Monday, February 27, 2012

My Yuba Mundo Peanut Shell Rain/Sun Cover is done!

Look to the right of the screen, under "Pages" and you will see my new simple tutorial for the "D.I.Y. Child's Bike Seat Weather Protector".  I really hope many people find this useful.  Remember, the Yuba Mundo can carry two Peanut Shells, so you can carry two little ones in comfort like this!

What blog entry would be complete without a picture of my Mundo in the Kitchen!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Peanut Seat on the way!

Last week I met someone looking to sell a used Peanut Shell, this was very exciting news as it meant I could save some money and get Jack's seat a little sooner than expected.  The Peanut Shell is Yuba's seat made especially for little passengers (up to 48lb). 

Unlike my crate seat (which is still a practical option on a budget) the Peanut Shell offers more shoulder and head and leg protection. This is obviously important and will do a lot to ease my mind and aid my confidence.

Notice how the leg rests have straps to keep little legs from getting squished should you topple over.

I purchased my Peanut Shell from a fellow bike enthusiast and was so happy to see how he delivered it to Fed-Ex!

The package on the back deck is going to be here by Friday hopefully!  Jack's nose is officially drip free as of today and the cough is gone, so weather permitting we shall be going on a ride this weekend!

If you look closely at the picture above you will notice that this particular Yuba Mundo has a few additions that my bike doesn't (yet!), turns out this cool bike has been complimented by an electric drive that it's very smart owner designed and built! Seeing as I'm not very technical I thought it best to give you a link to his website so any interested persons can check it out!

On a completely different note, Kyle took off this morning for work on his new bike! It was really fun to see him zipping off to work! He should be home soon from lunch and I can't wait to hear how his first trip went.  Luckily there is plenty of room for him to park his bike inside the bank so it will stay dry and safe. Although my utility/laundry room is getting a little cramped with 2 bicycles and a trailer!

Monday, February 20, 2012

A Trek joins the team!

We went to the local bike store on Saturday to make the final payment on the Yuba and to browse bikes for the Husband.  I kept Jack busy by showing him the trikes and scooters, he had an awesome time trying out some pint sized versions and attempted to scale every bike in sight whilst repeating the word of the day- "bike" over and over like only a toddler can.

 It wasn't long before Kyle had found one he liked, that fitted him and the budget of $400.  It was really nice to see him so excited about the bike, I feel like we are now one step closer to achieving a healthier lifestyle. It also makes me so incredibly happy that Jack is so excited about bikes, I feel like if this year does nothing but instill a lifetime love of bicycles in Jack then it will have been a huge success.

Kyle picked out a Trek 3500, I knew he'd found "his" bike when he said it made him just want to keep going when on his test ride, that is exactly what I thought on my Yuba Mundo test ride. We picked out some fenders for it as he will be using it for work and picked up a second bike lock too. The fenders really made the bike look complete and at around $40 they were a solid investment for someone who works at a bank!
I asked Kyle to snap a picture of his bike for the blog and this is what I got- another bike in the kitchen picture!  These Bontrager tires are far less knobbly than the other mountain bike tires we saw so Kyle decided to keep them and just upgrade later. Having a second bike will be useful in many ways because I can ride it and tow Jack in the trailer if we have another snow storm.
Kyle figures he can ride to work and back twice a day (he comes home for lunch) for 3 out of the 5 work days. On the other two days he has to make business calls all over town so a vehicle will be necessary for now.  We predict that we will save about $25 in gas a week, so in approximately 3.5 months this bike will be earning it's keep, but I suspect that Kyle will feel the benefits of riding it a lot sooner than that. His job can be really stressful and having a little time to unwind on his way home will be really good for him and I'm sure Jack will be squealing with delight when he gets to see Daddy coming home on a bike!


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

A second bike and some sun on the way!

Does it seem like I've been sick for a really long time?  It might be because I'm surrounded by snotty nosed little kids with limited hygiene skills, it might also be because I haven't got a decent nights sleep in a very long time.  All I seemed to do last week was chase Jack and his pals around, wipe butts and snouts and drink enormous amounts of tea (I actually LOVE my job). Did you notice I didn't mention a bike ride? That's because until yesterday I'd only managed to look at it in passing, whilst carrying enormous amounts of laundry to and fro.
All that changed when I woke up to sun rays filtering through the bedroom blinds and noticed Jack was just a little more chipper and smiley than he has been.  At long last I believe we're all on the mend and to top it off, apparently there is more sunshine in the forecast! I'm hesitant to say we're 100% in the clear as Jack is still needier than normal and my body aches all over.
I managed to get the bike out on Sunday and once again fell in love with it. The air was fresh and warm, the sun was shining and it just felt so good to get away from the house for the first time in ages.  I cruised around a few neighborhood streets and some of the college campus pathways before heading home, it wasn't a very long ride but it certainly reminded me of my priorities. I felt out of breath after just a short time and my head got stuffy, the bike felt heavy, it was eye opening. I really need to find a way to get out more with Jack and have to hatch a plan to make his travels warmer and less weather restrictive.  The trailer is obviously warmer, but it adds so much drag that my unfit body can barely move it down the road.  I should be able to purchase a peanut seat for the Mundo this weekend which will at least make me feel more confident cycling- Jack's lack of support and protection in the crate seat has been a stress for me.  After I've got the peanut seat (which I'm buying used so that will save some dough!) I still need to get the double kickstand and figure out some kind of wind protection...I keep thinking that by the time I have all the little problems ironed out Spring will be here and I will have lost a good 3 months cycling time.
My husband has decided he too needs a bike which is really good news, I think he wants just a regular style mountain bike with street tires and a hitch for the trailer.  We're hoping to take a camping trip sometime in the year on our bikes and I think the thought of that has really gotten him excited about getting a bike.  We're selling our vehicle and using the money to buy his bike and a cheaper old truck which he plans to use when he has to go on business runs about twice a week, the rest of the time he's committed to cycling to and from work.  
Yesterday my mum came to visit and after spending some time making paper airplanes with Jack she asked if she could see my bike again and told me that if it was hers she would want to keep looking at it all the time!  I thought that was so sweet, I love the way my mum always believes in me no matter what I set out to do. She is planning on moving home to the UK later in the year and the reality of her moving is really starting to hit me, I'm dreading losing our daily conversations and not getting to see her once a week. But mostly I'm so sad that her and Jack won't get to see each other as often. Not a day passes that he doesn't shove the phone in my hand whilst repeating "Nanny" in rapid fire until he hears her answer on the other end. Anyway, I can't dwell on these sad things and will instead go make another cuppa tea and hope these body aches disappear soon because I'm fed up with just looking at my bike, I want to go for a ride!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A trip to the grocer's

Today I loaded my bike up for the first time at the local grocery store. When I moved it off the kickstand I was completely unprepared for the weight shift and almost dropped it as the front wheel shot off to the right and the handle bars dived for the ground. Immediately I felt completely incapable of riding it home and was sure I would eat dirt before the trip was done. I decided to push the bike to the sidewalk and distance myself from the people going in and out of the store (didn't need spectators seeing me make an idiot of myself), so I got to the sidewalk and I'm standing there wrestling with the bike when a bus decides to stop and pick me up and I'm not even at the bus stop! He realizes his mistake and continues to the end of the block where a guy is patiently waiting for him. I venture a leg over the bike and take off down the sidewalk, hoping the bus will take off so I can stealthily slip onto the road and get home before eating dirt.  Alas the bus driver decides to wait and watch me as I cycle by, possibly he wants another look at "that cool orange bike", but most likely he was hoping I was going to give him some morning entertainment by falling on my arse!  Luckily I made it along the sidewalk, slipped onto the road, nipped down a side street and with amazing gracefulness I road home with no wobbling at all!

 I attempted to balance the load by stuffing the smaller pannier on the left with really heavy items like milk, laundry detergent, a large jar of sauerkraut, two packages of tofu and a can of baked beans. I filled Jack's seat with easily crushed items like bread, tortillas, eggs and toilet paper. The large Go-Getter got stuffed with all the rest, including fruits, veggies, cereal, cookies, tea, coffee and butter.

I realized today that I might be one of the only long tail bike owners who does not own a single bungee cord, so I shall remedy that as soon as possible. I think a bucket attached with a bungee behind the smaller pannier would be really useful. This trip did a lot to boost my confidence with the bike and it felt really good to know I'd eliminated the need to use our vehicle.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

The week has flown by...

Sleepless nights and busy days blur together when you are caring for a sick toddler and fighting off an unknown allergen.  After two serious  bouts of hives and swelling around my face this week, I have almost certainly determined that I have a pretty severe peanut allergy!  Having eaten peanuts all my life I'm so shocked by this, but also relieved to know I might finally know what has been ailing me for the past 6 months.  It started as minor reactions with patchy hives here and there and has slowly increased in severity until two nights ago I thought a trip to ER was in order until finally the antihistamine kicked in not a moment too soon.  There is nothing quite as scary as feeling your throat swell up, I knew that staying calm would be my best bet and luckily it started to get better right before panic was about to set in.
Poor Jack has been running a fever on and off, drooling like a Saint Bernard and has been permanently attached to my hip while constantly whining, a side to him I've never really seen before as until now he has always been cheerful even when sick.  I'm sure that this is a testament to just how bed he's feeling. Overall it has been one of those weeks where you question your parental skills and wonder if you have anything else to give when you desperately need a little care yourself and also feel so inadequate when nothing you do seems to make your child feel better.
I have spent the morning working on a balaclava for Jack and trying to figure out layering options that will keep him warm without restricting him too much. His bike helmet isn't really big enough to fit a thick hat under so I managed to get a thinner adult size beanie and cut an eye slot in it.  It probably won't last long without hemming but I'm not in the mood for sewing.  The sun is out right now and I really want to go for a ride but a few appointments here at home keep me indoors for the time being, providing the day goes as planned and Jack continues to show improvement I'm pretty sure I will be able to do my first grocery buying shopping trip tomorrow on the bike. It's about time I put the Go-Getter into action!