Showing posts from May, 2013

Biking with an Electric Assist is wonderful

My first test was to ride the Madsen bike flat out without the handy assist or even the stereo speakers. Yes, this rental has a boom box you can blast our favorite song:

We blasted that song so loud someone in a car actually rolled down their window to look. Just like the previous day I needed all my powers to balance with two kids and their backpack junk. Why do little kids have so much stuff in their backpack?

Use of the assist meant I still had to pedal but it also meant I could choose a beefy hill to ride up. I pretended like I was alone and we made our way down through Judkins Park, passed Sam Smith park and descended into the tunnel near the beginning of the I-90 trail. Instead of going on the trail we went up through and around a magical forest and descended on Lake Washington Blvd.

Before we did that we contemplated our song choice while biking in the tunnel. Actually I was pumping them up for an expedition across that bridge soon.

We eventually landed on Lake Washington where…

Electric Assist with NO Assistance

So, as you recall I rented a Madsen electric bike. Well, I tried out the assit on every darn hill near my house and then it came time for carpool pick up. Well, I really wanted to bike so I decided to pick up my group on the bike. Now, I charged the battery but it was not until the power button reached green so I had no idea how much power I was going to get.

I happily biked all the way to the NW African American Museum and this is where all the power on the bike ran out. So, I was hoping that biking alone would charge it up but I was so unlucky. I was determed to bike home and wanted to blow off some steam. So, I loaded up a 3rd Grader and a 4th Grader into the bucket.

Now, getting on and balancing with a heavy load was hard. First I had to be in a low gear, start on a flat road and nobody was allowed to breath. I sucked in my gut and asked G-d to keep me upright. In the end I did it. We biked home and I drank a beer for dinner and slept after that. Don't worry, I fed my kid real…

Adventures in Bike Rental Land

Last week I finally moved up on the waiting list to rent a Madsen bike from Morgan at Family Bike. So, I biked down to Rainier Beach on my blue Redline Metro 9 bike. While standing there I was thinking, "why do I just not bite the bullet and convert this thing into a long tail bike?"

It's a cute bike and little for hobbit people. As you can see, if you look closely, it is from 20/20 Cycle. I like that store. Yes, it was raining and I had my trusty rain poncho on. So, I biked to get an even bigger bike.

So, Morgan runs a bike rental program and you can get some snazzy bikes like a SunAtlas long tail bike, a tandem and the Madsen electric bike. Turns out LionTail Cycles donated this set up to the bike share and the electric assist is a prototype. So after a brief orientation from Morgan about using the bike she had me take a test spin in the parking lot. She remarked that I am a cargo mom. I was also orientated on use of the motor and all the other goodies the bike had to …

Biking is SO dangerous!

I am on my soap box again! Well, this week I rented a bike for a whole week from a program run in conjunction with Bike Works/Family Bike. I will talk more about this in another post.

Borrowing the Madsen with electric assist meant that I could take two kids home. I was SO excited. Well, apparently someone thought I was doing something dangerous. Wow! Is it because I didn't offer to schlep your kids? I don't know but this made me steaming mad. Shessh, I was getting biking advice from someone who never bikes. What did this do? It made my extra passenger nervous. Yes, YOU made my passenger nervous and for a split second doubt my ability to get us home.

Apparently in this community people think that they can offer unsolicited advice. The sure way for ME to get people to hate me is to offer up my opinion on a number of topics. Usually I stay quiet but usually my opinion on stupid topics enrages some people. I could say something as mundane as, "Wow, blue cheese does not appe…

Friday Bike/Donut Roundup

Remember I am in a bike challenge?
So, how is Team: Family Ride doing?

As of Friday 5/24/12 @ 6:26AM our team has logged that many miles. So, how many donuts is that now? That is 320.93 sprinkle donuts. YUMMY! I wonder if any of us have eaten any. I feel like a slacker for my lack of mileage but we had a holiday followed by exhaustion.

Yes, we are completely crushing our competition but it looks like we got new challengers come out of the woodwork. Hi Horse Heads and Familybike Seattle. I ain't going to talk smack about either of them because they didn't shove this challenge in our face. Real Riders, SUCK IT! We are winning! Oh lookie lookie, Familybike Seattle is ahead of you. How does that make you feel? Discuss.

Just because we don't own a car doesn't mean we are POOR!

Tuesday I took another disappointing stroll in REI downtown. Every time I go there it is without merchandise  This time I met Mr. Peyos for a lovely date to look for a bike for our kid.

We had some discussion about why people think we are not doing well economically. I don't get it. The lack of owning a home or desire for a car makes us the looser poor family. I get these pity faces from people at my kids school when I do bike pick-up. I can see it, "Aww, they have no money and have to ride a bike home¨.

Have you looked at my bike? LOOK at it!! It is not a poor person's bike either. Between all our biking needs, we are going on making some bike purchase once a year. Every bike purchase has been with hard earned CASH, no credit cards were used. Yes, we had that money and handed it over in every single purchase. How many people can do that, especially when they purchase the kind of bikes Mr. Peyos and I are sporting these days?

People living on credit cards are taking pity…

Happy 9th Birthday Genetic Output

Today marks our kids 9th birthday, that is her Hebrew birthday. In order to start the birthday fun we did some unexpected activities after school on Monday. First I borrowed someone else's car and we drove it to a car wash on Mercer Island. As a bikey family a car wash is something we have never done.  Our friend gets her van clean and my kid plus friend get to act all crazy in a van while the car wash attendant sprays soap and water all over. Next comes those huge brushes which was fun to watch go over the car multiple times.

Afterwards we ate pizza, got a cupcake and then to our next activity, gambling. Ever since I was a kid I LOVE those scratcher lottery tickets. So of course, my kid loves them too. We scratch away at $10 worth of tickets and win back $11. One of these days we are going to  win BIG!

We make a pit stop to a tiny library and then home. So, we started with sweet fun and today we get rainy soggy fun, yeah for us.

Bullitt in my Pocket (Part 2)

I have to apologize to my readers for the lack of blogging. We had a Jewish Holiday followed by Shabbat. Even before that I was busy with shul stuff so here I am looking at my messy house and trying to catch up with some blogging action.

In any case, here goes Part DOS!

So, you have some of the logistics of what I need a bike, including the need to be able to fit through the front door.

So, how big/long is this thing? I took some sexy shots of the bike next to cars. Here you go:

Next task was to find a kid to use as my test dummy. So, I biked by the house where I am able to borrow four different sized kids. Whahh, they weren't home. As proof here I am parked in front of the house!

Just by these three pictures you see how much better this bike looks with MY seat. I also did something really nasty and added a bell that even deaf people can hear. The bell is mostly for safety and the seat was for comfort.

What's a girl to do when you have a couple of hours to kill before sch…

Shavuot/Biking Break

Good thing: Shavuot starts tonight! Bad thing: I won't be racking up any miles until Friday. Seriously, this is sad. It could mean the competition could potentially catch up.

I did manage to rack up some miles today bringing my team over the 1,000 miles mark. Yes, we biked that much put together. I wonder how many blender bike smoothies that would make?

In any case I made my kid stay home with me to make food, clean and finally go shopping downtown. While biking I was thinking how crazy I am to be downtown on a bike right before a Yom Tov. As I was thinking these crazy thoughts we meet friends driving by us. So, I am NOT crazy after all. We bike around and then made our way home for a beauty salon appointment with our favorite hairdresser.

So, I will be on a biking break, giving those Real Riders a chance to catch up. Don't worry, after Yom Tov I am coming back with a vengeance,  complete with blazing beets!

Enjoy my Shavuot bouquet growing in my garden!

Bullitt in my Pocket (Part 1)

Not long ago I was blessed with the opportunity to use the Bullitt bike I drool over online. Not only was it the bike I like but in the color I would prefer, although it would be cool to have a bike the color of pumpkin or slimy avocado green.

As I schlepped this wonder out of Mr. W's house I got to experience the obstacle course of small steps. Then as I got down the driveway I felt nervous because while inside Mrs. W and I had a lot of talk about how wonky the bike handles. So, naturally I started out wonky. I got off the bike and walked to the end of the street and said, "OK, get it out of your head because you can do this". I bravely made my way to Seward Park Ave (not my favorite bike route) and worked the gears. Now, I have had trigger gear shifters before but my bike has never had more than 9 gears so having more was a slight issue? Yes, I said, issue? So, I was dealing with having a bit of courage to man handle this bike and then figure out how to use these gear…

Friday Donut to Bike Roundup

May/Bike Month has been awesome! You probably want to know how well Team: FamilyRide has been doing. Yes, we are in a competition.

As of (Friday May 10 @ 5:58AM) we have biked a total of 745.4 miles and burned the equivalent of 36,525 calories. So, how many donuts is that?

Now, if you look at the nutrition facts sheet for Krispy Kreme and only ate the sprinkle donuts at 250 calories each that makes 146.1 donuts! Yummy yummy moo moo.

I don't really need donuts in my life right now so I just put that thought with all the other ones in my thought bubble.

Folllow our progress here: Team:FamilyRide. Yes, we have new competition (Team: Familybike) and Morgan is not kidding.

GO GO Team: Family Ride

So, Tuesday I needed to get my team placard from Madi, AKA the FamilyRide blogger. As we are both mommies it was most convenient for me to retreive my placard hidden in her right barmit. So, it was like a treasure hunt. This also meant I got to explore a new way to get to Fremont alone. Bridges don't scare this lady. So, I decided to take the South Lake Union Trail to loop to Fremont. As usual I begin my journey from downtown on my favorite cycletrack. HUH? I am talking about the path laid out by the South Lake Union Transit trolley. I LOVE LOVIE this road. I have basically taken the attitue to use the road for my personal selfish needs and metal machine cars can wait the 5 seconds it takes to get around me.

First things first. I noticed at the Westlake end of the tracks an installed shelter for bikes. Looks like a homeless person is using it as their personal home so nobody can park there now.

 At the end of Westlake is Lake Union and lots of construction and the most confusing w…

Bicycle Sunday or Squooshy Spandex Day

Cinco de Mayo marked the beginning of bicycle Sunday for us losers here in the south end of Seattle where bicycle infrastructural doesn't really exist. Yeah, I said it because it is true. This means a large stretch of Lake Washington is only for people on foot or on some human powered rolling thingies.  I used to laugh at this day because it really did not mean that it was helpful in getting somewhere. Now that I know other kids who want to ride with us this is the perfect opportunity to take them for a ride without the fear of the whooshing car.

So, did we do this on the first Bicycle Sunday? No way! Instead our kid needs a new bike so we decided to head north to where people roam free on the Burke Gilman trail in order to stand in line at some Food Rodeo in the beating sun. We first made our way up through Ballard across the Locks. On Sunday this is always a horrible idea because we have to Dutch bikes and even when walking them across the locks I feel like I am going to smoosh …

Bike to Work Month OR Crushing the Competition

May 1st marked the beginning of Bike to Work Month. Every year I make my own team and with little success having team mates follow through in their biking. People always want to say they want to bike but in the end don't do it out fear I guess.

So, I issued a plea on Twitter for someone to take poor me for the Cascade's Commute Challenge.
Anyone have a Commute team I can join so I am not alone?
— No Spandex Required (@NoSpandexReq) April 30, 2013
I like Twitter because Madi from Family Ride answered my request and I was on a team again. Yeah for me! So, I fixed up my profile from previous years and add myself to Team: Family Ride I notice at the bottom of the screen that we have a rival team. How could we have a rival when the challenge hasn't even started?

This is what part of the page looks like:

Well, I am competitive so you DON'T want to challenge me. If you issue something like this I will do everything in my power to CRUSH you! When we play board games in this …

Bullitt at my Door

Yes, it is Friday. I have so much to write but not enough time.
So, feast your eyes of this baby!

Yes, I am crazy. When I daven to Hashem, I get answered in the following way. Remember Hvorfor Ikke?  Well, this is how G-d responds. For the record, this is not my bike. I have not bought another bike. I am on borrowed time.

I will be working on making Shabbos food but if you see me today, wave because I am going to test ride some more to get a full working review going. You might see me alone or with test dummies because I always like to borrow other people's children to test bikes.

Happy May Day!

Growing up I lived in the salad bar of the USA, Monterey County. If you don't know where this is, you should. This is where most of what YOU eat comes from: lettuce, strawberries, artichokes, just to name a few crops.  Our school bus would pass fields full of strawberries in different stages to the final stage where the farm workers spent long days hunched over so WE could eat yummyness. To this day I will NEVER eat spinach just because it was one of those crops even the workers won't eat.

Growing up May Day was for the workers! I grew up seeing Cesar Chavez work for workers rights. Seeing those workers always made me work harder because they did. My mother and husband taught English to these people who spent grueling days in the fields and then hours in the evening in English class so they can get ahead. We loved these students. They would bring us fresh fruit, veggies and the occasional case of Martinelli's apple cider. These workers are giving and should be celebrated.