Monday, April 23, 2012

The Great Cloth Diaper Change & Other Bikey Families

This past weekend, we participated in the great cloth diaper change here in Philadelphia. In essence over 5,000 people in 16 countries changed their child's cloth diaper at the same time to help break a Guinness record. Our local cloth diaper shop was a host, and a mere 2.2 miles from our home, we decided it was a perfect trip to make by bike on earth weekend, also sunday was crappy and with no fenders on the new ride, no one wanted a wet butt (aka me) so we'd probably use other means of transport.

So the mere 2.2. miles is basically all up hill on the way there. Yippee. I hate hills, I dislike hills even more when I have a 25 pound passenger. So 2.2. miles seemed like forever up hill. Granted it was a nice easy rolling hillS and with the exception of a shady circle (rotary?) where we walked our bikes through we had bike lanes the entire ride.

When we arrived at the cloth diaper event, we pulled up at the same time as another dad who biked with his son as well to the chage. That little guy rolled up in a chariot, which the dad told us they got for a steal of $99 at an REI garage sale. How awesome. We asked the dad how the chariot was and he said he often forgets the little one is back there, until he gets to a hill. Haha. Don't we all feel this way.

Really though Philadelphia is mostly flat, we all just happen to live in hill heaven in the north west section of the city. Many places like our home are carter like, you have to bike up to get in and out! More importantly,  both the husband and I were like is it awkward to ask for another parent's number, one who likes to bike around with their sprout too?

The actual cloth diaper change was held at a church near the cloth diaper store we frequent. The setup was nice they had some snacks and a grid taped out on the floor. Each parent/child set were given a rectangle to change their little one in. The only challenge for me was keeping a VERY active toddler in a rectangle for 15 minutes. He was not very thrilled. Here are some great professional pictures from the event: Jeremy Thomas Photography.  Milo, our little guy,  after the torture of being held down and getting his diaper changed, was THRILLED when a drum band came on. He danced his butt off. 

After the cloth diaper change we checked out some of the local stores and let the little one get some playground time in. I know this kid thinks that bikes = playground, but we also seem to be near one when we bike and outdoor play is so fun so why not! On the way home he was exhausted and past out in the yepp mini. Napping on the bike is common for a lot of bike families, much like his car seat though we cannot transition him to another place when we get home and he is usually incredibly cranky pants about this. 

We actually went to an anniversary party at our favorite bike shop that night and decidedly we couldn't bike because we knew it would intercept night time sleep and the thought of a cranky child with messed up sleep was too much to bear, so we opted for the 15 minute car trip instead of the 45 minute bike ride.  The party also had another bike riding family, they rode a yuba mundo longtail, their children were 4 and 5 so they just sit on the back pad. They were another really sweet bike family, we asked lots of questions about the longtail at the party. 

Bottom-line we basically we need to know how do you ask other biking families on bike dates. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

part two? eh

I'm terrible, I never wrote a part two. In summary, I chickened out of a hill and we looped from our home into the Wissahickon bike trail, except for a creep wooden bridge the ride is so lovely. We realized the little guy gets chilly in the wind on his legs, we still want him to have breathability so we put him in rash guard pants from Polran O. Pyret  which also act as 50spf on his legs. Win!

To say "i'm sorry" for not getting to this post here are some pictures of the bikes we rode last sunday!

Civia Halsted
Bianchi Sport Sx 

Monday, April 16, 2012

Weekend Bike Update: Part 1

Our longer trips on bikes tend to happen we we are both home on the weekends. Partially because it is easier to bike with a kid in numbers and we enjoy riding together. This past weekend was pretty nice in Philadelphia, although we thought we'd get some thunderstorms on Sunday they never hit us.

UntitledSaturday, the husband is usually pretty tired as he works a night job at a bar here in Old City so he puts in a long night/day friday. But our car decided to be a jerk (lesigh cars) so he couldn't make it into work on Friday. That morning though he got up early and rode the halsted over to Acme (super market) for breakfast goodies. We have decided the halsted's front rack needs some sort of foam so we don't break eggs again like he did on the morning ride. The rest of the morning was followed by dropping off the car to the dealership, and taking a rental car over to Whole Foods for our big weekly shopping trip and then drop by our favorite bike shop, Bicycle Revolutions, to pick up our new kickstand for the halsted and a bell (DING!). We had already upgraded the stock kickstand but it was still incredibly woobly with the kid attached, although we don't leave him unattended it was still hard to load him and an ample load without the bike moving about, so after some research we decided we wanted to upgrade again to the ursus "jumbo" kickstand (holds about 120 pounds), which is marketed for heavy bikes (mama, e-bikes, transport bikes etc.) This stand is pricey but makes the bike 100% more stable feeling.

When we got home after our errands we set out on our bike errands. Little guy was feeling cooped up so we decided to hit Smith Playground. Smith Playground is an oasis in Fairmount Park for children, it was built in the victorian period, specifically to be a free space for children of the city. The original wooden slide (think large carnival like) is still in use, plus there are tons of really ground playground toys, and a large "mansion" filled with indoor toys and play-spaces.
I rode the family halsted and the husband rode a 80s kabuki
 When we arrived we realized quickly they only had a bike rack for three bikes that have kid seats (we tend to take up more room), which was filled! So we locked up on a large fence surrounding the park space. I would love to see them be able to accommodate more bikes as this space is right along Kelly Drive and has bike lanes leading up to it. The place was packed but the little guy had lots of fun, and both mama and papa took a slide down the giant slide as well. We rode home around dinner time and we were all starving when we got home!  We grilled up chicken and made a fresh salad for dinner, it was enjoyed by all. Even our cat snuck some lettuce.

I will update with Part two of our weekend tomorrow(ish).


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Easter Sunday Family Ride

My back was pretty bad all of last week but I was determine to make an Easter bike ride happen. Our plan was to ride from our house to the Philadelphia Art Museum, grab lunch and check out art, and ride home. This is in total about an 11 mile ride.

I rode my pink bianchi so I wouldn't have to carry the little guy and add stress to my back. My pink whip is actually lighter then my child and an upright ride both helpful to the back. The husband carried the little guy on our new halsted. We loaded up the halsted with snacks, water and the diaper bag and headed off around 11.
The little guy had not napped all day and we were hoping for a snooze on the bike, which of course happened ten seconds before we got to the art museum. I tried to take him off the yepp mini and lay him in the grass outside for a bett
er snooze, but he was not having it. Once in realized we were in a park he was up and ready to run!

We let the little guy run around for a bit and realized we should start carrying a small ball or other toys for him to play with. All of us grabbed a snack during this down time too before we went into the museum. Now full disclosure I work in the museum field so going to a museum isn't the end all be all of our day, but it a nice interlude that as a family we enjoy.

This was the little guy's second time at the museum and our 0293842039842309. We purchased our admission tickets and the sales officer asked us if we parked in their parking garage, I laugh and say well yes we parked our bicycles there. After a quick bite to eat we checked out the European, American and Modern art wings. The museum was actually pretty crowded for a holiday (the bike rack (YES ONLY ONE!!) was filled). Lots of other families must have had the same idea.

Finally we headed back home along kelly drive. Biking along Kelly Drive in the spring is really wonderful. The trees are still in bloom and the river looks great. My guys were both loving it, here is a quick snap when we got near our home.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

30 Day Bike Challenge: Day 2

True story. On day two I took out the bike to ride around our neighborhood and practice on our hills. I rode the bike down the hill by our home and noticed my seat was funny. Well I stepped off the bike to take a look and in the process threw out my back (it was slightly sore from the day before). Yup. I couldn't even swig my leg to get back on the bike and lacked a bike lock to walk home. HA only me. comedy of errors. So in panic of what to do I proceed to almost drop the bike with the toddler on it. Luckily this bike pushes smoothly and the little guy didn't seem to care or notice I almost dropped him. So I pushed him up the hill back home.

So yes day two was basically less then .05 miles. And day three (today) is now a rest day. I will write tomorrow about how we choose our new bike instead of my daily biking adventures.

Monday, April 2, 2012

30 Day Bike Challenge: Day 1

I signed up for the challenge last month. I figured the challenge gives me a reason to get on our shiny new cargo bike daily and will give me a jump start back into biking, I stopped biking to work in my second trimester of pregnancy , as I kept daydreaming I was bound to be doored any day. This 30 day (b)log (eh maybe I will go longer) will force me to keep true to the challenge at hand.

First ride was down to Kelly Drive, then we looped back up to our home. In total it is a 5.6 mile ride but we had to walk the steep hill by our home. Our only altercation was when a pedestrian stopped in the middle of the trail watching the rowing competition suggested that the path was a bad place for a baby on a bike. um yeah okay thank you suburbanite, next time i won't jam on my brakes to miss you.

The hardest parts about family biking so far, is getting use to the hills in our new neighborhood in Philly, prior we lived in relatively flat south philadelphia, now we reside in manayunk which is known for steep grades. Our other issue trying to follow the rules of biking without screaming at someone. Gone are days of weaving through traffic and cursing out drivers i suppose.

All in all great ride, the little guy was certainly wiped out from all the biking he did.