Sunday, October 30, 2011

introducing CARGO BIKE LOVE t-shirts

Folks who know me or who have been visiting this blog know that one of the things I like best outside of bikes is making t-shirts.  I started simply with freezer paper stencils and moved on to a low-tech, at-home screening system.  Some years ago, I used for a series of t-shirts called Boys Like Pink, Too that still manage to sell a shirt here and there.

I enjoy my professional life, however, there are times when I would love to stay home and just make shirts.  I have never had any training in the graphic arts but love lettering by hand and messing around on the computer.  Recently, some of my favorite bike bloggers, Laura and Russ, from The Path Less Pedaled started posting their own shirts on a site I had not previously known.

This got me inspired.  With a bit of direction from Russ, I downloaded a free trial of Adobe Illustrator and started messing around with cargo bike designs.  Today, thanks to snow, yes SNOW in October, we had to cancel Kidical Mass New Haven's October Ride.  While we still got out by bikes to the Farmers Market and the Giant Puppet Parade (another post on that this week), the afternoon was spent at home.   I took advantage of the time and opened my very own Spreadshirt Store Front.

After contemplating various names, I decided not to name the storefront "Full Hands" and went with a name that specifically 'calls it like it is,' (and hopefully allows folks on search engines to stumble upon it).

Drumroll, please.

Introducing CARGO BIKE LOVE.

We have longtail designs, bakfietsen, Madsens, and cargo trikes.


Some of the great points about this website is that you can choose your own color and size shirt.  I also think the pricing is quite good, especially for a print-on-demand service.

Do contact me if you want any of these designs printed on anything else: baby onesies, hoodies, etc.  Also, if you there is some design you want tweaked a certain way (two kiddos in the bakfiets, perhaps or a different tagline), I would be open to that discussion as well.

Finally, if you like them and would be willing, please help spread the CARGO BIKE LOVE by posting the storefront on your Facebook page, Twitter account, or blog.  Many thanks.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

pilgrimage to adeline adeline

Two weekends ago, my wonderful sis-in-law flew up to our place to hang with the boys so P and I could make an overnight trip to NYC to celebrate P's birthday.  We had a great 24 hours, visiting friends in Brooklyn and walking the High Line.  On Sunday morning, P asked what I wanted to do and I explained that I really, really wanted to head downtown to visit Adeline Adeline.

Those of you who obsessively follow bike blogs like I do, know that Adeline Adeline is:

... a bicycle boutique for the person who wants to rediscover the style, fun and romance of cycling. The shop is a friendly, welcoming environment that focuses on the beautifully designed city bikes and accessories made famous on the streets of Copenhagen, Amsterdam and now, New York.

Adeline Adeline founder, Julie Hirschfeld started her career far away from bikes, first as a graphic designer for the television channel, VH1, and then as partner in the New York design firm, Stiletto NYC, where she worked on fashion branding and motion graphics projects with such diverse clients as New York Magazine, Conde Nast, MTV and Nike.

Julie’s career took a turn after seeing her sister riding around the city on a vintage Schwinn. It was the design of these classic bikes that attracted her, combined with the comfortable upright ride that led her on a search for her perfect bicycle. After resigning herself to the fact that most of the city’s bike stores cater to either serious performance bikers or the enthusiast fixed-gear scene, she realized there was an opportunity for a new type of bike store that focuses on comfortable, relaxed riding for pleasure with an emphasis on the beautiful European city bikes that women ride in Copenhagen and other bike-centric cities.

Translating her aesthetic and design expertise into the world of bicycles, Julie brings a well-edited selection of beautiful, functional bicycles paired with lines of unique accessories in a stylish, welcoming environment.

It was particularly cool that next to our family's profile in Momentum Mag, Adeline Adeline owner Hirschfield was profiled.  I was particularly excited to learn that she, too, is a mama of twins.

We could easily spot the storefront from down the street when we spied the bakfietsen parked out front.  Because I am not a clever blogger, I, of course, did not have a camera with me so had to rely on my very unsophisticated camera phone (P and I still have 'dumb phones' as we like to say!)

It was great fun to enter this bright shop with incredible bikes and beautiful accessories, including a green Brooks saddle and Yakkay helmets.  I was excited to try out the Yakkays as I have been eyeing them online for over a year.  Much to my wallet's relief, it turned out that I didn't like how the Yakkay looked on me so will be sticking with my Bern helmets for a little while longer.

One particularly sweet moment we had the privilege of witnessing-- a family walked into the shop with a toddler and the father was talking to his wife excitedly about the bikes inside.  While they were standing right inside the shop's door, a clerk went down the stairs and up came a bike, a Linus, I think, with a BoBike Jr. mounted on the back.  Surprise! It turns out that the wife had already been to the shop and BOUGHT this bike for her husband as a surprise. It was lovely. I asked if I could take a photo as they tested out the BoBike with their little guy. Unfortunately, I managed to blur the moment:

We left the shop after lots of oogling, but I did walk away with a wonderful new find-- a gorgeous bike magazine from the UK, called Boneshaker (not to be confused with the U.S.'s  Boneshaker: A Bicycling Almanac which is fun, too!)

I enjoyed the train trip home looking at its incredible graphics and reading about cool bikey people.  I was excited to find the magazine on Facebook and now I am trying to convince my local bike shop to carry it as well. 

It was so fun to be in The City (as we like to say) sans kids, watching all the bikes on the streets.  We could not help but be very attracted to these-- a clever mix of subway grate, bike racks, and benches.

Next time, I'll have to remember my camera....

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

new facebook status update

Wondering what the bicycling equivalent of a Clown Car is-- a Buffoon Bike? Arrived at school today and unpacked one six-year-old wearing ski googles, a backpack with lunch box, a tote bag with laptop computer and lunch box, a bag of soccer gear for two nine-year-olds, and one guitar. Gotta love cargo bikes!
 ·  · 7 minutes ago

p.s. Great suggestion from "We Likes Cargo Bikes" -- Bozo Bike!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

cargo bikes in the us-- documentary trailer

Thanks to Anne over at Car Free Days for first bringing my attention to this cargo bike film trailer.

One of the cool things is that the film is not yet made.  No, this is just a teaser and you can be a part of it.  Liz Canning, an editor, documentary filmmaker, animator, and cargo-bike-loving mama of twins, is directing and orchestrating this amazingly cool crowdsourced documentary.  That means folks can submit their own videos and still photos of how cargo bikes have transformed their lives for this collaborative film project.  Check out information about (R)Evolutions Per Minute here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

fall morning commute

Welcome to October.  After a very rainy, but perfectly mild September, this morning felt like fall, real fall.  We are starting to get into a rhythm here.  After some initial excitement about riding the school bus in the morning, F has decided he much prefers to head over to school with me.  Since I am going that way too, I am very happy for the company.

So as it's shaking out, C and S hop on the bus in the morning while F and I ride together.  Then on most afternoons, F takes the school bus home while S and C stay after for their various commitments and I ride home one or both depending on the day.  Wednesday afternoons P and I have two bikes going, as he picks up F and C by bike for their music lesson.  S stays at school until I am done and then we head home on another. And this, my friends, is why we are a multiple cargo-bike-owning family!

So back to this morning's October commute.  Once F felt the chill in the air, he asked for a pair of gloves. Once he had those on, he realized that it was time for his Bern helmet with the fuzzy insert that keeps ears toasty.  And really, if one has on his gloves and winter bike helmet, isn't it necessary to wear the ski googles as well?

Hey, happy fall and winter bike commutes are all about warm fingers and ears.... and those stylish ski googles for some.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

cargo bike article in BICYCLING

I suspect anyone who is interested in the topic of family bicycling and cargo bikes may already have read this great article in Bicycling about cargo bikes called "Cargo Bikes: Coolest Bikes Ever Made?" by Tom Clines.  But if you haven't, you should go and read it now.

Oh, and while you are over there, you should definitely check out their list of 2011 Best Bike Shops.  Look who is there, right up top = our local and most favorite bike shop, The Devil's Gear here in New Haven.  A big congratulations to Matt Feiner and all our friends at The Devil's Gear!  We are lucky to have you.

And I'll leave you with the final paragraphs of this cargo bike article that you've now read:

"One Saturday, as I'm taking my boys to their soccer games, I realize that I've got the solution to the bike-vs.-family dilemma between my legs (and no, I'm not talking about a vasectomy). Rather than prying me away from my kids, this big ol' bike has brought us together.

As we ride through the packed parking lot and up to the soccer field, heads turn. Who are these people doing something so audacious as to actually arrive at an athletic event using their own muscles? Kids scamper over and demand rides (I manage to fit four on at a time), and parents gather round to see what the hell this strange machine is.

It's then that I see, in the parents' faces, what Dave Cohen calls "the politics of possibility." I could tell them all how green my bike is, how cost-effective and healthy. But in the end, what they see—and take away—is how much fun it is to carry people and things around under your own power. In the delighted faces that surround me, I can see the possibilities opening up. In practicality, it seems, there is joy."