Friday, May 31, 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 cars drive way to fast and people are annoyed that the 5-10 seconds it takes to pass me made their day disastrous. One of my passengers yelled to let me know about approaching cars or a spandex clad man. While riding on a flat road we were fast, so fast the kids dared the spandex men to catch up.

Just because it is an assist doesn't mean I don't have to pedal. I haven't worked this hard in a while as I have been used to the slow easy laziness of riding my Dutch bike.

Lots of carpool families waved to us and all I could do was ding my bell a bazillion times.

The prototype battery from LionTail is heavy. Working the gears and the throttle is difficult. I have to choose a gear and then throttle or just be happy with gear 4 or 5, which I mostly stayed in for the ride. Yes, it would be great if the assist worked like a BionX but I wonder if I saved more battery because it was just plain tiring having my thumb on the down position the whole time.

Those two kids easily weighed 100 pounds so even with the assist I got a workout. Riding with such a heavy load is not something I recommend for a novice. In fact, if you rent this bike I would recommend you go to Costco and fill up on all your toilet paper and hummus needs before you stick any kinderlach in it. Most people would pass out with the rides I have done to date on this bike.

Our ride got us eventually to PCC where we enjoyed a pre-Shabbos ice cream. This was exactly one week ago. Yes, I do have some more adventures before I return this bike back to Morgan where I will cry and pout at the possibilities.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

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 food.

What do kids do when they are smooshed in a bucket with rain gear, backpacks, snacks, and each other. Well, they try not to strangle each other and then take pictures. So, here are photos the kids took while I schlepped them:

They took lots of pictures of my back and of me huffing puffing and yelling for them to not wiggle. I could feel all slight movements.

They took pictures of the soggy road.

                                           Here is Spongebob and his gleeful smile.

Spongebob's friend.

They took pictures of buildings.

Then they took lots of blurry pictures. We ended up at the Columbia City Farmer's Market where kids from the other Jewish school tried to get us to buy plants. I could clearly see the look in my bucket bike kids, "Do you not know her?  She doesn't need more plants!"

We bought nothing, went to the library and then dropped our carpool kid home. So, if I can bike 15 non-spandex miles home with two heavy kids and no electric assist so can the chicken.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

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 offer.

So, I took the front wheel off my Redline and put the whole thing in the bucket and biked home on that black bouncy sqooshy seat.

Do you want to borrow this bike? You can! Originally I found the bike rental information on the BikeWorks website. You can even borrow a more normal bike too. The bike rental works on a sliding scale. I will be writing more about my experience with this bike in upcoming post.

Otherwise, have a soggy day!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

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 appeal to me because of all that mold". This will end up in a response of, "How dare you criticize blue cheese!" Look at it, it's right there. I don't like the smell so what. Get a life! So, as you can see if the topic is controversial then it can truly blow up like a jar of gefilte fish.

This week I felt slightly exposed because I was on a bike that had a lot of visibility. For the last four years I have been cargo mommy biking it and nobody has batted an eye until I rolled up on that Madsen bike. Somehow it either caused rage or pure envy in some onlookers.

Apparently, this was the week everyone was off their rockers and decided to state how unsafe I am riding on "THAT BIKE". Well, fracka lacka to you! You the heck are you? When did you become the all time know it all of cargo mommy biking?

I am what you call Sally Safety. I take side streets, make my kid walk when it's too much and pretty much am cautious. Now, some people have had multiple car crashes, more than they can count on their fingers. On Friday we picked up my daughters friend and the parents said that they were fine with her biking with us. They knew that I was biking slow and the worst that could happen is that we tip over. Everyone had a helmet. Somehow driving in a metal machine at 70 mph, drinking your coffee, trying to control bratty children and texting at the same time is significantly safer than my efforts to bike.

Now, biking with kids is also a two way trust street. Now, my passengers have to trust me to make smart choices. My passenger has a really important job to not giggle, bounce, try to stand up, and throw a hissy fit. We must have constant communication of needs so that we can stop and start as needed.

Frankly, I know of several kids I would not bike with. I would never offer to take them for a ride because I would not trust that they would behave. If I offered a particular family a ride it means I know that the kid would not throw me off balance. Balance is necessary.

So, you will see me biking around on that big honking bike this week and if you are truly against biking. Find a hobby, grow a garden, go fly a kite or take a walk. Ohh, but this requires much more effort than your mouth can offer.

Friday, May 24, 2013

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.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

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 when I pity them for shoving their kid in a metal machine unaware of nature. When we have an outdoor kid they never lose their coat, always carry layers and are inclined to make sure water and a snack are with them at all times. Heck, I am raising a really responsible kid!

These last weeks I have gotten a lots of sad faces from people who think we are poor. I am so much richer for riding my bike, getting a little soggy on Tuesday and just being happy.

No, we didn't buy a bike in the end because everything in pink weighed a bazillion pounds so my next task is to find a nice light weight bike my kid can ride many miles this summer!

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Happy 9th Birthday Genetic Output

Yes, this bike is getting too small
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.

Monday, May 20, 2013

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:

Large honken truck vs. Bike

Mid-sized honken car vs. Bike
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 school kid pick up? Well, I thought I would test all those hills I need to get up. So, I mostly biked up Morgan, which is miracle. I am pretty sure if I had a race with myself walking a bike up the hill and riding up the hill I would win walking/pushing a bike. In any case, I did try to bike some some wonky hills in our hood. Here is one place I have to get to a lot and mostly with stuff to schlep:

This picture does not do justice to that driveway

Once I was at the top I realized I had to maneuver steps so I lifted the bike to lots of fanfare and balloons, mostly imaginary.

I did it!
I did manage to lift the bike up these steps so I could park and lock it. Going down was just as interesting as I had to do lots of lifting but it was okay and I was fine.

CARGO: Stuff
So, I was sad I had no kid to schlep during the school hours and had to work on sticking junk in it. Now I have Schwalbe tires on my Redline Metro 9 bike and have been too lazy to change the front tire and in the process of trying to fix everything ruined two tubes. So, I did the only sensible thing and biked over to Bike Works to have those kind people help me. I did the obligatory drive by, biking really slow, ringing my bell and waving to anyone inside. Davey Oil came out and I told him the whole story about the bike. Afterwards he changed the tube I ruined and made my merry way to pick up children from school.  I did manage to pack the bike with Shabbos groceries and a tire as seen in a picture I will repeat again:
Shabbos is no good without Kettle chips!

Cargo: Kid
I really wanted to load this thing with kids but I guess I was stuck using my own genetic output kid for that kind of thing. We biked home from her friends house taking my all too familiar lazy route home where I partially bike on the sidewalk and when we turned a corner I almost killed a pedestrian who was too slow to realize we almost obliterated them with this cargo bike. While we almost maimed someone both my child and I laughed, not good. This goes to show you how much faster I am able to go and turn sharp corners. I like that! I can imagine all sorts of imaginary races I could have with other people on bikes.

What about getting on the bike with a human sitting in the front. As before, you have to think happy thoughts, look at the horizon and think ninja balance. This is the only way to deal with it. My kid was really nervous about this because our Bakfiets testing was not so fun. Now she can add, almost mowing down another human as part of her bike story repertoire.

Now that my kid is almost as tall as I am I was worried I would wack the heck out of her head while she was seated but I didn't have this issue but you see her long legs were kinda squooshed in there so that little box is not so cozy. I even sat in it for fun. Mr. Peyos got on the bike and it looked too funny/wrong for this blog.

If you are wondering what it looks like to sit in the passenger seat here is that view:
So, riding the bike was not that difficult but because of how the handlebars were adjusted for the original rider I had a hard time getting very far without feeling that my arms were going to fall off. If I had my own I would change the riding position so I was upright. I like being upright and it just feels safer this way. Yes, I would totally change the seat to some kind of Brooks saddle. Lastly, I would add a BionX electric assist just because it would be nice to schlep even more than I am able to sometimes. I might possibly be able to do a full Costco run and have people not laugh at me when I try to carry a case of hot cups out of the store. Then again, I am not riding my bike for image reasons.

I love this bike because it has so much potential. This basically sums up what I would need in a bike for riding in a hill Seattle such as Seattle.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

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!

Monday, May 13, 2013

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 gears. Remember, I started out in Seattle with 3.

Okay, this is NOT so easy. Now as you can see, this has a large cargo area in front so their is a danger that you might just chicken out of the whole endeavor. Well, lucky for me, I got a few tips on how to handle this kind of bike when testing a Bakfiets at the Dutch Bike Co once. Basically, you get on and stare at the horizon. Don't bother with what is in front of you. You have to ignore the front part of the bike, look at the horizon and think ninja balancing thoughts. Okay, because this bike is WAY lighter than a Dutch bike my first scardie cat five seconds required that I did the obligatory fishtailing that is described by several other reviews of this bike (Lovely Bicycle and Totcycle). This lasted a total of five seconds during my three days of testing. Why did this last only five seconds? I am going to say lot of practice schlepping all sorts of junk on my bike. Mostly it's heavy junk, including a 3rd Grader. This beast was not going to scare me.

OUCH, this hurts my tush!
So, I am going to let you know a little secret! The seat hurt my BUTT. How anyone can sit on that thing is beyond me. I know, I am a sucker for comfort but Velo seat you are not for me. I did the only sensible thing and changed the seat to my trusty Brooks Saddle. Don't get mad Mr. W but you have to admit, the bike looks better. Wait until you get some pictures of this seat in action.

I am short, like a hobbit so the handle bars were WAY forward for me to handle decently and I had
to hold on for life. After about 1/2 and hour of practice I managed to bike almost with NO hands. Now this is a trick I love to master on any bike but have not been able to do so on my Dutch Bike. For safety sake I kept part of my hands on the handlebars. This is something that can be changed so not a bike flaw.

Once I figured a comfortable way to bike I raced to PCC and here is where my other paranoid dilemma starts.

Okie dokie. I am full out spoiled on my Dutch Bike. I have an Abus Framelock and can lock the bike to itself or use my chain and lock the bike around to something metal and grounded. This is easy peasy lemon squeeze  I really don't worry about my wheels being stolen. I do worry about my saddle being taken so I kinda wrap the chain under and around the seat if I am in certain neighborhoods.

Now, my dilemma was how to lock this puppy. Their is a lot to steal since it was all on a quick release system: seat, wheels, stuff in the cargo area. This bike could potentially be stripped. Since I am paranoid I had a whole bunch of locks with me. I was outside of PCC so I was worried but not as worried had I biked to Capitol Hill or even the library in Columbia City. As you can see, I settled for locking the back wheel to the frame and locking the frame to the rack. Now the front wheel could be easily stolen so that would have to be something to think about. Also, I didn't lock the seat post to anything, but Thank G-d, nothing got taken.

The true test of a cargo bike is if can get in my house. As a true Hobbit, I live in a tiny house. Despite our mini house we keep our bikes inside. We have our parking area where everything is parked. By now our regular Shabbos guest know this and are not bothered our bikes. This does keep them in nicer condition. As you can see, I was able to easily maneuver the bike into the house without ruining the doors as we already have from the Burley trailer.

This thing takes up most of the downstairs. This is exactly in the middle of the room as you enter. The reason Mr. Peyos also had his bike in the middle was because I had three other bikes in the house, just to stir up controversy.  In the end, we did have space to put the bike but I had to take my controversial other bikes out.

This is getting longer than I would like so I will offer Part DUH tomorrow.

Friday, May 10, 2013

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.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

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 way to get on the path. That guy on the sidewalk was rushing to get away from me.

I found Madi's bike and recovered my hidden treasure in her barmit. Then I decided to make my way across the Fremont Bridge. Their was no fanfare because the bike counter is on the other side. That is too bad, maybe next time :(

 Signs on the ground indicated that bikes are to stay on the sidewalk. Okay, here I go!

 Hi other bridge, you look scary from here.

After looping along the Burke Gillman I made my way to University Village to run my errands and sat and ate a bagel. Once this was over I decided to redeem myself by going on the same sloaping street I did on Sunday where I almost passed out.

In the end I got my placard to flash and blind everyone in my path. What better place to put it? On the front of my basket for everyone to drool.

For some reason my printer wouldn't print our team logo Madi made in color so I had to settle for black and white. Here is the logo in beautiful color:

THANK THANK YOU Madi for making a logo that shows how I feel about our competition. I like how the little sharks are slightly clueless about the whole thing. Those Real Network dudes are going to eat dirt for challenging us!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

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 someone.
The last rider in Tour de Lost

Before we even made it to Ballard we met up with a pelaton of spandexy folks on a group ride. I don't know where they were going but I really wasn't interested in riding behind men with deteriorating fabric on the backside of their spandex. So, right before we entered the path under the viaduct we waited, looking touristy. After about five minutes of eye rolling we decided it was safe enough to go thinking that the pelaton passed us up. So, we slowly bike along the Elliot Bay Trail and up toward the locks on that hidden street. As we stopped to have a sip of water who comes spandexy along? It's THEM! Yeah, somehow we seemed to have gotten ahead. I don't know how this happens. Okay, we watch them race by and then make our way up the drudgery hill. We get to the tiny wooden bridge that connects to the locks and who do we meet up with AGAIN? Yes, the spadexy peleton? The same ones. I even asked, "how the heck did we catch up with you?" Of course I was ignored and nobody answered. Apparently, they were lost and we had normal clothes on so OF COURSE we didn't know anything about biking.

Now, I had not realized but Mr. Peyos was all dressed up in his work clothes because that is all he wears unless he is cold. So, I was biking with him in white shirt, tie and black pants.

Okay, so once we pass the tiny bridges on the locks we see an assortment of spandex ware. My favorite was the Tecate deflated bike shorts. I kept saying Tecate because I could have used one at this point.

We survived Fremont which apparently was the place to eat stuff out of food trucks. We even saw our landlady and talked to her about stuff.

After that we did our errands and made our way back to the BG to ride through Capitol Hill.

Say Cheese!
We saw an assortment of people who might have been too sqooshy in their shorts. It only made me feel sad for them. Then again, even if I had pointed it out it doesn't matter because people do what they want in the end. That guy in the blue smiled for the picture. Maybe, because he felt fancy free in his normal wear.
My personal photographer took a picture of the Montlake Bridge in the up position.

Here we are riding through Interlaken because it was shaded. Yes, I was Hella Wasted from too much sun we had to sit outside Tully's on 19th so I could cool down.

What did I learn? It's is hard biking with a 6'4 Viking, deflated spandex looks weird and I forgot to go to someone's engagement party, opps!

Sunday Non-Spandexy Total: 30 miles

Monday, May 6, 2013

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.

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 house it is every person for them self  Nobody gets a free ride when we play games and so if these Real Riders want to challenge the team of Family Ride, I am going to do everything in my power to log a bazillion miles just to leave you in the dust.

Our team is AWESOME! You can tell in my smug face how much I want to beet the other team. These are our stats as of Sunday (May 5th 8:16AM)

In any case, if you want to follow our progress we are Team: Family Ride

Here is the team we are going to crush Team: RealRiders. Although David Smith seems pretty cool with his BBQ bike.

Friday, May 3, 2013

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.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

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.

When I moved to Seattle I saw the disgusting nature of a Seattle May Day celebration. Well, it really pisses me off. Privileged kids smashing everything in site because they are mad at "the man". FRACK YOU! If you are mad at "the man" then do something real that has meaning. Take YOUR parents money out of the bank and put it in a credit union, grow your own freaking food, get rid of your car and ride a bike. Seriously, you are not hunched over in the field working day and then learning night. YOU do nothing!

Here are pictures from last year:

Do they really look like they deserve to protest in this way? First work at getting back at the 1 Percent and then maybe you deserve to have a civilized march. It is disgusting here. Downtown becomes a hub of stupid people smashing, stealing and interrupting hardworking folks transit service. You don't think you might put someone out of a job because you are selfish? You want power, this is NOT the way to get it done. Maybe window smashing offenders should be forced to work in a field for a month. How about they work on community service and shovel up after those ponies that give rides downtown. Sweet justice!

So, today I celebrate those workers in Monterey County are trying to bring food to your plate. FYI: As a family we have done a lot to sock it to the man. Many years ago we took our money out of Chase and put it in a Credit Union. We don't use a credit card. We grow our own food. We ride bikes. We don't WHINE!! When our family needs something we become resourceful and don't complain so people feel sorry for us. We just do it!

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