Friday, March 30, 2012

Cargo bikes by train

A fellow blogger recently posted about his desire to travel by train with his cargo bike and explained how the current Amtrak restrictions on weight leave many of us cargo-cyclists unable to enjoy the freedoms of train travel.  Traveling by train is a delight for so many reasons, not least of which is it's affordability and relaxation factor!  Is it possible to be stressed on a train? I think not, unless maybe Hercule Poirot is seated in the next cabin. 

Rather than sit back and complain about the current restrictions (which is all I'd done when I found out about them a few months back) this blogger wrote a letter to Amtrak in the hopes of inspiring them to make a change, even if temporary, to allow those restrictions to be lifted for a period of time.  In support of his work I went to Amtrak's Facebook page and their website and wrote short notes of support for the idea and I encourage you to do the same.

Having the tracks open for those of us on a car-less journey would give a sense of freedom usually only felt by the super fit touring cyclists, not slow poke, ex-couch potatoes with little tykes in tow.  I personally would love to visit my brother and his family in Portland- they have been so supportive of my journey and I would love to show off my bike to them.  We also have a relative in Seattle who was born a week or so before Jack, whom we've yet to meet and I would love for him and Jack to get together and enjoy some cheerios and a sippy cup while us adults catch up on the last few years. 

Here is a link to the TRANSPORTland blog,  I hope you'll "make tracks" and go there to check out the letter and lend your support!  It didn't take me much more than a few minutes.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Positively ranting- it's an art form!

It was beautiful, sunny, t-shirt weather here in S.W. Washington yesterday.  We took a ride to the playground so Jack could start working on his new found fear of slides, he did manage to make it down once with lots of persuasion. The ride was really enjoyable but I think I may have pushed my knees a little too far because last night they ached, then this morning I had to retrieve a ball from beneath the bed and my knees felt painful and weak.

Walla Walla sweet onions growing- one of the things I look forward to every year is the smell of onions that permeates the air in fall, it smells wonderful and always leaves me longing for a bag of Sour Cream and Chive potato chips.

Last night I decided to write a post on Bike Forums, this is how it went:

Hi fellow cyclists!

If you've had a rough day and if you don't want to be depressed by the likes of me then I warn you now to click the "back" button
. The truth is I'm feeling a little run down and old right now and thought I'd seek comfort by venting a little and also asking how everyone else copes with the aches and pains of cycling.

Since going car free in January it has been very slow progress. When I'm on my bike I feel like the slowest thing on the road and my pedals feel like they are barely moving. I haven't been cycling daily, maybe about 2-3 times a week...I'd like to get out daily and was thinking that might help? I ride everywhere with my toddler in tow on my cargo bike so my set up with him and the bike and his seat, plus panniers makes for 100lb of "bike" + my weight (which I just can't mention right now)...I feel like I'm barely moving. I've been experimenting with gear use and find I work better with higher RPM's and get less knee pain that way.

Prior to my life as a cyclist I was about as sedentary as a mum of a toddler can be, I keep busy- but not really the same output as cycling. There are times now where my heart feels like its going to beat out my chest.

I've signed myself up for the 30 days of biking event, and therefore have committed to getting on the bike every single day in April- which is scary for me right now.

I guess my questions would be:

Did most of you feel like this when you started but not so much now?

Or, is it going to be this tough all the way through- or at least until a major amount of weight comes off?
Do any of you take supplements for joint pain?
Do you have any words of advice or inspiration for me?

Below is a picture of my awesome bike from my little trip to the park with my family today. Thanks again for letting me vent, I write about my journey in my blog but didn't feel like doing a long blog post tonight- thanks!!!!

Very much appreciated in my time of need! 

As I expected, I received lots of truly helpful advice from people who have been where I am right now.

Most of them mentioned the same thing- seat positioning. I have played around with my seat height since I got the bike and I do actually feel like it's in a good position. I started with it rather low, purposely just so I could reach the ground with both feet while I got used to carrying Jack on the back. Since starting I've adjusted it up twice, till now my legs seem to be at the right angle.

The second thing most commonly mentioned in the replies was cadence.  In the past I admittedly was a gear cruncher- preferring to pedal less repetitions with more push behind them.  I realized rather quickly that this wasn't going to work for my knees and have now been opting for faster pedaling. As was pointed out in the comments at Bike Forums, faster repetitions stress your heart and lungs, whereas harder pedaling places more work on muscles and joints- I thought that was an excellent point for me to remember.

When I consider yesterday's ride I do remember when we left the park I cycled on the grass for about 100 feet in a hard gear and really had to power through it, I now realize this was probably a bad idea. I'm trying to include some of these more mundane details in the blog because if I do manage to inspire someone in a similar situation I would like them to be able to learn from my mistakes. 

I also hurt my hand yesterday and almost dropped the bike twice, once while mounting and once when I was attempting to dismount.  Kyle was with me and got really concerned about my abilities- offering advice I won't repeat. I hope to never let this blog become a depressing rant, but I do want to include the realistic challenges of someone in my position.

I had no intention of even including this topic in a post until this morning when I retrieved the ball that Jack had lost.  The pain reminded me to check my post at Bike Forums and the answers inspired me to go ahead and include this chapter of my journey.

My plan after careful consideration of the excellent advice given is to rest for a few days with some help from ibuprofen.  Maybe take a leisurely stroll in the field opposite our house and be content with that for a few days.  Then as I refuse to be put off from my 30 days of Biking commitment I will map out a simple, stress free route for days when I want to keep it light, and then maybe a few tougher ones for days when I'm really hoping to get some mileage in.

It would be unrealistic to not expect mishaps and bumps in the road to health and a car-free lifestyle and I refuse to let these things get me down.  I still hold fast to my aspirations of becoming a healthy role model for Jack and every day when we enjoy our morning snuggles I feel refreshed and re-inspired!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

30 Days of Biking

I got out on the road almost everyday this week as I'm trying to prepare for April. I did miss one day because of a morning snow shower and an ill timed nap on Jack's part.  But when we did get to ride it was lovely weather and we enjoyed ourselves. 

We went to the grocery store yesterday, where the Yuba had some company while it waited for us.  I didn't plan on getting much, just some fruit and a drink, but we ended up getting donuts too.  Jack loves the little grocery carts as he always likes to be helpful, I think it's pretty adorable, but we get mixed reviews from our fellow shoppers, some of whom seem to have forgotten the pleasures of being in the moment.

Afterwards we went to the playground where Jack had a fun time running around, met some new friends and tired himself out. It really was lovely weather, hard to believe it was snowing just the day before!  When I look at the picture below I find myself smiling. This bike really has changed my life and we are still very much at the beginning of our journey.

With the 30 days of Biking  just around the corner I'm glad the weather is looking a little nicer, honestly I don't mind the rain because I now know the weather protector works really well, but I don't like the wind when its head on, as it makes it hard for me to get forward momentum.

When we left the park I headed over to Kyle's work as I hoped we would be able to meet him, he had already left and so we headed home.  As we crossed an intersection I saw a bike towing a kids trailer in front of us, they were about 2 city blocks ahead and seemed to be enjoying a slow ride.  My competitive nature got the better of me and I decided to catch up with them, which I'm pleased to report I was able to do in no time at all.  That marks the first time I've passed anything on my bike, so I guess that's progress! I think cycling everyday in April will be a really positive experience, not only will it help speed up my progress but it will help me get in the habit of daily cycling, which is my ultimate goal. If you want to register to join Jack and I in cycling everyday this April CLICK HERE!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rainy Day Cheer

Today was one of those drab, cold and miserable days that chill you to the bone. The kind of day that would usually make one want to grab a bowl of hot soup and a good book and never leave the easy chair.  It is said that "Mad Dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun", well apparently Englishwomen and their Offspring prefer the rainy days, but the little one still managed a Siesta anyway! He made it look rather enjoyable too.

I didn't realize he'd nodded off until we were chased by a barking dog and no squeals of joy came from the back seat (I wasn't squealing for joy), but we survived and made it home after a relatively short and otherwise enjoyable ride. Jack remained snug and dry wrapped in a wool blanket and shielded by his rain cover.


Amazingly enough I managed to get him in the house without waking him and he is still enjoying his nap while I sit here enjoying the silence and a hot cup of tea. I didn't have a "bike in the kitchen" picture so I thought I'd share a picture of my teapot with the ominous sky behind it!

I have decided to try to collect a few bikes so I can share my adventures with friends and their kids.  I thought this would not only hopefully make some new converts for the world of cycling but also provide me with company occasionally- so really a win-win for everyone!  I'm having trouble finding cheap bikes but I did manage to score a nice little rear mount child's bike seat for $5, so that will come in handy. I think I will rename my utility room the "Utility-Bike Room" as it is home to the Mundo and the Trek, plus our bike trailer, panniers, plastic crates and now another child's seat.

I honestly did not feel like going out today, but I feel very refreshed and accomplished now that I made the effort. The 30 days of Biking is just around the corner so I'm trying to get out everyday this week to prepare myself. I told my brother that I intended to cycle everyday in April and he laughed and said "I suppose you've already blurted it out on your blog too?" I said "Yes, of course, otherwise I'd never do it!"

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Kyle's new transportation

We sold our gas hog SUV about a month ago now, then we got Kyle a bike for commuting, but we still needed a vehicle replacement that would be suitable for work on the days when he has to cover a lot of ground. There are times when Kyle has to get out of the office and visit local businesses all over the valley, we needed his vehicle to be as economical as possible.  We came up with the idea of a moped and found quite a few on Craigslist, obviously we didn't have a way of picking one up other than by bicycle so I tried to keep my search local. When that didn't come up with anything we could afford we searched surrounding areas and found a nice scooter that was relatively close but too far for us to cycle (60 miles). After emailing back and forth a few times the sellers were nice enough to deliver it for us for a little extra charge, so yesterday Kyle got his new wheels!

We picked this scooter up for about the same cost as my Yuba Mundo (it's about the same length too). It has a one gallon tank and gets 80-90 miles to the gallon, and with gas prices going up this will be a nice savings. Kyle has a friend who has a scooter too so he invited him over and they both went for a rural drive, Kyle was able to get some pointers and practice in before Monday when he returns to work.

The people that sold it to us were a very nice family and even threw in a helmet for Kyle, interestingly they we're selling it to buy a bicycle, so that was pretty cool!

Kyle is really happy with his scooter and I think he'll like it even more when summer rolls around.  Compared to last year when we both drove the SUV we are probably saving about $120-$140 in gasoline (petrol) plus another $60 a month in insurance. So that's  total of $180-$200 a month which does not include oil changes and maintenance, and trust me that vehicle was a constant source of headaches.  The scooter in comparison is only a few years old and has less than 900 miles on it, has two locking storage areas and I have to repeat- gets 80-90 miles to the gallon!

It didn't feel right to have a post without a picture of a "real" bicycle, so here's an update on Jack's little one. I peeled off most of the stickers and removed the plastic shroud, today I intend on delivering it to some friends from my local bike group who will be chopping the seat post off and putting the clamp below the top tube, rather than above it.  This will give me about a 4.5" drop which should make it about perfect for Jack's little legs. Having the bike unfinished in the spare room has been a source of tension because Jack can't get it off his mind and keeps taking me by the hand and leading me to the door of the spare room where he say's "door" and motions for me to open it. As he can't ride it yet I have to say "no" and he immediately throws himself sobbing to the ground!  Poor little guy, I feel so bad.  His birthday is just a month away now but the "terrible twos" arrived early!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The kindness of strangers

Reprinted here is a message I received this morning, from a member of my local bike group The Bad Ass Bicycle Ride(rs).  I asked Layne if I could share it on my blog to not only highlight his experiences but also the kindness that can be found within the bicycle community.  Enjoy!

Hello and greetings from a fellow BABRer.

I just finished reading your latest blog post and I wanted to take a minute and encourage you as you continue your journey of making your bicycle your primary means of transportation.

About 3 years ago, as I drove home from work my car stopped running. Just stopped. I pushed it to the curb, and called my wife who came and used our other car to push it home.

I know nothing about cars, but I new that I needed to get to work the next day and that my wife needed our working car. So the next morning I became a bicycle commuter. I was out of shape and my work is just under 3 1/2 miles from our house and my shift began at 545am.

It was September, and I had no idea what was wrong with the car. So the next morning I woke up, and bicycled to work.

We did not have a lot of disposable income to pour into fixing the broken car. So I continued bicycling to work. At the time my wife and I worked out a deal where I bicycled 3 to 4 days out of the week, and I used our lone car the other two days.

And Winter approached I wondered how I would get to work. I explored how long it would take me to walk to work. I also went online looking at groups in the Midwest who bicycle all year 'round. These website were helpful, and one person even wrote me back personally and was very helpful in the advice she gave. So I entered Winter as a bicyclist.

And I made it through my first Winter.

As time went on I began biking 5 days a week. It got easier, I felt healthier. --And the broken car sat. I used it as a greenhouse of sorts to try and start plants for my garden. I also used it to dry basil from my garden.

Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Spring. Summer. Fall. Winter. Spring. Summer. And then my Mom, who lives in Southern California, called saying she bought a new car and asked if I wanted her old one. So August of last year my son and I flew to Long Beach and picked up the car.

My only regret in getting the car is that I no longer bicycle commute. I know, I know... I could-- oh, but it makes life so much easier (i.e. lazier.)

I never did get the broken car fixed; I ended up giving it to a friend who had a need for it--and new how to fix cars.

Actually I hope to return to the bicycle commute this Spring--I felt better when I was bicycling and loved being on it.

My time as a daily bicycle commuter I discovered some things:
-Our weather is not as extreme as some people like to think it is.
-Riding in snow is FUN! It makes me feel like a little kid again.
-I can push myself through life obstacles.
-You see things on a bicycle that you miss while driving a car.
-Bicycling isn't really that inconvenient, it just makes you move a little slower... and that is not such a bad thing.
-I can get to work just as face on a bicycle as I can driving a car. Even faster, if I have to scrape windows.
-The bicycle community is diverse and there are so many fun facets to it.

Have fun. You are doing great. And yes, there will still be days where it feels miserable... But don't give up, it gets easier. And you will probably find that on those occasions where you do not bicycle that you miss it.

And as you bicycle commute you will find that there are others getting around that way too, and there is a sense of camaraderie as you wave at each other.

-Layne Schroeder

What can I say?  The bicycle community is in general just a superior bunch of people and the community that we all need can be found within it. I feel encouraged and renewed by the spirit of people that reach out to me.

Thank you! 

Friday, March 16, 2012

Racing Heart, Slow Bike

Jack took a later than usual nap today, so I decided to get him up and out for a bike ride as soon as he awoke.  We didn't have any particular plan other than to spend some time exploring the neighborhood and hopefully meander towards Kyle's work at around the same time he was leaving.

The whole ride became a series of ups and downs for me emotionally. I found myself out of breath and seemed to be moving at a painfully slow pace, the bike felt heavy and every road felt like an incline, with my heart seemingly pounding in my chest I felt really miserable. After a few blocks I decided to cut through the school grounds and found myself distracted from my worries and aches by the beautiful trees and manicured grounds.

About then it was time for us to head over to Kyle's work but that took no time at all and so we recited the alphabet and cycled around the parking lot a few dozen times. It was during one of these laps that a car pulled in and the driver called out "Are you Lindsay and Jack?", which was a little shocking! It turned out to be a member of a local bike group I had been chatting with via Facebook. It was very encouraging to meet another cyclist, especially a friendly one with a child.

Kyle emerged from work with his bicycle and as it was such a nice evening we decided to visit our new pizzeria and get a cold drink. I took some pictures, mainly because I wanted to show off Jack's splendid new cycling socks!

Today's whole trip amounted to just under 4 miles and was ridden at a crawl. I'm exhausted. I'm not really sure why, it has certainly been a rough week for sleep and I've been taking Benadryl all week so that's probably not helping.  If at some point I thought this was going to be an easy challenge then this very simple and short ride firmly removed that idea from my mind.

I love this picture so I had to include it in the blog even if the little guy has a dirty face. I've started preparing for his second birthday, stripping down his bicycle so I can turn it into a balance bike.  Also I've got to find some little knee pads and elbow pads so he doesn't get any major bruises when he's learning to ride.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day as if all goes to plan we will be buying a moped for Kyle to jet about on. He will still ride the bike 3-4 days out of the work week and use the moped for the other 1-2 days.

As April approaches I find myself painted into yet another corner with my dedication to the 30 days of Biking. I'm hoping daily rides bring about better endurance, less pain and quicker progress.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Car-free for now & another bike in the kitchen!

So Kyle and I have our two bikes now and the little guy gets to pet them and tell them how much he loves them (yes he actually does both of those things daily), but honestly it seemed like something was possibly missing in his life...

Yep, another bike in the kitchen!

Jack couldn't be happier in this picture but as his precarious sitting position demanded constant supervision it wasn't long before I had to separate him from his beloved blue bike...that wasn't pretty.  We picked up this little bike from a local lady for free and I intend on attempting to convert it into a balance bike.  It also needs some repairs to the chain so that should be a good little project for me. I'm so happy for Jack, he's going to love venturing around the field opposite our house on his little bike.

It seems odd to me, but I do believe I forgot to mention that we have been car free for 2 weeks now.  Kyle's been commuting to work and even did all his local business calls on his bike.  The weather has been pretty miserable and I'm not convinced he's enjoying it, but he isn't complaining.  However, we can't remain completely vehicle free and are at this moment shopping for a moped for Kyle, as he needs to be able to get to all his businesses in the surrounding areas a few days a week.  Our last vehicle got about 10 miles to the gallon!  I think we should be able to blow that out of the water with a used moped.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

10 mile ride on the Yuba Mundo

Today was a good day, a very good day. When I started this journey back in January, one of the goals I set for myself was to be able to cycle to the Farmer's Market in downtown Walla Walla by opening week in May. This picture below was taken today during our 10 mile ride (the longest to date) at the parking lot where they hold the market! I'm so very, very excited to have made such quick progress, it is really hard work and my whole body aches, but so very rewarding!

After a few celebratory laps of the Farmer's Market parking lot we decided that if we'd come this far we should probably suck it up and go the extra mile or so to visit my Mum, as another goal was to be able to go see her when I want to.  Before I gave up the gasoline I used to see her at minimum once a week and take her shopping so I really need to get to the point where I can visit her often. It's important to me that Jack gets to see his Nanny too as he loves her so much!

We couldn't possibly cycle to downtown without checking out the thrift stores but Jack decided to take a nap so I waited outside while Kyle had a browse.  Kipper the little dog kept us company but he was pretty focused on his missing parent. Last time Jack fell asleep in his Peanut Shell his head was wobbling around quite a bit, so today I bought a scarf to loosely support his little neck, it worked pretty good.

This magnificent creature passed on the street whilst we were waiting for Kyle.  I'm generally opposed to those emaciated carriage horses in big cities, but this handsome boy is very well cared for and loved. 

After visiting Mum and the thrift store we headed down Main Street to grab a coffee.  I've never been a fan of cycling behind the parked cars on Main St so we stuck to the super wide and empty sidewalks.

Once we got to the center of downtown Jack got out of the Peanut Shell to stretch his legs, get a diaper change and nibble some snacks.  I don't mind him drinking behind me but I worry about snacking on the go as he might choke, he's still at the stage of stuffing his mouth to capacity until he can't even close it!

Overall it was a really great day and I feel so accomplished.  My awesome family have been really supportive, both Kyle and my Mum made a point of telling me they were proud of me today, which I thought was really nice. When I first got home I was so sore I just sat on the sofa instantly and Jack gave me a huge cuddle which gave me another opportunity to marvel over how much I love him and to realize again that every little ache is so worth it.

A Lovely Day

Friday was a really beautiful day here in S.W. Washington.  The perfect day for a bike ride, but alas I still had the flat tire from Sunday's ride so I really didn't think I was going to get to enjoy it from the Yuba.  Luckily I have good friends and one of them was nice enough to haul my bike to the local bike shop and wait while we got it fixed. I decided to get slime tubes and liners for both wheels which my bike shop offers for $59 with the guarantee of free flat repair for the next year should you get a puncture.  They were also nice enough to let me pay my bill later in the month, having a one income household this was really helpful!

My local buses have bike racks but they won't fit the Yuba so having a friend with a huge truck saved the day, but this by no means fits the "self-sufficient" lifestyle I was hoping for.  Many comments have insisted that I should learn to fix a flat, which I can do already with no issue- it's that rear wheel that gets me! The mundo is so heavy and over-sized that I'm not ready to take on that challenge on my own, I prefer the security of knowing it's done right especially as it carries the most precious of cargo! I still need to pick up a pump and repair kit but even that is out of the budget for a few weeks yet so I shall visit the gas station to get tires aired every few trips.

Later in the day Kyle and I were both sprawled on a sofa whilst discussing that we really should go for a ride when I checked the weather forecast and noticed that rain was in the immediate future, so that settled the matter.

It really was superior weather so we went a rural route and then wound back through the quiet neighborhoods making our total trip just over 7 miles! I was amazed at how easy the 7 miles were and as this wasn't a destination trip we really didn't stop the entire time, except to chat with a few friends and to get a sip of water from the Go-Getters.

Jack loved the trip out though the fields where we saw all the farm animals he's learning about including sheep, cows, goats, horses and lots of geese. He also let out a few squeals of delight when we hit a bit of washboard road, which made me a very happy mum.  I just love the fact that when my legs are tired my source of inspiration is literally right there behind me, encouraging me the whole time. I wholeheartedly encourage any parent to opt for the cargo bike over the trailer as being able to chat and point out little things along the way is what makes it so much more enjoyable and so much less like exercise.

Jack's sunshade came in handy!
Kyle snapped a few pics but then, in his own words, "got too caught up in enjoying the ride".

Monday, March 5, 2012

Rear Flat on the Mundo

On Sunday we decided to hitch the trailer to Kyle's bike, pack some water and snacks and head off to the grocery store which would make a 6.7 mile trip on what was one of the loveliest day's we've seen yet this year.  With the exception of about 5 blocks our whole trip there was on a cycle path with gently rolling hills which made it really nice.  We stopped halfway for a rest and Jack got to play and run for a bit, it really seems unfair that the person with all the energy is the one that gets to just sit there.

When we were about 2 blocks from our destination I noticed the bike was incredibly hard to cycle, at first I thought I was just really tired and therefore it felt harder to cycle; alas I had a rear flat tire.  A rear flat is notoriously hard to repair on the Mundo and has been one of my greatest fears since purchasing the bike. We walked to a gas station to put some air in tire on the off chance it was a very slow leak, but it had deflated before I'd cycled a block.  So we walked back to the store, got some groceries and a can of fix a flat and decided if it got us home then it was totally worth destroying the tube for. Well it didn't make it back, it made it about two-thirds of the way home, so we had to walk a few miles.  I've always thought the Yuba is not easy to push, but it was especially awkward and heavy with a sleeping baby and a completely flat tire. 

The bike shop is clear the other side of town so my riding days may be numbered until I can get a ride from someone to have slimed tubes put in and some of those thorn proof liners and possibly upgrade the tires.  I really would like to have a good grumble about the costs and annoyance factor of not being able to ride- but I'm trying to remain positive. Interestingly enough the bike community in general seems to not carry repair kits, pumps or smiles in this area, we found very few friendly faces and even when we were obviously having mechanical issues no one glanced in our direction which was a bit of a let down. I know as drivers there was no way we'd pass up helping a family (especially with a small child) who we're in a fix.

 So to end positively- look at that lovely weather we enjoyed, it was gorgeous and Jack had a lovely nap on the walking part of the trip. We made it home relatively easily and enjoyed a cheesy pizza and an ice cold beer as a reward for our troubles!

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Yuba Mundo at the park

My busiest cycling day so far- two trips by bike! Early in the day I went to the little community market to grab a loaf of bread (2.7 miles) and was amazed as I managed to take a few little hills despite the fact that it was really windy today.  At one point I thought it was going to stop me in my tracks!

When I got home I thought it was too nice of a day to let slip by and decided to take Jack to the park (he had napped at home during my earlier trip).  During this trip the sun had finally broken out and we had a lovely time at the park (2.2 miles).

The Yuba got plenty of looks at the park and I overheard a few "check out that bike" comments.  Jack met a little friend who kept him busy with his football.  I was happy he kept his cycling hat on (took the helmet off) to keep his ears warm because the wind didn't abate all day.  On the way home I had the sun in my eyes and the wind in my face which made for a uncomfortable ride.  Jack didn't want to leave the park and was fussy most of the way home, but I managed to distract him by pointing out cats and dogs, luckily I was going so slow with the wind in my face that he had plenty of time to spot the animals!

Today my trip total was just under 5 miles combined, which is a record breaker for me! The Walla Walla Farmer's Market is about an 8 mile round trip, one of my goals for the year is to be able to bicycle there by opening week in May.  So today was a good start towards that goal and I feel really pleased with the progress. Tomorrow I plan to get out again at least once and hopefully if Kyle is feeling better he can join in the fun.  This month is our car free month so I think a grocery haul is in the present future.

The Cargo Bike Documentary and more

Many of you may already have heard about the Cargo Bike Documentary that Liz Canning is creating, but for those of you who haven't please check out her wonderful site HERE, be prepared for inspiration! I have watched the trailer for her crowd sourced documentary so many times I've lost count and every single time I find myself rejuvenated; not only by the thought of bicycles as a means of transportation in general, but also by the idea of the quality of life gained by using them for the rider, their offspring and even the community.

Another project that I just had to get involved with is the 30 Days of Biking, follow the link HERE to join in a global commitment to ride every day in April! I'm super nervous about this, but hopefully longer days will bring about more opportunity to ride!

So far, my way of dealing with the hardships of my ill prepared adventure has been avoiding the days when the weather has been awful, add to that the many colds and lingering bugs that we have picked up this spring and the short days and you end up with very few trips by bike. Groceries have been restocked by me hitching rides with friends on their trips to the store and getting the odd delivery dinner here and there- but that was hardly the idea of this commitment. The idea was to improve my activity level not turn me into a hermit, as someone with social anxiety the last thing I need is another reason to be a recluse! So that being said, I'm very happy to have joined the 30 Days of Biking!  Kyle looked worried when I mentioned cycling every single day for a month, but as I explained to him; if I managed to meet the challenge by only 75% that would still be more cycling than I've done in the last 5 years- always helps to add some prospective.

This morning I have a sick husband (the flu! oh glee!) and a toddler with a slight fever.  I have a pain in the neck...well I have a few, but this one is literal. I have a hot compress on it because it will not keep me from my bike today, I fully intend on having at a minimum 2 bicycle rides this weekend.  Now the baby weather protection pod is in place I do believe my obstacle well has finally dried up and it's simply time to bicycle!