Friday, March 30, 2012

Stick a fork in me

I’m done.

Today’s ride was brutal. I am not really sure why but my legs just weren’t on board with the whole “let’s ride the bike” thing. We had to get off and walk up “hills” (we don’t have real hills in Sacramento- these were closer to really big bumps) and I’ve never had to do that before. Weak! It might be all the boot-camp, running, and swimming at the gym, the VERY full cargo bags, and/or the fairly stiff headwind we had during the ride out. It also could have been the exceptionally wiggly kids. Some snippets from today’s ride: “Get your hands out from under my butt!” Said after Schroeder had wedged his hands between my rear-end and the bike seat. “Get your hands out from under my shirt!” Again Schroeder, but this time his hands were up the back of my shirt because “they chilly”. “Quit jumping around Linus!” This came after Charlie (on his own bike) had gotten close enough to tickle/flick/throw something. Usually I am able to ride fast enough to ensure that he is far enough behind me as to be out of arm’s reach. On top of all this I got sunburned. So yes, today’s ride was difficult.

It’s another beautiful day here (minus the wind) so I thought I’d pick Schroeder up at preschool and then take the kids down to Old Sacramento. I needed to get the bike tuned up a bit – the shifting has been a bit rough – so we stopped at Practical Cycle. We left the bikes there for Tim and Cassidy to work their magic and went to 10/22 for lunch. We’ve never been before but I’ve heard it is kid friendly. That’s a good thing because I’ve got some kids. They provided some of those waxy strings and activity sheets as pre-food entertainment and it worked for everyone but Peanut. Actually, it worked for him too. He tasted one and then spent the rest of the time trying to eat the rest. The food was excellent – a bit pricey – but very good. Everyone cleaned their plates. Even Peanut, so I can only presume the food was preferrable to wax covered strings.

1. Outside school

2. All ready to go

3. Lunch

4. Wax string bicycle

After lunch I took the boys over to the train museum. I had promised I would. I thought, erroneously, that biking there would make the experience more bearable. The train museum is a personal hell. I HATE the train museum. It turns out that I hate it even more after a difficult ride. Who knew? The boys, however, had a great time. After suffering through most of the first floor I finally managed to bribe them out with promises of candy.

5. Train Museum

Sugar in hand we went back to Practical Cycle to pick up the bikes. Apparently the cargo bag is interfering with the derailleur which is why the shifting is off. Maybe the bag was indeed too full.  Tim thinks that the running boards – plastic shelves that go under the bags – will help. This is actually good news because I’ve kinda wanted to get those anyway. Right now I can’t ride without the bags. The bags not only give my kids a foot rest of sorts but they also keep small feet (and hands probably) out of the spokes. So yay! It’s always nice when you need what you want. :)

6. Peanut's done too :)

Long story shorter, we made it home. I think tomorrow I’m going to take a break from the kids and go watch a movie or shop or something. Or, maybe I’ll just go watch other people shop. It’s cheaper that way.

Have a great weekend!


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Luck O' the Irish

It did indeed rain most of last week; thus my bike spent much time sitting forlornly in the garage with the rest of our fleet. The storm stopped long enough on Friday for preschool drop-off/pick-up runs. Then, fortuitously, on Saturday, the sun decided to come out and play!

Saturday, as everyone knows, was St. Patrick’s Day and I was signed up to ride in Sacramento’s parade with the Practical Cycle gang. I’ll be honest: I wasn’t going to ride if it was raining. I’m not exactly set up for rain riding (I lack any kind of water proof gear ) and I don't enjoy getting wet while wearing clothes - especially if it’s cold. I can’t imagine that trying to do an Irish jig on the back of a moving truck in the rain is much fun either; so the sun’s reappearance was good fortune for everyone involved.

I could only talk two of my kids into riding with me – Charlie and Schroeder. Linus preferred to stand on the side watching in hopes of grabbing any (and all) candy that was thrown his way.

We got dressed in our best St. Patty’s day finery – green shirts, Mardi Gras necklaces that happened to be green, and some argyle socks - and set off. We are definitely going to have to up our game if we participate next year as we were hopelessly under-dressed and out-greened.

1. Pre-parade (he looks like he feels lucky, no?)

We arrived at the parade start with time to spare. I was one of only two long-tail bikes there and I was very excited to show off my new Yuba. I felt like hot shit until we were COMPLETELY upstaged by an identical Yuba (it was even orange) with a MERMAID sitting on the back. A GREEN mermaid. Crap.

2. Mermaid on wheels

The parade started. The route was packed and we (everyone really) were going painfully slow. It turns out that not being the center of attention was the least of my concerns. I was really just trying to keep the bike up-right which isn’t easy at very low speed. In fact I was pushing the bike along with both feet much of the way. We haven’t fallen yet – I’m sure we will – but I was determined that it wouldn’t happen in the middle of a parade. Nothing will make you feel like a bad parent faster than dropping your kids. Trust me, I’ve done it - accidentally of course.

We made it without falling (yay!) and had lots of fun. The kids waved at everyone, we got tons of compliments, met some new people (including a mermaid), and we can check “be in a parade” off the bucket list. I added a parade to my list just so I could check it off. :)

Ironically, the only kids who got any candy were the ones on my bike because, apparently, on the side lines there was more competition than free candy. He, He, He – that’ll teach Linus. :)

3./4. En Route

(we're behind the mermaid)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

A week of riding

I'm a little late posting this time. I'm trying to post every Sunday but between day light savings time and the half-marathon (!) I ran on Sunday morning I was pretty exhausted last night.

It's supposed to rain all this week but last week Northern California experienced some phenomenal spring weather – bright, sunny, and in the 70’s. Not bad for March. I spent the entire week on the bike. In fact, I was inventing places to go just so I could ride. I did two runs to the gym. I dropped off and picked my son up from pre-school. On Friday afternoon, I loaded up all the kids and took a trip to Old Sacramento, my three youngest rode with me while my nine year old tagged along behind on his own bike.

We parked the bikes at Practical Cycle and picked up some accessories – a cute new helmet for me, a pillow for the front child seat, and a new bike lock. I DO NOT want this bike stolen. I have taken to triple locking it - one for the bike seat, one around the bike rack, and (just for good measure) one between the front wheel and the frame. I have no doubt that if someone REALLY wants it they’ll take it but at least I’m going to make them work for it. I take some comfort in the fact that it is too big to pick up and throw in your average vehicle.

We went got ice cream (two for Linus since he dropped his) and then moseyed along window shopping. It was way beyond nap time when we headed back. I am very fortunate that three year-old Schroeder decided to stay on the bike. He and Linus were fighting – yes, fighting ON THE BIKE – almost the entire way home. In fact all the kids behind me were fighting. Charlie and Linus were arguing between bikes while Schroeder was grabbing a Linus’ hands and seat. Lovely. Yet we stayed upright. Peanut fell asleep almost immediately and slept all the way home. Charlie was such a trooper! It was an almost nine mile ride round trip and he didn’t even complain about being “saddle sore” until we got home.

I was so busy loading the bags with everything I thought I'd need that I forgot the camera. Oh well, next time I promise there will be lots of pictures.

Look for us in the bike lane!


Sunday, March 4, 2012


I got my bike! I got my bike!

My husband dropped me off a Practical Cycle and I rode my very own YUBA home that day. Those of you who with a keen eye for details will notice that the bike is not blue, but a very vibrant orange. The blue bike was ready and waiting, but the orange bike called to me from the corner saying that it had everything I wanted - bags, padded seats, a handle bar and pegs for the front backseat rider, the hand hold for the back backseat rider, a double kickstand, ect... - being prone to suggestion, that's the bike I took. The orange does go better with the green baby seat AND my boys are thrilled. They were not at all pleased with my selection of the color blue as it was deemed a "girly color". I know, they're kinda crazy that way. Anyway here it is....




Notice the small children hovering around it like a satellites - they couldn't wait for a ride. I spent most of the day Saturday ferrying kids, in various configurations, around the neighborhood trying to get the feel of the bike. Today (Sunday) was a beautiful day and the whole family saddled up for a trip to the park and a picnic. Here's part of my crew...


We had a lovely day and throughly enjoyed the ride. I, however, am absolutely exhausted. It turns out the bike - especially when loaded with kids and food - is quite heavy. From today's ride I did learn a few things - 1. I need to pack diapers and wipes (do you really want to know?), and 2. a first aid kit would be a good addition to the bags as well (here I am just thinking ahead). We still had a very smooth, albeit slow, ride and I am already looking forward to our next outing.

Look for us in the bike lane (we'll be hard to miss)!