Monthly Archives: January 2013

Why We Ride: Thoughts on Motivation

Let’s talk about motivation. What drives you to ride your bike or walk? Why on earth — especially during these sodden, cold winter days — do you commute via bike or feet over a warm, dry car?

A little housekeeping first: when used in the same sentence as bikes, commute has many definitions. Most people associate commute with work. But work isn’t the only destination for a commute. What about school? or play, activities, errands, appointments, or even to run kids here and there? Maddie, for example, is a bike commuter in our eyes. And for the purpose of this article, if you use a bike to “get around” (say, any use not strictly for sport),  then you are a bike commuter too. This article mostly refers to “bikes.” But if your needs are better met by mentally substituting “walk” or “scoot” or “multi-modal” instead of “bike” as you read this post, you have our blessing.

share the road with a Kid

This discussion is not new, our bike tribe has been talking about this topic for years. Back in 2008, Kent Peterson did some posts: why do you bike commute? / Why don’t you bike commute?

You’ve heard of first world problems, right? Most people who live in the world’s wealthiest nations have abundant choices. One of those is the option to choose our mode of transportation. To get from point A to B, we can drive or walk or take the bus or use a bike, a scooter or a unicycle, or even hire a town car. Us first-worlders are blessed (cursed?) with commute options. Continue reading

Lies we Tell our Children (or how to get kids to go bike touring)

Pacific Coast Bike Tour Day 1

When Tim and I recount family bike adventures to friends and strangers, a typical response is, “What do the kids think”? “Do they like bike touring?”

If we were being completely honest, we’d reply, “of course not”. You’ll soon ascertain that we have a slight problem with stretching the truth.

We get kids on board and excited about these trips by over-emphasizing the potential highlights and skipping the parts we know the kids won’t like.

And sometimes we tell all out lies. Continue reading

Winter: A time for Planning Summer Family Bike Tours

What sort of winter hibernation do you enjoy? The Car Free Days family tried to escape the cold and dark by hunkering down at home; reading, drinking gallons of hot tea, cuddling up around the fire, and occasionally getting out-of-town to ski in the Cascade range.

But a few winters ago we started doing something even better with the short, sucky days: dreaming about and planning epic summer bike tours.

Coping with Winter Blahs

With just over 8 hours of daylight during the winter months, Pacific Northwesterners (and Scandinavians, and Russians, and ….) must come up with some way to preserve our sanity day after dark sodden day from November through March. Residents of these northen climes rely on many different methods for coping with winter dreariness. Some use light therapy, others make regular pilgrimages to day spas; soaking in hot pools and sweating away sorrows in saunas. Still others escape altogether with vacations to warm sunny climates. For some reason the historic, go-to strategy of heavy drinking has fallen out of favor. At least in our circles.

A new twist on beating dreary days came from family biking media darling Emily Finch this past December. I spent a good part of my early Christmas vacation living vicariously through her highly entertaining winter indoor-painting-therapy-program:  Continue reading