Monthly Archives: November 2007

$40 – One Car Free Date or a Vaccine Bike for Africa

Our Danish friends at Cycliciousness drew our attention to a great holiday giving idea this year. Get this: A single $40 donation to UNICEF buys a bike (!) for health workers in developing countries.

Unicef Health Care Bike. Photo from UNICEF

From the US UNICEF Giving site:

Help reach parts of many countries that otherwise could be without regular support from health workers. Your purchase will provide a bicycle to help health workers reach vulnerable children in remote communities. Having access to a bicycle for a health worker or midwife can help increase the health standards of children in remote villages and communities in developing countries. A small price to pay for such an important gift!

$40 is all it takes to make it happen.

$40? That’s like one Car Free Date Night! Hmmm …. beers and a movie, or a bike? That’s an easy choice. For our next date, we’ll just do the car-free part and send the date money to UNICEF.

How about you? Can you imagine a better way to share the bike love this holiday season!

-Tim

Fun with Metro

the Metro, photo by VEO: http://www.flickr.com/photos/veo/205556435/
photo by VEO: http://www.flickr.com/photos/veo/205556435/

I have this love-hate relationship with the bus. I love the idea of mass transit but hate Metro‘s implementation. I get impatient with all the stops. Why can’t we make people walk just a little farther, cut out half the stops and and speed the whole route up? Continue reading

Birthday Dinner and a Movie

Bikes and Dick’s 

Today was my 29th (wink wink) birthday. I had a great day. Our babysitter was out of town so we rolled with it as parents often do – dinner and a movie with the kids. I’m not big on fancy, in fact I’m a pretty cheap date, so it was perfectly fine with me. We rode to Dick’s for some nutritious burgers and shakes before the movie. Parked the bikes right up front and ate our grub like the rest of them – in our carsbikes. After our nutritious meal, we were on to the movie theatre for an early showing of Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium.  Good flick for kids and adults – Natalie Portman is so cute and the movie was about a magical toystore, how could you not like it. After the movie, we went outside and bundled up for the ride home. Lots of amused looks from the folks waiting in line to pay for parking – ha.

waiting at the light

Good times.

 – Anne

Buy Nothing Day Ride today – meet at Pike Place Market Pig at Noon.

It’s a beautiful fall day in Seattle. The perfect opportunity to ride off all that Thanksgiving eatin’. We’ll be there with the whole family – Grab your lunch, your bike, and meet us as we join the shopping hordes and NOT shop.

-Anne and Tim

Xtracycle Stoker Stems

Cheap-ass stoker stem on my Xtracycle

I covered stoker bars a while ago. That was a cop-out because the bar is the easy part. Almost anything will work (chopped off mountain bike bar, old BMX bars, Albatross, whatever). The hard part is mounting the bar in such a way that the passenger’s nose is not stuffed into the rider’s butt.

Continue reading

Bike Lust, City Style

ANT Bike with Woody Rack

I love A.N.T. (Alternative Needs Transportation) Bikes out there near Baa-ston. I mean… I LOOOOOVE them. Mike and team harvests the best of the Dutch-Danish-French city-bike tradition as they deliver a stylish, updated ride, complete with with modern steel and components.

Continue reading

The Year of Living Car-lessly

I discovered Alan Durning’s series last year. It was my inspiration for trying to be less car dependent. When I first started reading it, I told myself, ” I could never do that.” (Insert all excuses here). But I was truly inspired. If their family of five can live without a car, I can certainly live with driving less.

We started small – eliminating un-necessary trips here and there, declaring carfree days once or twice a week, doing all errands on one day to eliminate daily short trips etc.

Then we got the Xtracycles. What a truly revolutionary invention. They have changed everything for us. All kid-and-stuff-hauling related excuses evaporated when they were up and running. Now – we barely drive. Maybe once every 2 weeks. Probably less. We’re hooked – wouldn’t go back. It’s so easy and fun.

Give Alan Durning’s series a read when you have a chance.

- Anne

Family cycling

Bike Portland ponders family cycling  – is it the next big thing?  Way to go, Marion, looks like fun.

Maybe in Portland, but Seattle has a long way to go. I’ve never seen that many bikes at either of my kids’ schools. Our schools are at the top of a hill – so that’s probably why ; – )

 – Anne

Excuses

Ridin’ home from the soccer party

Our friends at Bikecommuters  recently hosted a great conversation about the excuses people make for not bike commuting. Lots of insight there, especially Val’s thoughts on being an enabler.

We’ve heard it all as well. My favorite is when people see us ride up on our bikes with kids on the back and make excuses as an introduction –  even before the requisite, “Hello, how are ya doin?” 

Last night we rode less than a mile to a soccer party for our six year old. Tim had the 2 pans of enchiladas Anne made strapped to the snap deck , a six pack of Full Sail IPA in the sideloaders, and our daughter sitting behind said enchiladas. It was less than a mile. So what if it was up hill and it rained on the way home …. kids didn’t complain and we had a great time.

We don’t really care if people refer to us as those crazy bike people or those weird people who don’t drive. We’re having a lot of fun.

 – Anne and Tim

Kids and walkable entertainment

houselifting-custom.jpg

This post has nothing to do with bikes. It does, however, have something to do with carfree days which was the original purpose of this blog. 

When a preschooler isn’t in school, you have to find something to do to avoid hearing “I’m bored” all day long.  This isn’t hard – we have a lot of fun stuff to do in our neighborhood. Neither Tim nor I are big fans of playgrounds (shhh – don’t tell our children) So, we try to find other, non-playgroundish things to do.  Looking for insects, digging in the dirt, playing in the creek near our house, picking up leaves – all highly entertaining. And when you have a four year old boy, seeking out big construction equipment is a must.

My son and I enjoyed a carfree day watching a crew prepare to lift a house in our neighborhood. It was a beautiful day so I enjoyed it as well! We have to return to the site today to watch the actual lifting….ah the things we do for our children.

  - Anne