Riding with friends

Both kids bike-ily delivered to school, I headed to Fremont to meet up with my friend, Alyssa. We often ride our fast bikes when the kids are all in school, but today we were both on our slow longtails. On the way over, I happened upon Barbara and invited her along. Behold our trio of kid carriers: Xtracycle, Surly Big Dummy, Kona MinUte. Yay!

Three mamabikes

After several days of sun, I’m never prepared for rain. This is Seattle, so I should know better, but it always happens. Must be an innate Southern-Californian-transplant survival technique. The kids were indoors and fine without rain gear, but I was getting progressively damper. I swung by Alyssa’s after our ride (to Goodwill to look for waterproof fabric for one of her fantastic DIY projects) so she could let me use her new rain skirt. It’s awesome! This one is oilcloth, but she’s planning another one with a lighter fabric. Note: if you want people to touch your clothing, wear a waterproof skirt on a rainy day. It was very popular.

Rain skirt--brilliant!

Back on the Burke-Gilman Trail I noticed Cascade Bicycle Studio has moved into its new space–by the mama dinosaur and baby dinosaur foliage and next door to The Indoor Sun Shoppe (where you can test out a sun therapy lamp for 20 minutes if you’re having a rough rainy day). I don’t think they get a lot of cargo bikers in the shop, but they kindly let me and my rig drip on their floor while I checked out the new space. It’s big and airy and filled with fancy stuff. They were intrigued by the white cable on my bike–because they couldn’t figure out what it was for–so I demonstrated my Rolling Jackass centerstand. And then I told them about the guys who rode a Madsen bucket bike in a cyclocross race to try to bridge our two worlds. I think it worked. But if CBS runs cyclocross clinics in the fall (they’re thinking about doing so!) and I attend, I’ll bring my cross bike and not my cargo beast.

Cascade Bicycle Studio

Then I popped into Free Range Cycles to stick a Pedaler’s Fair flyer on their community board. Free Range’s Kathleen was just written up in OutdoorsNW Magazine (So was I, so they’ll put just anyone in there, but Kathleen is the real [steel] deal). Alex was working on an Xtracycle. I hate to break mechanic/bicyclist privilege, but I bombarded Alex and Kathleen with questions. The owner is an artist who uses it to transport canvases these days since her kids are too old to be cargo. I’m intrigued by non-human-cargo cargo bikes. I expect to have one someday.

An Xtracycle at Free Range

Those first two stops were impulse stops, but I eventually made it to Hub and Bespoke to check out caps. I found a great little Ibex wool cap that fits under my helmet. And the ear flaps fold up if need be.

New cap!

More new cap

Hub and Bespoke also has a funky VANMOOF on display. I’ve never seen one in person, but J.C. Lind seems to sell a lot of them as evidenced by his Facebook page updates. I’ve only seen pictures of their profiles so it was surprising to see the lights integrated into the frame. I still think they look weird, but weird with function. The H-and-B VANMOOF is from Charley+May, “located on the top of Queen Anne Hill.” I think I’ll suggest to Alyssa we use that as a future kid-free bike ride destination…but with our quick bikes.

Daily miles: 15.0
April miles: 89.3

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12 thoughts on “Riding with friends

    • Chris – I just went selvedge to selvedge, hand gathered (hip +2″ease) to exposed elastic waistband, and then sewed the gathers flat – kind of like a lazy woman’s improv dart – to just below hip level to ditch some volume. Other scraps were sewn together (even more width to allow for pedaling) with a reflective piping at the bottom, hand gathered and stitched to main skirt. If you do it: Oilcloth is a bit heavy for this. V2.0 will have ripstop nylon. Madi and I both thought it was minimum width/circumference for pedaling, so it V2.0 will have a slit or a flap or something.

  1. Top of the hill works for me – especially if I have the new rain skirt or modified ibex pants ready to go (and we get caffeine)!

  2. I love the cap! I had at some point considered knitting something for my helmet a la your helmuffs, but then I realized that well-placed ponytails do the job nicely. Then I got a Little Package wool cap. Oh, the lack of rain on my glasses is wonderful! She sells on Etsy, and may still have some caps available before she heads out to hike the PCT. I snapped up one for summer in the Japanese fabric that she used for her Mercy Corps Tsunami Relief project. I don’t get a commission or anything, just love love love her caps. I can sew well enough to know FANTASTIC work when I see it, and man, she is good. My wool cap is plaid and the plaid lines up at the seams so beautifully. Sigh.

    My cap is blue, but it was faster to find this link than take a photo of my cap. Look how those lines in the plaid match across the seams! http://www.etsy.com/listing/118083736/30-off-wool-earflap-cycling-cap-green

    Sorry, that’s like spam, but I love her work so much.

    • Not spammy at all! I have looked at her Etsy shop often, but I can’t buy a cap without trying it on first. So next time I’m down there, even if it’s summer, lemme try on your hat!

      • Will do, and I know what you mean. I bought my wool one at Bike Craft where she had a booth set up so that I could try them on. Naturally I tried on tons and bought the first one that I had popped on my head.

        I bought a summer cap from her Etsy shop when she announced she was closing up shop to hike the PCT (she says she’ll be back — you can follow her adventures on Twitter). It was a little too small so I mailed it back, she did something invisible (maybe replaced the elastic with a longer piece?) and sent it back. It’s a perfect fit. She’s amazing.

        And so are the instructions for that skirt. I have this “must do things properly” voice in my head so I never think outside the box and experiment. Must try new things. Especially since it looks like it will rain all “summer” long.

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