Monthly Archives: July 2010

Send your bike to Africa this weekend

Learning to ride in Binaba by Mary Jane Cassady

Our friend, Tom, who is involved with the Village Bicycle Project, sent us information about a bike drive this weekend at the West Seattle YMCA.

Details below.

The Village Bicycle Project provides affordable transportation for Africans.  People who own bikes can get more easily to school, to the market, their farm and health care.  Bicycles reduce poverty and save time and energy.   Millions of Africans do not have basic, reliable transportation–most rural Africans walk everywhere they go.  99% of Africans cannot afford cars, and public transportation is expensive and unreliable.

In Africa, a bicycle can make all the difference. The Village Bicycle Project is a Pacific Northwest-based organization that has shipped over 100 containers of bikes to Africa and has staff and volunteers in Ghana to receive the bikes and run local programs.

You can help by bringing your old bikes to the West Seattle YMCA

4515 36th Avenue SW, West Seattle
Saturday, July 31st, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

– Anne

Look Both Ways

Tip of the day: crossing busy streets with kids

I see a blue oneCrossing a busy arterial with two young riders is sure to rattle any normally calm, cool and collected parent. Many parents simply won’t do it: “Too many busy roads to cross where I live” is one of the most common reasons I hear from parents for why they don’t get around town on bikes with kids.

How do you get everyone across safely and keep what’s left of your sanity? Like everything else in life, it takes lots of practice. And you have to cross many intersections with kids before it becomes second nature.

We cross several of these intersections on a daily basis and have come up with a system that works for all of us and allows for safe crossing. Continue reading

Fiets of Parenthood, Seattle Style

Totcycle at Fiets of parenthood PDXSave the date for the Seattle version of Fiets of Parenthood: Sunday, August 15th from 3:00 to 6:00 PM.

We had such a great time at FoP in Portland, we can’t wait to do it all over again in Seattle.

Location and all the other juicy details will follow in the weeks ahead.

Stay tuned, mark your calendar and plan on a super fantastic afternoon of family bike fun.

- Anne and Tim

Transitions: What does your neighborhood say about your (kid’s) riding

This is our second post in our transitions series. The other day we talked about parents preparing to let kids ride their own bikes in the road. If you haven’t read the comments from that post, do it. You all have so much great insight to share.

Based on your comments, it looks like we’re all in agreement: When we talk about riding in the road, we’re not talking about a couple of kids racing each other around the block to blow off steam (not that there’s anything wrong with that). No, we’re talking about real mobility, car-replacement stuff: riding to the library, the local lake or pool. Grocery shopping at the store with the good cheese aisle and more.  It’s fairly easy for younger kids to ride to a neighborhood play-date with parents. The next step is incorporating normally car-centric errands into longer rides with traffic. For most kids, or maybe more accurately, their parents, it’s that jump up to the next level that’s the big deal.2010 July Continue reading

Transitions: Am I ready for my kid to ride?

Riding to Swimming Lessons

Car Free Days Kids (Summer 2008)

Our summer series about transitioning kids from being cargo hauled by parents to pedaling on their own power was born a couple of weeks ago when I wrote about luring parents back to bikes to get more kids riding. I loved all of the comments; they sparked such a rich discussion among parents and non-parents alike about riding with (or as) kids. Continue reading

Bikes, Beers, and no Cars. Coming soon to a trail near you (assuming you live in Madison, Wisconsin)

creative commons photo from mrmatt on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrmatt/2936181715/A restaurant owner in Madison wants to create a low-impact, seasonal eatery smack dab in the middle of the local human-powered trail system. Entry to the proposed eatery would require  walking, skating, biking or … whatever. Just no cars allowed.

Described as “a hobbit hole meets the American Players Theatre meets a 1950s National Park recreational area,” the “Badger Den” would be a “bike-in” bar and grill open from April through October.

The best part about it is they don’t even have permission to use the space. Instead they are launching a little PR campaign (which I’m now helping, if Seattle PR does any good for a business that is yet to exist half-way across the country) to build public support so the city will have to approve the plan. And it seems to be working:

Mayor Dave Cieslewicz said the cafe would be consistent with what the city has been doing to encourage bicycling. “I think it’s fascinating idea,” Cieslewicz said. “We’d love to work with him on it.”

Ha! I’d like to see more of this action-based planning here Seattle.

Overall the plan sounds lovely to me, though I’m a little ho-hum on the idea of bringing in supplies via golf cart. If they are really serious about this as a no car thing, how about using some cargo bikes instead?

Read the actual article for the full scoop. And if you’re planning to open one of these somewhere along the Burke (though the Sammamish River Trail is probably the more pastoral choice), let me know when to show up with my mug and tree-stump chair!

-Tim

Transitions: from kids as cargo to kids as riders (a new series)

Like many parents around the world, we have embraced using bikes instead of cars to haul our kids around the city. It’s been 3 years since we built the Xtracycles and started using them for everyday transportation.

First Ride

First Ride, August 2007

Wow, 3 years already? How did that happen?

It’s been a great run: we’ve learned so much, met some fantastic people, laughed and smiled a lot….and developed  some beefy quads. We wouldn’t go back to our short-distance car driving ways for anything. We’re hooked on bikes.

If you read Car Free Days with any regularity, you already know that. I don’t want to talk about the benefits of cargo bikes.

I want to talk about growing kids and what to do about them. Because while we were out enjoying cargo biking, our kids have grown.

A lot. Continue reading