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.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Hot Hot Heat!

What a hot weekend in Philadelphia. Sunday we rode down to 2nd Street Festival in NorthernLiberties. The ride is about 15 miles round trip.

I rode the Halsted and my husband rode his road bike. Neither of us were use to this step up. Recently aka the past month he has ridden the Halsted. His biggest complaint riding was that he was not in an upright position. Once you get use to an upright bike ride it can be annoying on long leisurely rides to go any other way! For me breaking in the new saddle had its moments. It was slippery! But loved the positioning.

We barely have any pictures of the ride either way. It was by far one of the hardest rides I have rode weather wise. We got down to the festival and locked up our bikes at the end. The crowds really pick up down there and I was not wheeling a bike around.

When we got to the other end of the festival my husband realized he left his phone and wallet in his bike's pannier. Cue the panic. He hustled back down to grab his stuff. M and I waited in the heat. M took the time to lay on the ground and drink water. Hydrating is important.

All the stuff was safe and still in the bag. Thankfully!!! We went to lunch to cool off and fill up our bodies up after that. Once done we headed back to the Kelly Drive Trail.

The heat was unforgiving and the strong wind now at our front was muggy and HARD to bike against. My husband was getting tossed on his small bike while I was just biking as hard as possible. This is a slight decline ride so it should have been way easier instead I wanted to pass out.

Once to the start of the trail we stopped and both M and I stripped down to bike shorts. I NEVER wear just bike shorts but the heat and workout I just got required it. M would however bike naked if I would let him.

The rest of the ride home wasn't bad just hot. When we got home we all collapsed in front of the AC. Best news of all we go on a mini vacation to Newport, RI this weekend. Hello 78 degrees to bike in. Cannot Wait!

lycra twins!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Lovely Bicycle Seat

This week continues to border on the suck so no long Thursday post. But check out the new seat for the Halsted. Finally all our bikes have a seat so no more swapping! I am so excited to take it for a long ride this weekend and break her in.