Friday, July 24, 2009

Two Birthday Boys in a Box

We even decorated the cargo box to celebrate. Any hint how old they are?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lookin' Good

We've made a few changes and added a couple of snazzy accessories to the Xtracycle Radish and bakfiets. Since our brand-new derailleur on the xtra is well-covered up by the FreeRadical (and what a difference this derailleur makes!), no photos of that. I present to you instead:

A comfy Brooks saddle on the xtra
Some fun valve covers that I got for a birthday gift

Friday, July 17, 2009

The Opposite of Bike Love

Who: Biking with husband-- Kids-Free!

Where: Well-traveled road in town just north of New Haven on our way to our favorite local toy store (looking for gifts for our soon-to-be seven-year-olds)

When: Mid-morning, hot summer day

What: An Audi convertible with top down with three young guys, likely driving mom's/ dad's car. A sneering shout, "GET OFF THE ROAD. GET ON THE SIDEWALK!"

Why: Showing off for friends? Annoyed that they might have to get over a bit in the lane while rushing up to a red light? Just general ass-hats who like yelling at strangers?

Bike indifference is one thing. Why full-out bike antagonism?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bike Firsts...

Friday marked my first wipe-out since I've been back on a bike. The ridiculous thing was that I wasn't even doing my typical city street cycling, but had taken the day off from work and took a lovely, long ride with my husband along a bike path. The boys were in camp so we got a few wonderful hours together, enjoying a lazy ride, not worrying about cars whizzing by. Of course, I am glad I wasn't carrying any of my fellas on the back of the xtra when I took the digger. I got distracted by a water rest stop someone had kindly set up for dogs when I clipped P's back wheel with my front wheel-- giving him some nice tire burn along his left calf and sending me totally sprawling. After a few minutes of sitting along the edge of the path, I managed to get back on the saddle and off we rode. I did, of course, want to document some of my war wounds before getting in the shower to wash off the bike path dust.
Later that afternoon, the UPS guy came by with a big package-- F's first two wheeler, a great balance bike I managed to get a very good deal on. He was excited to try it out and jumped right on, trying to push himself along and balance while remaining seated.

We realized that the seat was a bit low so P set about adjusting it, finding the perfect work space-- the box of the bakfiets.
The higher seat fit him better...
and he was excited to pose with his bike, his dad, and the bakfiets.

And then off he rode down the block.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Does someone in New Haven's Dept. of Traffic & Parking Have a Sense of Humor?

I am always impressed with those bloggers who seem to carry their cameras around, snapping photos of cool bikes and cyclists they encounter along their way. I am not one of these people; I'm lucky to remember my keys daily, forget a 'real' camera as well. So when I come upon a scene I so wish I could document, sometimes I just need to pull out my cheapy mobile phone and capture the image, however fuzzy and grainy it may be!

Today I came upon such a scene....

First, a wee bit on introduction. Up until this spring, New Haven had regularly scheduled street-sweeping. Posted along blocks were permanent signs letting folks know that in certain months, there would be no parking on this side of the street on this particular block 'each alternate Wednesday' or whatever the case may be, and it changes from block to block so one constantly needs to checks signs and dates. The city was always suddenly incredibly efficient on these street-sweeping days-- you would see a police car with a line of tow trucks behind it making loops around neighborhoods, ready to tow away any errant parker. It is difficult to meet a car-owning Elm City resident who hadn't gotten towed one time or another since the street-sweeping days can easily sneak up on you.

However, hit by a winter filled with snow that cost the city a lot to plow, the street sweeping signs this spring suddenly disappeared, in what I can only assume a cost-saving move for the Department of Traffic and Parking or the DOT or whichever city agency is in charge of maintaining our streets. Instead of twice monthly, regularly scheduled street sweeping, these temporary "No Parking" cardboard signs announcing sweeping tomorrow will appear randomly (or at least randomly in my mind) taped to trees and sign poles. As a cyclist, one big bummer of the cutback in street sweeping is the huge amounts of broken glass I am constantly dodging while riding throughout the city-- piles of green, white, and red shards waiting to puncture my tires, remaining for days, weeks, months (?)... I do wonder, too, about the employee whose job it is to drive around neighborhoods hanging signs and just what his/her wage may be for this act.

So today, while riding home from work, I passed this and had to turn around to get a fuzzy snap with my non-fancy camera phone:

So does someone in New Haven's Department of Traffic and Parking have a sense of humor? Is s/he a bike lover or hater? Or was someone trying to send the message that it is time to get rid of your car, get yourself a bike, and forever free you from worrying about which side of the street you park on?

Check out, too, this post by Let's Go Ride a Bike discussing women and bikes. You may recognize a comment by a certain bakfiets-riding mama.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bike Love T-Shirts

I am a big fan of Etsy. For the past three years, I have bought the majority of my gifts on this site. I like supporting artisans and crafters doing their things and I enjoy being able to purchase unique items for my family and friends.   Recently I discovered these great bike-themed t-shirts and I asked Kate from lofty mornings if I might post them to this blog.  

Here are some of Kate's designs:

The shirts are organic cotton, super soft, and come in a variety of colors.  And I like that Kate's a bike commuter as well. 

Today I am wearing my new 'ride there' shirt and as I was shuttling two of my fellows to camp on the xtracycle Radish, C and S had a great time reading the back of the shirt and calling out all the places where one can ride her/his bike.  It made me particularly pleased when they got excited by the 'farmer's market' shout-out since this has become our Saturday morning ritual, riding over to Wooster Square to peruse the veggies, organic meats, breads, cheese, etc.  Many Saturdays, the guys have been somewhat grumbly about heading out to the farmer's market so their gleeful shouts this morning during the camp commute made me quite happy.  

Ahhhh, I feel the bikey love and am now wearing it proudly.  And plus, my new bright pink "peace, love & bike" shirt goes beautifully well with my new bright pink hair highlights.  Turning 40 is fun!