Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Neighborhood Rides: Cold Weather Arrived

Just as I predicted and reasoned about buying the rain canopy when I did was the cold weather will come out of no where. October is like March but it comes in like a lamb and out like a lion. And that it has. For my husband's birthday we were riding in shorts this past week however the cold weather showed up. I had been riding sans canopy but Saturday we mistakingly rode to soccer without and boy was it needed.

Some little bunny was bundled but it proved not enough! 

M, is wearing TWO hats because he told me he was cold. So I gave him my hat too. 

The canopy went up the second we got home! I was nervous that M was going to be annoyed or nervous by it. A side eye or two was thrown at us when we put them in. But he seemed alright with it

I rode with it for the first time in some wind on hills. That cross wind against it is pretty gnarly. For a heavy bike you feel that push!
        A shared blanket over them too.  

We took the kids to a local Halloween Festival. Where I ate local sausage from a great food truck and chatted with friends. A mom approached me about the bike as she was thinking about a box bike as a second car replacement. Yay!! Love to see more mamas on bikes. I also spoke with an artisanal ice cream truck owner who was "just getting into the cargo bike thing" and really liked the arrow. 

The ride home all uphill of course was under 2 miles but the cold weather sleep fairy came and knocked both the kids out. I parked the bike in front of the house and let them nap in the fresh air. While I sat in the sunlight. 

When they woke up they were both perfectly warm. :)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Biking With A Baby. After the Infant Carseat?

What to do after a baby out grows the maxi cosi? That is what has been on our mind. As J is rapidly approaching that point. A bit quicker then we expected! She is still just 6 months old though and not ready for the bench. 

Google brings up some options:

Workcycles mounts Bobike minis on the wood bench to help support little ones who aren't ready to do on their own. We can't however drill into our seat or box to mount. 

Busy Bikes created (two) mount(s) specifically to put a Yepp mini rear facing in the Urban Arrow box.  This is great as we already own the mini. Just not sure if the cost and time to get the mount here is worth it. How long will we use it? We paid $100 for the Stecco carseat holder that sadly would only get 4 months use if we discontinued using it now. I do love how much leg room M would get though. 

Photo Credit:  http://www.busybike.com/en

Wildcard ideas. While googling I saw someone mounted a Phil & Teds double stroller seat in the Urban Arrow bike. We have that. We also have a Phil & Teds SMART stroller. The seat is made of the same material as the Yepp or crocs so great outside use. Bonus looks like it mounts into the Stecco baby holder.

I feel like our SMART seat also matches well. 

If we could continue to use our $100 Stecco purchase that would be great. We would just need to secure them together. Zip ties maybe?! (But M would still lose out on foot room.)

Bonus: using either the Yepp or SMART seat we could put the stroller bunting/sleeping bag in to keep J extra warm. 

So that's what we are working on at the moment. 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Kidical Mass Philly 10.19 Recap & The Upcoming 11.9 Expo Ride

Another successful ride for Kidical Mass Philly took place this past Saturday. The ride went from Fitler Square to Rittenhouse Square by way of a 3.5 mile route through Center City. The weather was mild and lovely for October.  Some pictures from the ride. 

Little lady sweetly asleep in the middle of Center City. 

Big guy was smitten over a big kid pedal bike. 

There were some great step ups for families. We had a boda boda and a teen present as well. Two bikes that weren't even on the market when we bought our Halsted. 

I was smitten with the booster/highchair installed to keep a three year old belted in. 

Finally, our next ride is 11.9 to the Philly Bike Expo! This ride will take place an hour later then usual meet-up at 11:30 and be only a 1 mile route. 

Additionally the folks over at Nutcase Helmet will be stopping by: "Nutcase Helmets will be joining our ride on 11/9 to the Philly Bike Expo!

The street team will be at the start (Fitler Square) handing out snack bags of popcorn and some fun swag to giveaway to our riders!

Additionally Nutcase will be doing three drawings for giveaways at their booth."

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Kidical Mass Philly 10.19

Hi Philly Friends! Remember Kidical Mass PHL hits the streets again this Saturday. Come in costume and picnic at Rittenhouse Square afterwards. Details in link. RSVP on FB

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Rain Canopy for the Urban Arrow

Fall is here in Philadelphia even with our weather leaning towards the warmer and rainier side lately the leaves are changing and Halloween (PS Kidical Mass PHL Halloween Ride is this Saturday 10/19)  is almost upon us. Last week I decided we should probably just buy the rain canopy for the Arrow so I would not be taken by surprise when it dropped to freezing temperatures before my eyes. We had opted to save a few dollars and not buy it  when we bought the bike originally.

Like most of the UA's features there isn't much online about it besides pricing ($299 from RollingOrange) but I wanted to share some of the details I was really pleased with. First the price is about equal to all other ones I have seen on the market guys over at Blaq start at $300 and even the Babboe is priced equally. I am no way talented to make my own like Marni from Rebourne Clothing who is making one for her e-bakfiets.nl. 

The cover is very easy to take off and on.  The structure is all in the canopy so no extra hardware or poles to deal with. 

The shape is "aero dynamic" looking and the back swoops over the handlebars. Providing the rider some coverage. 

The side has a reflective strip. Which is great for dark winter riding. 

The canopy has plenty of height at bench for taller children. 

The back also has a small mesh panel that can be zippered open or shut. Great to keep bugs out in Spring rains. 

Speaking of mesh. The front plastic panel can also roll up and clip to the top exposing a mesh panel to keep out bugs and keep the structure of the canopy while providing air. I have read a bunch that these can get very warm so what a great feature to provide some air. 

Finally a detail shot of the fit on the front reflectors. 

The canopy when not in use rolls nicely into a small bag. Overall a very thought out canopy. Kudos to the guys over at UA for it. 

Monday, October 7, 2013

Forbidden Drive on the Arrow & Halsted

Any of you other parents watch Thomas the Tank Engine? My son is pretty obsessed so we have seen the Adventure to Misty Island episode a couple of times. There is a part where they go over the "Shake Shake Bridge". Yeah that bridge pretty much sums up riding on Forbidden Drive here in Philly with cargo bikes. My husband's birthday was on Saturday so we decided to take the very unseasonably warm October day and ride the Wissahickon trails by our home. We walk it (and biked parts on our smaller bikes) but I had been putting off biking with our cargo bikes. I knew it was possible to do the trail on them as two other Philly bakfiets owners have done them, but it made me no less nervous and exhausted thinking about it. Initially the trail is paved with a series of quick ups and downs. Then over two bridges (that freak me out on my light road bike let alone cargo) and finally the main part you ride (up hill the whole time) is on gravel trails. My battery wasn't very charged and I didn't find the power useful on gravel so I rode without it on. Riding the trail was very freeing. There was no quick starts and stops like in city traffic, it is also very wide for walkers, animals and bikes. The views are drop dead gorgeous and I almost forgot I was actually still in Philadelphia like the river was a bit smelly to remind me.The bike handled gravel okay. The big gravel was a bit scary as my bike felt as if it was sinking in like biking in sand. Smaller gravel wasn't bad and I didn't kick up any. I totally rolled through some horse poop. Gross. The bridges were less then desirable smaller bikes alone make the wood bend and flex. My big bike. Yikes I felt the shake, shake. Over all the total ride was 8.6 miles. Plus another 4 Misc. miles from morning soccer and some late lunch. It was a lovely day to ride.