Monday, October 26, 2009

Snaps of our Fall Bike Commute

Each time we opt to ride our bikes instead of taking the car, we are glad. There are moments of rushing around, of cold or rainy weather, or of pure exhaustion when we ask ourselves, "Should we just take the car this morning?" However, we have remained true to our commitment-- if we can ride there, we will. Really, every time I reach our destination and I hop off my bike, I find myself so glad that we arrived by pedal power.

Two weeks ago, we spent an incredible day downtown. The older boys rode their own bikes (wow!) while we loaded F's balance bike in the Xtracycle. Originally, we thought we would head to the bike path so the guys could ride there for a bit. However, we were hungry so headed downtown first to get a bite to eat. It was such a beautiful day that once we arrived downtown, we found a quiet spot on campus close to food shops where the boys could ride loops and loops around these trees and we could get lunch and picnic outside. It was so great to watch each of the guys enjoying his own bike. F's getting really adept on his balance bike. I suspect he'll be the one to learn to ride without ever using training wheels. S got really into riding that day and looped round and round, counting 112 laps when it was all over... and he still rode home.

We had a week of particularly cold weather, and I am learning about dressing myself-- and my sons-- for our fall bike commuting. Each time I read about Miss Sarah up in Canada or Dottie in Chicago, I think that I really don't have any cause to kvetch too much about riding in this Northeast weather. After complaints last year of cold ears, I did buy each of the boys new Bern helmets with fuzzy ear coverings. Warm ears make for such a happier commute.

It was great to have a really beautiful, truly autumn (not winteresque) day this past weekend. I like to call this snap of P the"Tweed Ride of One," but really, there were five of us heading off to church. He was the only one wearing tweed though.

S & C's "Spooky Suzuki" violin & guitar Halloween concert forced us to finish the boys' costumes an entire week early this year. Here they are about to climb in/on our various cargo bikes on the way to our local music school. Their bike helmets don't give you the full effect of the Pirate Monkey, Charmander (a Pokemon, who knew? not me, until this request came) & Pikachu costumes but they looked so cute anyway. Oh, and also, all three costumes have great tails....

Thank goodness Pikachu could ride on the snapdeck of the Xtracycle. I don't think his tail would fit in the bakfiets....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

When I am not riding my bike...

or parenting or working my job/earning money or doing stuff one has to do to keep one's home from falling into totally chaos and filth or reading, this is the sort of thing I do long after I should be in bed sleeping...

Inspired by They Might Be Giants' new album, Here Comes Science, I handmade three concert t-shirts for my fellas for our concert experience this afternoon down at NYU's Skirball Center. Fun, fun, fun. We all clapped our hands, stomped our feet, jumped in the air, & sang out. These guys are clever, funny, great musicians, and rockin' entertainers. P and I and all the other parents with kids our boys' ages are MOST grateful they started writing and recording kids' music.

Inspired by Meet the Elements: ""Elephants are mostly made of four elements/ And every living thing is mostly made of four elements/ Plants, bugs, birds, fish, bacteria, & man/Are mostly carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, & oxygen."
Reflecting the lyrics F's favorite song from the album-- I am a Palentologist.

The horn parts of Electric Car are truly brilliant.

Friday, October 16, 2009

And now for a musical interlude...

These guys, Nada Surf, will be playing with our family's most-listened-to group, They Might Be Giants, for a benefit in Brooklyn in the coming weeks.  I just watched this video and am giving a nod out to my husband for his former days as a bike messenger in NYC.  

I actually have a bunch of photos that I would like to put together in some sort of video/slideshow. I gave my fellows our digital camera and let them shoot away as they rode in our Bakfiets to and from school to document our family bike commuting experience.  I can't imagine our video being quite so cool this one, but stay tuned for more....

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I have much I want to post about but little time so here's a few small things that couldn't really be stand-alone posts....

Here's my Facebook status today:
Sara  thinks bike commuting with kids can be good for one's self-esteem. While riding to school today with two boys sitting on the snapdeck of the Xtracycle, a woman rolled up beside her in a fancy gold car and said, "I just have to tell you-- You are fabulous!"


Cycling downtown this afternoon, I stopped behind a public bus and got a glimpse of CT DOT's new ad campaign with a car and a bike pictured and a saying that reads: 3FT IS NOT JUST A CUSHION. IT'S THE LAW.  Too bad I didn't have a camera handy to capture the image but I will be on the look-out to do so at another time.

Here's an image from one of their past campaigns:


Yesterday, I woke up in the morning to C standing by the windows in my bedroom, looking out at the raging storm.  "I'm really sorry, Mom," he sighed, "but it's thunder and lightening and it looks like we are going to have to take the car to school today. I'm really sorry we can't ride our bike."