Archive | December 2010

Downhill returns

We ventured out into the cold and blustery afternoon to visit one of the open-on-Sunday libraries. Brandt wanted to go to the dinosaur (Ballard) library, but upon realizing how windy it was, I talked him into the rocky wall (Greenwood) library. I’ve learned to appreciate riding to uphill destinations so I can take it easy on the way back home.

Someone shouted “Nice bike!” to me from across the street. Last month I wouldn’t have known if she liked the Milano itself or the two Bobikes attached to it. Now I don’t know if it’s one of those or my lights and tinsel. So much to like!

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about grocery shopping by bike. While any downhill return journey is nice, it feels imperative for a grocery trip. I can drag an empty bike trailer (I think) uphill to a grocery store, but I’m certain I can’t get a full trailer plus kids up any sort of slope. There are a couple grocery stores that fit the bill–QFC in Wallingford and PCC in Green Lake–but I just don’t like them. QFC is sucky and PCC makes Whole Foods look like a discount grocery outlet. The only solution seems to be moving to a pad downhill from Trader Joes.

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Merry Christmas

We got some good stuff this year!

I got Dan a black Endura Luminite Jacket, Crew Red Star Wool SockGuy socks, and a black Knog Beetle rear light, all from Ride Bicycles, an awesome new bike shop very close to our house. I’m so excited to have another shop close enough to walk a broken bike to so I don’t have to deal with Gregg’s anymore.

I got myself the same SockGuy socks (how cute, matching socks!) and four pairs of socks at Sock Monster in Wallingford, two knee-high and two over-the-knee. Best purchase was red BACON socks on the mens side. Due to a production error they were left on the machine a bit too long and are a couple inches longer than they should be–over-the-knee socks for the price of knee-high. Score! I think the current run of TOFU socks also came out too long.

Brandt didn’t really get anything bikey, unless you count his new messenger bag (Thomas the Train soft lunch bag with strap). Why doesn’t Timbuk2 (or anyone for that matter?) make a toddler messenger bag? It’d be so cute!

Baby Rijder was handed down Brandt’s first balance bike, the Kinderbike Laufrad Mini. He can walk it around, but he doesn’t really fit on it yet. It doesn’t help matters that Brandt hitches a ride every time BR gets going. I don’t think they make a tandem balance bike. It probably wouldn’t work out too well, anyway. I’d like to keep the Mini inside so he can practice on it a lot, but it’s pretty stinky. Brandt’s Kinderbike Renner doesn’t smell, but this one’s rubber tires are very pungent.

Candy Cane Lane

We were running errands by car yesterday afternoon so I swung by Candy Cane Lane in Ravenna on the way home. It was really crowded and I was too lazy to find a parking spot and walk through so tonight we went back by bike. The Ravenna neighborhood is pretty hilly so I didn’t think I’d be able to make it the whole way without walking, but it still sounded better than dealing with the car. As it turned out, I made it! It was hard to appreciate that at the time, though, because as we cycled those last two downhill blocks, all I could think about was how hard the ride home would be.

It was really cold out so we all bundled up. Mr. Familyride thought to wear gloves, I wasn’t as wise. But we each had our own problems on account of this. My fingers were too numb to unbuckle kid helmets, but Dan’s iPhone wouldn’t register his gloved finger so he had to take this picture with his nose. So what’s the answer? Fingerless gloves with a mitten flap? Oh hey, I guess it is! Lovely Bicycle! reviewed some a year ago. Looks like I need to amend my gift guide :)

We walked our bikes the first block of the way home, but I made it the rest of the way. It wasn’t a bad ride, but NE Ravenna Boulevard is awfully narrow and there are steps up to the sidewalk so that’s not an option. I doubt there’s a different route to get over here, but I’ll look into it for next year.

Gift Guide

There are a lot of gift guides circulating, but they’re all boring and not applicable to me, so here’s mine. It’ll probably bore you.


Nirve Hello Kitty Bicycle Bell – $6.99

I cannot wait to visit Chubby’s Cruisers when I’m in LA next month. Not positive I’ll get the Hello Kitty bell as they have tons of choices.

Nirve Hello Kitty Bicycle Bell

Bicycle Basket Liner Bags in Red Cherries – $34.99 each

Too cutesy? Perhaps. But I need to give the random assortment of kid crap I throw in my baskets a uniform look. They convert to carrying bags with drawstrings, too!

Bicycle Basket Liner Bags in Red Cherries

Kroozie Stainless Steel Bicycle Cup Holder in Matte Black – $20.00

Lots of colors available. In the future I’ll want to attach them to handlebars, but for now I want to rig them to stick in front of my baskets for rear kid access.

Kroozie Stainless Steel Bicycle Cup Holder in Matte Black

Wristlet and Matching Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve – $20.00

Coffee sleeves are the must-give accessory this season. And who doesn’t like reversible? Double score!

Wristlet and Matching Reversible Coffee Cup Sleeve

Schwinn Phantom Tile Coaster – $6.00

For when you take your coffee at home, set your mug on this 4×4″ super awesome coaster.

Schwinn Phantom Tile Coaster

I Heart Public Transportation 100% Corn Mug – $12.00

OK, not specifically bikey, but it’s awfully cute. And it’s biodegrable and unbreakable.

I Heart Public Transportation 100% Corn Mug

Bicycle Seat Cover in Black Bear – $20.00

Wet saddles suck. This seat cover is waterproof and has an adjustable drawstring bungee cord for the perfect fit. Also available in cow.

Bicycle Seat Cover in Black Bear

I Heart My Bike Bobby Pins – $8.00

Tame that helmet hair. Available in blue, pink, red, green, black. Also rings and earrings.

I Heart My Bike Bobby Pins

Keep Calm and Ride On Scrabble Tile Pendant with Necklace in Black – $8.95

Buy 3 pendants get a 4th free! Various colors.

Keep Calm and Ride On Scrabble Tile Pendant with Necklace in Black

HP Mini 210-1199DX Pink Laptop Computer – $379.99

Not sure if this exact model is still avaiable, but it’s nice and small (10.6″ x 6.9″ and 3 lbs) and would fit so much better on my bike than my current big laptop.

HP Mini 210-1199DX Pink Laptop Computer

Laptop Bag – Vintage Bicycle on Stripes – $48.00

Perfect to protect that new small laptop! Custom sizes available.

Laptop Bag - Vintage Bicycle on Stripes

Bianchi “Master Says Faster” Sticker – $0.75

OMG these are rad! They’d make awesome spoke cards. 1 1/2″ x 2″.

Bianchi Master Says Faster Sticker

Scotch Thermal Laminator – $19.99

Did someone say spoke cards? 75% off! 15.5 Inches x 6.75 Inches x 3.75 Inches, 2 Roller System.


Hub and Bespoke decorated bike parade

After watching the annual lighting of the Lenin statue in Fremont, we paid our first visit to Hub and Bespoke, an awesome “cycle boutique” for their first annual decorated bike parade. I was told we won (not that the parade was a contest), but my favorite bike was the one with mistletoe in the front and two ornament balls dangling side-by-side at the back.

My bike is decorated with two sets of $3.99 battery-powered Kallt light string with 10 stars and four sets of $1.99 battery-powered Kallt light strings from Ikea and one string of blue and white tinsel. It’s so cute and festive, I think I’ll leave it fancied up until New Year’s–or probably longer because, let’s face it, I’m lazy and probably won’t undecorate it until I want to participate in an undecorated bike parade.

One other family rode in the parade. I first noticed the dad’s bike for its after-market double kickstand. I think I want one! It’s not very robust, but it’s better than what I’ve got.