Posts

Showing posts from December, 2012

You can't buy 2 cubic yards of compost on a bike

Image
I probably didn't mention before, we don't own a car. No, I am not a crazy environmentalist. We do a lot in our household because we have gone through several periods of unemployment. We grow a lot of our own food, bike and even save water in rain barrels. The rain barrel fandango deserves a separate post one day. Well, garden bike lady, how do you schlep lots of stuff? We happen to subscribe to a service called Zipcar. The car can be rented by the hour or even day. Gas is included and for a nominal fee you can get total collision insurance. This is not an ad for Zipcar by the way. Cars2Go has recently come to town but they are smart cars.

When we need LOTs of stuff or all those potatoes for Pesach we borrow a car and zip zip.

Having a bike has been helpful to stop and look at those hidden treasures in the city. You can' t notice details if you are stuck in a car. Just yesterday we came across the smallest Lego museum. It's a quick trip but then you can enjoy the rest…

The tzinus police is going to get you!

Image
In Seward Park their is no minhag hamakom when it comes to tznius wear. Some women even go bare legged, as shocking as that might sound. Stockings don't have to be a certain color or have seems sown into them. There is so much variation in married women' s head covering. Some wear a sheitel, a tichel and (gasp) nothing at all! I am not going to go into the halachas or even the reasons why these women dress like this. Hey, that is between them and Hashem.

So, what do you wear when you are going to bike. I can tell you what I do because it's pretty practical and works. I have biked in all sorts of weather conditions. Remember the summer we reached record heat?  I biked in that just to get to the downtown library so we could cool off. It was so HOT that summer. I was sizzling and so was my passenger. Tisha B'Av was miserable.

First of all you should wear leggings. Don't go bare legged, it's a really bad idea.  A big gust of wind can go wooosh and lift up that ski…

.....but you only have one kid

Image
When you are a religious Jew and you only have one kid people feel the need to make constant comments on this. Sometimes they are direct comments and other times they are indirect. Mainly it's other women. Mr. Peyos is always perplexed about this.

This never seems to happen with my friends who know me well. These are people with large families and without saying it they know how I feel deep down inside without having to communicate it. It's not that I wake up in the morning and go, oh great! I have one kid! I try to work on myself and what I can do to strengthen myself because after going to friends weddings and seeing them have kid after kid, it becomes harder. I hate to admit it, when I am niddiah it is like a truck hit me. I usually go through a day of crying following by a lot of hisbodidus.

I am very happy to have produced the one I have but something always makes me wonder, what if. I think this is what keeps me motivated to bike. Well, Hashem makes everyone' s body …

It's raining, it's pouring and how to keep those tootsies dry.

Image
Wow! What a depressing last blog. Sure, violence happens everywhere but without that protective layer of metal surrounding you a person becomes more aware. On a bike you are aware of the road, the bike and most of all the weather.

I live in Seattle right? It rains here all the time right? The truth is that while we do see our fair amount of rain it is possible to get around without getting wet. How is that possible? If you look back at all my bikes you will notice one thing they have in common, fenders. Fenders in the front and back. Those taco clad bicyclist would object. Woah, that adds a whole pound! So, you are really going to object when I start adding more "heavy" accessories. Gasp, is that a bell? Ding Ding.

Lets face it, you really need to keep those feet dry. Anything that seals out the wet and is slip proof is good. You don' t have to go out and buy a slew of hi tech gear. Save yourself the trouble, but if you are going to walk/bike then spend some money and d…

A Tale of the Other "Hood"

Image
Central District "Hood"
Just imagine the birds walking up, the water from Lake Washington glistening and all that nature. Once you have passed this point and you no longer have this spectacular view you have entered the Central District. Welcome!

By far a more dangerous place than the Rainier Valley. Daylight gun battles can happen any time. People are robbed at all hours of the day and people in cars don' t get the whole "bike crazies", that would be me. Yes, all of that happens too in my hood but somehow I am less aware of it. You see more people on bikes in the CD than in the Rainier Valley. Also, people on bikes look pretty normal and use a bell when passing, ring ring.
I had my share of scary stories. The worst was biking south on 19th Ave when we encounter some fool standing next to The Good Neighbor grocery store shouting for us to stop because he needed to "borrow" my cell phone. "Yo, I asked you nicely, now I am going to kill you!"…

Biking in the "Hood"

Image
I bike around/through two hoods. One is the Rainier Valley and the other one is the Central District.

I do live in the hood. Why? As a married Orthodox Jewish woman I need services that other wonderfully bikE neighborhoods don't have. So I live in what is the Rainier Valley.

In my hood I have to find new routes in order to avoid being run over by cars. This is always fun and we learn so much about people and smells. The smells on the road are WAY better than the ones on the #7 bus. My daughter has learned what a certain smell is (you can only guess, now that it is legal) and we have experienced some scary situations, but those have really only happened in the other hood. Let's blame them.

Rainier Valley "Hood":
If you want to experience the colorfulness of living here read Rainier Valley Post. They do a good job.

We are missing bike infrastructure. Riding on the sidewalk is not safe so I have had to resort to finding back streets to get around. My route can only…

More Upgrades and Clown Bike

Image
Our tale ended off with a broken trailer. The Burley was great while it lasted and we used it for everything. If you are committed to living without a car then get one already. The investment and customer service was fantastic. Alas, it was not made for schlepping a kid 20 miles a day, hauling large loads from Lowes, and buying three bags of very heavy groceries with a kid. You get my point!

What was next in our horizon? Unemployment. Yes, one of us got laid off and we were forced to use money for my next bike purchase into food, shelter and bus fair. By this point I had a ton of kale in our garden. I had only wished I had wisdom to grow other winter veggies I wouldn't have to spend lots of time checking for bugs.

Skip to June 2012. Hooray! My husband becomes a real employee again. With the first paycheck we used some of the money to buy a bike investment.

This is the birth of what I dub the Clown Bike. I am sure you are thinking I bought a Bakfiets, a Madsen, or a humongous t…

Bike Evolution and Upgrades

Image
Once upon a time in 2007 I went to a chain bike shop, because I didn't know any better and said I wanted to purchase a bike. Now this was not my first bike purchase but the first one I ever purchased while living in Seattle. I wanted an internal hub because I was so enamored with them while living in Copenhagen during our first years of marriage. Everyone was zipping around with way cooler bikes. I had a Nishiki mountain bike but it worked and nobody stole it so I was semi happy with it.
Skip to 2007 and my final purchase of a 3 speed internal gear Fuji. Little did I know that this was a bad idea. Do you see that hill I am on? I hadn't even made it to Trader Joe's on Madison. The first year I rode to the 48 bus and had the bus do the work for me but then something happened. I had to make it home for Shabbos (the Jewish Sabbath). It was winter and candle lighting was at 4:05pm. I was leaving work early but Metro is a pain on Fridays. Ok, so I made food the night before. My…

Welcome, let's bike!

Image
Seattle by far is the most challenging place to bike. I took this 4 years ago and those hill are still not flatter.  No, I am not standing on a roof. I am in fact on a road, looking down at the 1-90 floating bridge.

During winter I only see those true die hard bicyclist out in the rain, cold or light snow. I'm out there too but riding with normal clothes. Yes, normal. What??? Even with all these hills and my desire to dress modest you will never find me in form fitting spandex. Ewwww, gross, stinky. You know, those things degrade to the point where the backside becomes a light nude. I had the horror of riding behind a tush one time, ugh.

Then the assumption is, "oh you don't bike far". Sorry bub, but I bike 10 miles to my destination and 10 back to my point of origin. What?!!

To top it off, I bike the 10 miles back  with 47 pounds of another human being. So, it must be an electric bike. Nope, the peddling is fueled by food. The other human is too tired to think abou…