Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Neighborhood Rides: Broken Lock Key

Do you ever have one of those weeks? The kind where you are positive that a big cosmic joke is being performed and you are the butt? This week is all of it. Sunday night we discovered my indoor cat has fleas, Monday (my birthday) was spent de-flea-ing our home and taking the little guy to the doctor for a shot. What a birthday!
Those clouds look like how my week is going!

 Today I get an email that there was a mixup with my donkey boxx and it was only shipped out today. Womp womp. So even though I am pooped  I drag myself out of the house to take M to storytime. Our bike ride there was uneventful. We get to the library and I go to lock up the bike. What do you know our key was bent and I couldn't lock the bike.
Home Sweet Home!
I'm surprised that didn't make me loose my shit. Probably the down hill home made me feel better. I switched mindsets and took M to a park by the library. On the way there I dropped our cable bike lock and didn't notice until I got up a hill to the park. Luckily a kid had grabbed it and I was able to retrieve it. Yay to not loosing pricey stuff.

M and I zipped home after he was trying to fall asleep in the swing as I pushed him. Sure sign we were both done.

Well I don't think this week could get worst so the bright side here I come!

PS check out the new rack!

Friday, July 27, 2012

USA! Olympic Cycling

I am way more of transportation bicyclist but I am pretty excited about all the Olympic 2012 events! In the Olympics there is road, track, BMX & mountain biking represented in London. Here is a round of article for you to check out this Friday.

USA Cycling Website to keep up with the scores: http://www.usacycling.org/

Bicycling Article on Sarah Hammer

London Calling, Road Race

Get to know the Whole 2012 Team

Phinney aims for Gold

2012 KIT, Throw Back to LA 84

GO USA! Have a great weekend rides.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Squee Stuff!

NYC to Philly is UPS one day. Yay to back rack and bell arriving.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bike Accessories

I just bought some new bike stuff and I am so very excited for it to get here already. I may have just ordered it yesterday but I am already unpatiently waiting for it. MAIL MAN YOU GOT MY JAWN?!

For my pink bike, I decided I wanted a light permanent rack to carry a bit more of my junk on. The pink road bike and our cargo bike are also going on vacation with us in August. The pink bike is the lighter of our two personal bikes hence why that one is coming with us. Although we will maximize the load on the Civia Halsted we want the option to carry things and bits on the second bike as well.

Adeline, Adeline
So we biked over to our local bike shop (LBS) on Main Street before dinner last night, the store is more road/track bike orientated with a couple of commuter rack options. This is not our usual bike store but the guys were friendly and they swooned over the Halsted, duh it is awesome.

Adeline, Adeline
Overall all their options were black racks and  I felt like that wasn't the look I wanted.  So I went to check my online options and settled on a rack from Adeline, Adeline  that I thought was streamlined enough for my bike. While e-shopping there I couldn't resist the adorable dutch bells, I bought the pink one for my pink bike. SO CUTE.

Donkey Boxx 
So now that I have a rack and every rack needs a bag otherwise known as a pannier.  Again I wanted something light. Our old neighborhood LBS, Bicycle Revolutions, recommended the Donkey Boxx for our Halsted  if we want to add some more cargo. For now I think the DB will be a nice light addition to my pink bike with the ability to move to the Halsted. Bonus this pannier is made in America and out of recycled materials! FIVE BILLION EXTRA BONUS POINTS.

So that wraps up my weekday e-shopping trip. If you need me I will be waiting by the door for my mail guy the next couple of days. I am sure that will not be awkward at all for the mail.

P.S. How cute is this Wren Bike from Adeline Adeline,  FEEL FREE TO ORDER IT FOR ME ;)

Monday, July 23, 2012

Brunch by Bike

Sunday morning we decided to bike to brunch on Main Street for the first time. All our favorite brunch spots are in our old neighborhood of South Philly. We rarely bike to them as a ten mile ride on an empty stomach is silly. But a two mile ride on an empty stomach isn't so bad.

We tried Cooper's and Jake's Wine bar. (Yes, double apostrophes how annoying.) The food was pretty good. I had lobster omelette, I am seafood training for our New England trip next month. Little guy had scrambled eggs and potatoes, he loved the potatoes, of course. My husband had some fancy cheese omelette. Overall good outdoor eating experience. Kept the little guy feeling good by playing with ice and counting bike riders and busses.

We biked side streets there but Main Street home (same route from the post office trip). Main Street is a notorious weekend bike warriors spot. All spandex kit riders were swarming and apparently the movie theatre by our home is home base for suburbanites to park and bike from. I don't get driving to bike but it is popular in our new hood.

Perks of biking to Main Street, there is absolutely no parking ever so biking allows us to "park" right at our restaurant of choice. Perk number two hearing hilarious conversations from the spandex bike groups. At one light a biker recounts his run in with a car driver "i was like bro you got car insurance? Go ahead hit me I'm looking to get paid" LOL bro dude bike guy.

We stopped at the park on the way home my husband snapped a picture of the little guy and I. Neither of us in spandex. Duh.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Skirt on a Bike

I came across Momentum Magazine's video about wearing skirts on bikes. I'm a pro at wearing skirts on bikes, especially in this weather. And by pro I mean it is hot and I wear skirts. However I am not always lady like mounting my bike. I wear bike or running shorts under my skirts usually to avoid awkward situations.

My bigger fear then flashing underwear is getting my skirt caught in my back wheel. Unlike a lot of European bikes that have skirtgaurds on wheels and gears both the bikes I ride do not. Sometimes I tuck my more wild skirts into my bike short legs to avoid disaster.

Bottomline it is one trillion degrees in Philadelphia I am totally pro skirt for everyone. With the 105 expected heat index today maybe a bathing suit would be best.

Check out Momentum's Video it is pretty great!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Neighborhood Rides: Sharrows

Are you familiar with sharrows? They are share the road arrows, they look like this. Most drivers are not aware of their purpose and frequently cyclists are confused upon first seeing them too. Before they arrived in Philadelphia, I saw them on a trip to Boston, where my friend Monkey explained them to me. Basically they are a big pain in the ass but they alert traffic that this road is to be shared with bicyclists, and the place where they are painted on the road indicate arrows where it is best for the biker to stay course. So they tend to be a few feet from the parked cars and a few feet over from the center of the road. In a nut shell they are telling the cyclist "to take the road". I find taking the road usually pisses off cars 75% of the time. At the very least it often makes cars tailgate my bike furiously.

This past Friday we rode the sharrows on Main Street in Manayunk. Main street sees a fair share of bike traffic so most of the cars weren't impatient. I've had problems with these a bunch on weekends in Center City however. M and I made it down to the post office on the far west side of the street pretty quickly and with out incident from our home.

Post offices are a great spot to bike to in the summer they are always so so cold. And that is very nice way to give us a quick break from humidity and heat that day. M & I wear our helmets inside, I mean you never know when an earthquake will happen.

The way home was a good ride we saw a whole group of pro cyclists from the local shop and several buses. Aka a toddler's obsessions in person!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Six Kids, One Bakfiets

I am sure you have have seen the article on Emily Finch go viral in both bicycle and family forums in the past week. This mom bikes everywhere with her 6 kids. The only catch she bikes 5 of them on her bike, only one rides solo. Let me tell you as someone who rides with a cargo bike and kid weighing in around 75 pounds that is hard enough. She however is coming in around 500 pounds. Good job mama!

Check out the video and follow up story here: http://t.co/D19OF96w

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Neighborhood Rides: Roads versus Sidewalk

My preference is always roads. In Philadelphia that is what is legal. Sidewalks are illegal to ride on. However in our new neighborhood it is incredibly common for people to ride on sidewalks. They are very wide here and not filled with people unlike center city and south Philadelphia sidewalks.

Today I road north west to our local library for toddler story time. I took my road bike since it is all up hill, it was under a four mile ride round trip & my saddle is still affixed on it. My road bike is meant for the road. It's skinny tires aren't great on sidewalk. However the further NW I ride the more cars on main streets seem to exist. Parked on Ridge Ave on both sides and using the lanes of course. Also this is a truck/bus route so the berth between such is often impassable. Basically you cannot share the road but take the lane fully on a bike to be safe.

On the uphill ride there I only hopped into the street when the shoulder gave me a wide enough berth, that cars could safely pass us. I can't bike us at a fast enough speed up the hill to safely take the lane. For us it was just easier to hop on the empty sidewalk.

Story time went well and of course walking in with helmets is a great conversation starter about biking with kids! I'm often asked my opinion on front seat/back seat/trailers and of course helmets.

The ride home was all down hill so the reverse of the commute there I had way more speed and road mostly in the road. With the exception of a couple blocks where the two lanes and parked cars gave me a two foot area that I deemed unsafe.

All in all we had a great neighborhood ride today!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Go Fourth!

Our fourth was split between car rides and bike rides. The morning we were up early to see my husband's hometown's parade that requires a drive out to the burbs. That evening though we packed he bikes and headed to the Art Musum for the fourth celebration here in Philadelphia.

The husband rode our Civia as we were to lazy to switch all our bike saddles all around. His Brooks 17 is on the Civia my Brooks 17s is on my pink road bike at the moment. This issue of trading seats will be cured soon as we are going to pick up a dedicated saddle for the Halsted that both of us feel comfortable on.

Off we went as the sun was setting. Luckily Kelly Drive was shut down except for trolley busses and police. It was extra amazing as we got to ride under the natural stone bridges and really take in the view! I did make us stop for a couple of pictures. Even with the sun going down it was still humid and hot we are the 9th day of a heat wave in Philly.

We made it to the museum the location of a concert and fireworks show. The fireworks did not start until 1030-11, so we weren't entirely sure if M would make it. We played around kicking our ball about. M started to get fidgety and upset asking for breastmilk so we he assumed he was tired and the heat wasn't helping. So we packed up at 930 and biked home. We were home by ten where we caught a local shooting off fireworks. That was enough for us!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Beat the Heat

This weekend was our second heat wave of the season. The 98+ degree weather almost makes me miss dressing M in a billion layers for biking. Almost.

Saturday we opted to drive down to the spray park in the Art Museum area. We just didn't know how to gauge M's body temp since he isn't a huge talker yet. Sunday however I was determined to get us out. We made a two fold plan.

We decided to either go a one way distance of 5 miles to Smith Playground or go the full 8 miles into Center City. Options for us are key. It's always okay to turn around! Our intent to Center City was to hit up the new Shake Shack. But at the end of Kelly Drive the heat hit me.

I drank water, took off my helmet (just to let my brain breathe) and decided to hit the same park as the day before which was less then a half mile away. Sometimes it is important to change plans when it's a trillion degrees. No shame! Also when we need water we also offer it to M, although he isn't pedaling he needs to remain hydrated too. He loves my pink bike bottle so if he won't drink from his own I offer that up to make sure he is drinking.

At Sister Cities Park, the shade, breeze and water splash fountain  gave us the rejuvenation we needed not to dread the ride home. Plus the delicious sandwich from milk&honey helped!

We were all dressed lightly and the toddler and I covered in sunblock (my husband isn't pale like us). But to help the little guy on the way home we dunked his shirt in water to help cool his body down along with the wind of the bike. It was relaxing and cool enough that he was napping on Kelly Drive pretty quickly.

Also the Yepp seat is great for hot weather, like crocs they do not absorb heat. We have a stroller out of the same material. Both are really wonderful for hot days.

Bottom line, have a cool destination in mind. Even if it is a patch of shady trees. Drink tons of water, even for your passenger. I do regret not bringing ice packs to keep the water cool. And remember it is okay to change plans if your family is feeling to hot.

PS on the way home I finally conquered the hills on my road bike by our home. I think it's a 10-12% grade? So yeah for me. Of course my husband who can do it with no issue laughed because really who bikes the hills for the first time in weather that feels like 101 degrees. Me!