Wednesday, April 23, 2014

April Daze/ Kidical Mass

I feel like April has gone so quickly, while this past February technically the shortest month of the year dragged on (and on) April has somehow flown past us all. Here we are at the end of the month our sweet J was born the 28th so the moments of baby versus toddler are also fleeting here.

This weekend we had our actual April Kidical Mass ride. It was a really lovely day the weather was perfect and the trails down to Center City a millions times more empty then previous weeks likely due to the holiday weekend. The ride went really well, we did our "classic" KM route to keep things short and sweet. We had two independent bikers and the rest of the kiddos were cargo. We ended at Rittenhouse Square where we chatted at ate. M managed to slip in MUD and it was gross he got over it the minute we ate the baguette I bought.

On the ride home we stopped by the new bike shop in town, Brewerytown Bicycles opened by the lovely folks of Fairmount Bicycles. It was crazy to see the development in that area, I had good friends who lived over there 10 years ago and my mind kind of exploded.

Enjoy some video of the ride down. My darn GoPro battery cannot hold a decent charge anymore and hence I am only getting video going to locations. Boo.

Riding down to Kidical Mass from bikeMAMAdelphia on Vimeo.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Philadelphia Pumptrack, University City Bike Collective & Kidical Mass!

Philadelphia Bike Roundup


First we biked to the in progress pump track this weekend. It was a really amazing place and we want to head back (soon) to actually volunteer before it's official opening May 10th (pro-tip don't arrive to a in progress site in sandals and a dress). It is located in an area of Fairmount Park behind the Mann Center that I had never traveled to by bike before. I am a big chicken about going anywhere on a big bike that I am unsure of (big bikes are hard to turn around if you get lost!!) so I arrived on all kinds of nerves. But the minute I got over myself and spoke with the coordinator Kenn I felt totally at ease again. Kenn, was incredibly welcoming to everyone who was there showing my H, kiddos and I around the site like long time pals. He was incredibly welcoming to families (who were there in plenty!)which was great (& tiny gloves/wheelbarrows!! for kids to use). It was great to see so many people of different skill levels and strength working together to create this space.

The Pump track was recently awarded a $5,000 grant from Fairmount Park Conservancy and their on site storage crate is going to muralized by the Philadelphia Mural Arts Program!

The beginner course is a place where kids can use strider bikes! Cannot wait to strap the GoPro on M and let him give it a go. Until it officially opens they are out there every weekend as long as it isn't raining, go volunteer and help them out.

University City Bike Collective:

The University City is a new voice for better biking in the Ucity/West Philadelphia community. Currently they are looking for volunteer leadership positions. Check them out if you live or work in the University City section of the city.

Additionally, on April 22nd they are having an Urban Riding Basics Seminar! Great chance to learn about biking in the city.

Kidical Mass PHL:

4/19 Join KMPHL at Fitler Square for a ride around center city ending at Rittenhouse Square!

Ding Ding! See you this weekend

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Biking With A Baby Ages 5 Weeks- 12 Months

Baby on board! Biking with our daughter this past year has been an empowering experience. When my son was born I waited a whole year to bike with him. I hadn't yet discovered the American mothers of this biking world and was far to nervous to recreate the normality of biking with a baby I had seen in Amsterdam as a first time mom. (Shout out to the Amsterdam mom who was wearing her baby while feeding it a bottle as she was biking!)

But once baby J came in to our lives I felt like we needed to figure out how to accommodate her into this amazing car-lite lifestyle we had created for ourselves and honestly the bus with two kids seemed way more terrifying then figuring out biking. So like any normal Mom I talked my husband into buying an Urban Arrow and the needed instruments to install a maxi cosi car seat (and promise a one year review coming up shortly).  

The box bike gave us the ability to bike with an infant in a way that a front mounted seat (rated 9 months+) couldn't. Over the almost past 11 months J has snugly rode in the box and I wanted to share the stages and contracptions we have used to move her over this past year. ***Please remember we are not professionals or doctors. Just parents who ride bikes with our kids.***

Stage One: 5 weeks- 3 months 
Infant Carseat (Maxi-Cosi Mico) w/ Tie Down Straps
How we did it: We laid a blanket between floor of cargo box and carseat and used two tie down straps from IKEA to snuggly strap down seat. One strap went over the area used for lap seat belts. The other went through metal bar on back of seat. Both were strapped through the foot holes on either side of box.
Cost: Carseat (pre-owned from big brother, retails $200), Tie Down Straps $15

Stage Two: 3 months- 8 months
Infant Carseat (Maxi-Cosi Mico) w/ Stecco Baby Mee
How we did it: We purchase the Stecco Baby Mee from Rolling Orange and installed it in the UA. I talk about installation here. It provided the ability to take the carseat in and out while J was still asleep.
Cost: Carseat, Baby Mee was approx. $100

Stage Three: 8 months- 10 months
Phil&Ted's SMART Stroller Seat w/Stecco Baby Mee
How we did it: We used a stroller seat and placed it in the Baby Mee frame. We detail installation here.
Cost: SMART Stroller seat (pre-owned but the seat part retails for $25), Baby Mee

Stage Four: 11 months +
Yepp Mini w/ custom Mount for Urban Arrow Box
How we did it: Busy Bikes in The Netherlands makes a specific Urban Arrow, Yepp Mini bracket. However it wasn't readily available to send to the US. So our local cargo bike shop, Firth & Wilson created a custom bracket for the bike. They installed with bolts into the UA base, something like this could also be drilled into a wood box.
Cost: Yepp Mini pre-owned retails for $150, Bracket Approx. $100+

Happy Birthday J!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Dear Jerk Dad on Kelly Drive Multi-Use Path

Maybe you had a bad experience or something before with a human (Jesus haven't we all) or maybe a rough day. I have no idea, but how you lashed out on me today was not okay and I truly wish I had my gopro on so I could put you and the experience on full blast. It was horrifying. 

You were in the middle of two way path pushing a stroller and walking your dog. It's been a long winter I know this path has been empty (I have ridden all winter) no sharing needed. No problem. I ring my bell a generous amount behind you as I need room to safely pass you. We both have pretty precious cargo after all. No response. So I call out perplexed on your left. You respond  without looking "well make it quick" without moving. "I have a big bike and two kids I need room" I respond you shake your head and  tell me you "cannot hear me". Uh? 

Remember he is in the middle of the path! I'm not even asking for extra room just asking him to get to the right side where he should be on a two way path. 

Finally I say louder and firm. "Sir I have two kids in a big bicycle and need room." You finally look a little back avoiding my eyes which were confused and let me pass. I even thank you. As I do everyone. 

Another bike rider behind me gets next to me and goes "that's amazing I can't believe that happened". I respond "me too"! 

I call my husband and he defends you that you probably didn't expect a mom or just had a bad experience or whatever. As I finish up my call I see you coming across the street to where I am on the path. I spend all this time online talking about making connections and remind people you are sharing the lane with other families this was a real life chance to remind him I'm a mom on the bike. (Side note my husband told me not to say anything to you afraid you'd be physical honestly you might have been but I couldn't believe you'd be mean to another parent!). 

"Sir why did you yell at me back there I was trying to safely pass" no eye contact as if I'm not a human being who deserves it. You YELL at me it was because you won't respond to a bell. I say it's because you have a kid I use a bell it's friendlier and you cut me off yelling at me that you won't get into this.... Yelling. At this point I'm frustrated and break out in frustration tears. I just couldn't understand how you kept yelling would you have done that if I was male? I bet not. Your daughter about 4 and awake, my son saying calm down to me both witnessing your toddler outburst. I hope no one treats your daughter like you treated me and I know my son will be raised to treat any human with more respect then you showed. 

Let's review sir. You were a dominate man who in a closed off isolated part of the path bullied the whole lane. Were you looking for a fight? You then bullied me further when I tried to calmly speak up for myself and my right to SHARE the path. And it was over a bell? A bell I use so kids smile as I pass. A bell kids at playgrounds fight over to ring! 

I hope you feel like a big man yelling at a mom with two kids. 

Luckily my frustration tears ended and I got to enjoy our ride to art class and back home. See you out on the path. I'm there every Friday same time. 


A Mom who rides a bike

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Vanmoof, #30daysofbiking & Kidical Mass Philly

It is April already? When did that happen. This past weekend we made a swap and we now have a Vanmoof 6.7 it is a long story and I will get to posting it eventually BUT you will see the new beauty as my chosen bike for the very first day of 2014's #30daysofbiking. Quick blog history I started this blog in 2012 as a log of that year's challenge. Spoiler alert I threw my back out on the second day and quit. LOL.

Last year I was in my last month of pregnancy so there was no way in hell I was challenging myself to ride daily. So this is my first "real" year!

Yesterday was kind of a busy day for me as I launched my new project GIVE MOM A BIKE LANE and I had work in the afternoon. I did a multimodal trip, we tossed my bike in the trunk of our car and my husband dropped me off at work so I wouldn't be late. Then I was able to ride my bike home from work (child free). The ride home was a little longer then normal. The Vanmoof a lot like IKEA comes with one allen's wrench to adjust the bike. I hadn't done this yet so I hopped off the bike twice once to adjust the seat and once to adjust the handlebars. I also had some trouble keeping my bag bungeed to the rack so I finally gave up and tossed it on my handlebars. So the 20 minute ride home was a little longer then expected! But it was great to test the new wheels and get the parts worked out to my perfect size.

 As I entered my residential neighborhood a woman with a baby called out to me to ask for some help. She was lost looking for her friend's home and her phone had died. I was able to lend her mine so she could call her husband and get directions. I love that biking forms community, if I was in a car she would have never called out and I probably would have whizzed by never even noticing her. CHEERS TO 30 DAYS OF COMMUNITY AND BIKING!

 SPEAKING OF COMMUNITY. KIDICAL MASS PHILLY was rescheduled and we will ride this weekend. Washington Square Park to Rittenhouse Square details are up on the website. Hope you can join us!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Give Mom A Bike Lane

I would like to introduce my newest project. Two children, a part-time job, Kidical Mass & this blog are not enough. 

Please check it out at