorrow. Weather is looking perfect.

Phillykidicalmass.wordpress.com for more info.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Midwives on Bikes & MIA

MIA? As always we have been biking but just not blogging. My blogging time as been consumed by house projects. We are coming up on a year of living in this house and really want to finish painting! I promise I will be back next week in full swing with some blog posts I have been sitting on.

Also check out this show that the BBC is bringing to PBS, "Call the Midwife" and they are on bikes!! Very awesome.


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Neighborhood Rides: Storytime

It is no secret I am not a morning person. I am far from a morning person. My kid picks this up from me. But unfortunately all children's activities are in the morning. I guess to avoid naps that take place in the afternoon. We try to make story time every week, but with a 10:30 call time sometimes we just don't make it. I know 10:30 is really late to most of you.

This week we made it, and we got there early. AWESOME! The ride there is all uphill, it is one of the rare times I go North of our home because north is all hills, but this is a relatively short ride and the way home is all downhill so I barely have to do any work. What can I say I am a lazy bike rider.

M was super excited to bike too that day. Not sure why, I take my pink road bike out there since again it is all up hill and a 2 mile ride, why care an extra fifty pounds for no real reason. But he REALLY wanted to take the cargo for some reason and stood by it waiting patiently when I said let's go on a bike ride. He was didn't protest about the pink bike and was excited when we got there, I mean who wouldn't be excited we saw a million buses my toddler's personal jesus. We also had a very nice crack head tell us "baby be careful, baby bike ugh" as she almost got hit by a car crossing illegally. THANKS LADY!

Story time had one other bike family, looks like their setup was a hybrid and rear seat. I am such a upright riding kind of lady but with the hills here I am sure the aggressive position of her seat and handlebars is good for climbing.

We headed home and was back in a matter of minutes speedily down the hills of Manayunk. Another successful neighborhood ride.

PS. cannot wait for this cool fall weather, sweating when I get to story time is so unbecoming.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Rain Gear aka It isn't Sunny in Philadelphia Today

What type of gear do you wear in rain? The little guy owns two rain suits. One from LLBean it is a two piece and a one piece "hazmat" suit from REI via eBay. Both were under twenty and are invaluable for riding or playing in the rain. I do need to get him a pair of rain boot though!

Me however? I own rain coats and boots but not a pair of rain pants. Most are pretty pricey so I'm not to sure I really need them but I think on days like this they would be invaluable. For
Now I have quick dry skirts and hiking pants that can work.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Neighborhood Rides: Hardware Store

 On Monday I had to pick up some odds and ends from the hardware store. I loaded the squid and I and off we went. The ride there was short and uneventful. Once we got there I realized there was ZERO bike parking. Not even a street sign. Um. Bummer city.

I had to literally park my bike in a pile of bushes to get to the only sign post. To get the bike there I had to take the toddler off. Fudge. Taking a toddler off a bike in a parking lot/off a main street while locking a bike is purely terrifying. My kid does not understand staying in one spot. I had to sandwich him between me and the bike, in said bushes. Um cue toddler tantrum. Cue people coming to cars and making assine comments about why my child is crying but not one person asking can I help you. On the way out one guy in a smart car saw me struggling a bit to get my loaded bike off the bushes while holding said toddler and stopped to help me. At that point I was already over the hard part but thanked him a ton.

My point of the story:

Here's the thing I probably have it figured out but it's always nice to ask if I need help or anyone with a ton of bags, stroller, or 800 dogs. Secondly don't make comments about why my child is upset. That's none of your business and it's less of your business when you don't offer to help. This happens to other bike parents I am sure, you are exposed to comments because you aren't inside a car. Sometimes it is great and sometimes it rears in the form of unsolicited parenting advice or someone asking is mommy mean. Um okay ass.

Following the hardware store we biked to a local park and had some fun.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Busy Bee!

We finished up the work needed on our bedrooms this weekend. So a little busy to post. I will be back Wednesday with a Neighborhood Ride!

Off to fill up the donkey boxx at the hardware store.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Bike Newport, RI Part 2: Brunch and Bike Date

Sunday was our last full day in Newport. We woke up to do some brunch and playground time. I googled around and found a tiny cafe I wanted to try. We biked there and found all their breakfast sandwiches were sold out. Bummer. We bought a muffin and decided to hit a diner-ish place, Franklin's Spa a couple blocks further down Spring Street.

Whiney vent about other people on bikes time! Some other folks on bikes rode on the sidewalks on the left side at the same time we were riding properly in the street. Nothing is more unnerving then seeing tiny sidewalks crowded illegally by bikes. This couple hoped out in the street to cross at a five way intersection. They made no signal to show where they were going. So I politely asked because I didn't want to intersect. Um he snarled and then just pointed. What a dick. He then proceeded to ride in the street on the left side while I was at the same pace on the right. Cars were not happy. I hate that shit. I'm shaking my fist at you stupid Newport dude.

We finally hit up the diner. Downtown is hard to park your bikes. Especially a cargo bike. We make all precautions not to block walk ways for wheelchairs etc. So my advice to Newport businesses get more bike racks installed. After brunch we rode to the park and then back to the house.

That night my husband's aunt and uncle offered to watch M while we had a date. A night without a baby at a nice restaurant? Hell yeah! So we got dressed cute and removed the baby seat from the bike. We also did not need a diaper bag. We felt down right light and free on our bikes.

The cargo bike is a whole different ride empty. My H who worked hard to keep up with me in my whip the whole time was far out pacing me. We decided to go The Landing down on the piers/docks off of America's Cup. A group of pedicabers stopped us to pay compliments to our bikes and even took a picture of the Halsted. They were very complimentary about both our bikes. I blush.

Again we had to squeeze are bikes Into a single bike rack. I'm thinking we need more rope locks when we have two bikes to lock up easier but we figured it out.

Food was delicious! The view was awesome. Not rushing because we had a baby with us of course priceless. After we were done we even went to the Pour House bar on Broadway for a beer or two. We had a great night and came home to a M who was dancing around to the closing Olympic ceremony.

And just like that our vacation was brought to an end. We packed back up Monday an home to Philly we went.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Bike Newport, RI Part 1: Beaches and Ocean Drive

Our little Volkswagen took the three of us and our two bikes to Newport for the past six glorious days. We left our home Tuesday night to stay in North Jersey at my parents' home. Giving us a mere four hour trip up on Wednesday. Our bikes traveled well on our bike rack we had to stop at the bike shop on our way out for my new front tire and we realized the rack needed to be way tightened once that happened it was sturdy the rest of the trip.

Our first full day on Thursday we headed out from my husband's awesome aunt and uncle's home (our very generous hosts in Newport).

Based on some advice from our favorite locals we went and checked out 1st beach. Our cargo bike and pink bike were not filled to capacity but carried a fair amount  stuff to the beach. First beach was a pretty short ride, only issue was we realized it was best to cross the main road Memorial at a light as people sped and did not slow for pedestrians or bikers although they were suppose to yield to them. Bike parking was fair at 1st beach the rack was a bit outdated and when we were leaving it was packed. Another bike family with a trailer had to wait for us to leave in order to lock up.

 was our little one's first time to the beach. Shockingly he loved it. The sand and the water. It was pretty awesome. Only drawback at 1st beach was a pretty icky red algae problem so we left within a hour or so. We headed out to bike the Ocean Drive Loop.

We rode our bikes down Bellevue which is home to many of the mansions of Newport. They were of course very lovely and opulent. Bellevue itself was although bike friendly a tight fit. The pavement was large concrete pavement laid with two inch seams. They were tricky to maneuver with my thin wheels at times. The shoulder that is "bike lane-ish" went from two feet to about four feet at any given time. Most cars would give you only about a two foot space when passing. So it was not ideal situation.

Bellevue then turns into Ocean Drive where even more rich folks homes are. The drive is also home to some shi shi private beach clubs. It is a longer bike ride of inclines and declines. The scenery is mostly incredible and is very bikeable for any type of bike. We saw omafiets, cruisers, and bromptons. Only kids we saw were either in trailers or old enough to bike on their own.

Again no real bike lanes like all of Newport. The closest we got to a bike lane was on our way out of the Ocean Drive Loop there were sharrows without the arrows and the biker had no helmet. On the way out we did stop at Fort Adams park for a little down time after all those hills to rehydrate and chill out before biking back to the house.

 Second day we decided to hit a beach down at the intersection of Bellevue and Ocean. Known colloquially by locals as "reject's beach" it is only accessible by walking or biking as there is no car parking. The beach is the southeastern tip of one of the most prestigious and 1%ers only private beach clubs in Newport. There was seriously a rope going across the beach into the water showing where the rich and regular folks were allowed.

Because the beach was bikes and walkers only it was really dead and totally gorgeous. We stayed for a while and even waited out a rain storm in our pop up beach tent. As we were leaving we saw a pedicab!

Pedicabs existed briefly in Philadelphia but they were only allowed in center city. It was a missed opportunity not to allow them in tourist heavy olde city. So it was great to see them all around Newport. I sneakily snapped a picture of a bike enthusiast taking a picture with one!

We biked home from reject's without issue. That night a huge rain storm swept in and our bikes spent their first night in the rain. Our seat caps worked perfectly though.