Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hope you all have wonderful day off and if you celebrate Merry Christmas. Our digital Christmas card for your enjoyment.

See you in the new year! 

Monday, December 23, 2013

Holiday Light Ride 12/21/2013

With a heavy heart and a lot of worry Marni and I postponed the Kidical Mass Holiday Light ride on the 14th. The weather reports looked snowy, cold and grim but the following Saturday was calling for rain so we didn't know how it would go.

The past week the forecast had brighten with only 20% chance of rain and warm weather, 65 degrees weather! Let's say the winter solstice was good to us and this previous Saturday Kidical Mass rode through lights, through south Philly in toasty warm weather reminding people kids ride bikes and Santa does too. 

I'm happy to report that South Philly welcomed our group of about 30 riders + another 15 or so passengers very kindly. With the weekend before Christmas there was no impatient drivers and we rode on all infrastructure-less lanes.

Having Santa, who co-owns Philly's own transport cycle shop Firth&Wilson riding a yellow bullitt helping to block traffic when needed also helps keep car drivers acting good. Our rear was brought up by Philly's Laundry By Bike, The Wash Cycle who also provided us with amazing gingerbread cookies. I have yet to interact with one of their workers and haven't thought they are such a happy group. I assume it is all that riding. 

Our total route was about 4.5 miles. Which allowed us to see some great lighted streets and end at the DiBruno Brothers parking lot where adults mingled and kids ran around. We all ate those cookies.

We said put goodbyes and my husband and I headed off to Nomad Pizza to grab some food and then we road through the city on to Kelly Drive and home. I sang along to Christmas tunes as the kids slept. What a wonderful night. 

And to all a good night. Happy Holidays!

PS: Some videos by KM Dad, James Mundie one half of Mundie Art: Video ONE, Video TWO

Monday, December 16, 2013

Visiting Santa by Bike in Philly

It snowed Saturday after all so Kidical Mass was not cancelled in vain. And at this point the weather is looking AMAZING for Saturday the 21st. By amazing 10% chance of rain and high 40s. Fingers crossed our rain date works out! 
The left over snow from all this weather and a sick kid left us home bound for much of the week. Sunday however we had plans to see Santa at Frankford Hall. We go annually since M's first Christmas to see by far the most amazing Santa. I naively assumed the snow would be cleared from Kelly Drive and we set off Sunday at 10:45ish to go to Fishtown. 

After some asshole drivers (why make the road more dangerous for all of us) we made it to the bottom of Ridge/Main. What a surprise to see the bridge sidewalk (entrance to Kelly Drive) at the wissahickon transfer station not shoveled. Hmm. I hop off of my bike to walk past a sharp right turn. We go on. I turn to my husband and say what should we do? Neither of us are quitters and I could bike in the sludge so on we went. 

It was not fun. To be honest. It was more ice then pretty snow. Also it was infuriating to see roads cleared but bike and walker "roads" covered. Our tracks were not alone. Others were out too! I stopped and tweeted briefly just in case the fairmount park "gods" could hear me and make sure I had a clear path to go home later. 
            A kind of cleared area!

We forged on and about 2.5 miles in the path was finally cleared. Not sure why half the path was cleared but other half was left? Spoiler alert way back it was all shoveled and cleared. 

Bike lanes on the way down fairmount and spring garden were covered. So we just took the right lane on Spring Garden. And cut across third to Frankford Hall. Upon our arrival we saw Marni's bike there too. Nice surprise. So we locked our bikes up to her family's. And in we went. 
   The area between parked cars and                          road is the bike lane. 

                         Best Santa!

The sun was disappearing in the clouds and nap time steadily approaching we headed back home. Bike lanes were now cleared from the earlier sun. We briefly thought about taking Ridge Ave back to our house, but it is full of lights and some unsafe areas so we went to try the path. 
     PCC Trolley & the feared trolley tracks

Path was clear. Hurrah. I did slip/spun out on ice though! I hit a small patch of black ice and it sent me into the grass/snow. I had hiking boots on and was going slow so I was able to securely stop the bike with my feet. The kids were jostled awake but were securely  strapped in. 

Biked up the last hills and home we were.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kidical Mass Update!

The weekend weather is not going away no matter how often I read the weather report. Wintery mix is just not fun or safe to get around south Philly in. Join is next week 12/21 instead! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Curious about Family Biking?

It's cold and my street is currently a hill of ice so I'm buried in for at least another day. We are catiously watching the weather for Kidical Mass on Saturday. Although it looks like we might have to go with the rain date 12/21! It will be updated on here and all KM social media once we figure it out. 

Looking forward to January, Kidical Mass Philly is excited to bring together an event for those thinking about biking with kids! This event is open doors to those who already do bike to those just trying to figure it out. No pressure and no fears. Just some crazy bike people excited for you to check it out. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Bike Modifications For Holidays and Riding With a Baby

Hey look it is December. When did that happen? I mean I know daylight is mostly nonexistent and I have a tree in my house so it must be the 12th month of the year. 

For the holidays and the holiday Kidical Mass Ride I spruced up the Urban Arrow with some holiday cheer. I added lights inside the canopy and a wreath to the back! I strung the LEDs up with binder clips. We still haven't done anything to the Halsted but we have more lights ready to go. The kids were amused by lights to look at today (little lady was not amused that she isn't allowed to eat food yet on the move). I can also make them blink which is nice for extra visibility on these dark nights. 

In bigger modification news we removed the carseat and moved J into a stroller seat secured to the Stecco Baby Mee inside the Urban Arrow. J has been riding in the bike since 5 weeks. She is now almost 8 months old. Cue all my tears. 

****Disclaimer: I'm not a professional or a doctor please don't take my word for the gospel of safety. The items we used are not meant to be used on a bike!!! This is what we feel is comfortable and safe for our child.****

We used the seat of a Phil & Teds SMART stroller. They are made of the same stuff Yepp seats and crocs are made of and the seat is meant to rear face in a stroller frame. I put in a layer of padding for extra comfort from our double stroller also a Phil & Teds stroller. 

We secured it to the Baby Mee frame with a tie down strap (we bought ours at Ikea) and the plastic cord the BM provides. 

We used an additional tie down strap to secure it through the box frame. 

Both kids get more feet room. My only issue is J is trying to see more and is trying to sit up (successfully). I think a chest clip will help with that. She fell asleep so I know it is comfy! The BM's springy suspension is also helpful on bumps. I'm thinking of adding our stroller snuggle bag for her. We shall see. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Family Holiday Bike Traditions

The holiday season is here! This past Thursday for a second year in a row we biked down to the Thanksgiving parade in Philadelphia. Last year I was twenty something weeks pregnant. This year we had our sweet girl with us.

It was cold. It felt about 18 degrees (f) and had 15 mph winds. We stayed for a little outside but I made the kiddos get back in the bike to snuggle and keep warm. We rode them along the parade  route a bit longer snug under the weather cover. 

And then the cold weather sleepy bike fairy was hitting these two hard so we headed back home.

Kelly Drive was partially shut down so we were able to own a road notorious for speeding. 
       My favorite tunnel in the whole city.

     Safe to say I didn't trigger the light ;)

PS Looking for tips on cold weather riding with kids? Check out my post up on PhillyPedals.com

PPS Make your own holiday bike memories at our Kidical Mass Holiday light ride KidicalMassPhl.org