Category Archives: BIG Loads

Eighth-Annual Xtracycle Tree Haulin! (plus retrospective)

Tree and bikes_DSC8679 (Large)This is our obligatory eighth-annual Christmas tree by bike post. Tree-hauling is old hat by now, but I thought I’d post some photos of this year’s adventure anyway. You might remember that last year our daughter hauled the tree. When we discussed who would pedal the tree home this year, I realized I’d never done it. How did I pass on all of those tree-hauling opportunities over the years? Naturally I volunteered for the task.

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Tree Hauling, Year 7: Kids Hauling Trees

Xtracycle Tree Hauling (year 7)
Happy Holidays! It’s time for our seventh-annual Christmas-tree hauling post. You’re probably bored of our tree-hauling exploits at this point. But it’s a tradition so we’re sharing anyway!

Last year our friend, Charlotte, suggested that the kids need to start hauling the tree. And since our daughter now fits Anne’s bikes, Tim floated the idea by her a couple of weeks ago. As a new 13 year old, she’s lukewarm about even riding bikes, let alone hauling trees on bikes in public, where, you know, like, her friends and, like, the whole world might see her!

So we weren’t surprised then with her less-than-enthusiastic response.

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Tree Haulin, Year SIX

We’re gearing up for Xtracycle Tree Hauling, year six! We plan to get our tree in the next couple of days and promise to post photos of year six later in the week. Not as cute as when the kids were little and riding on the Snapdeck, but still fun nonetheless.

For now, check out years 2007 – 2011. How the kids have grown! More blog posts and photos of all tree hauling adventures here and here

2007 Family Long Bike Christmas

2007, look how little!

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Bikes carrying skis

Tim's ski shuttle

Tim makes hauling large items look so easy

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Fifth-Annual Xtracycle Tree Haulin

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Tree Haulin Track Stand

Thought we’d post some photos of our 2011 Xtracycle Tree Haulin event.  We won’t bore you with another retrospective of all of our tree-haulin adventures, you can read the one we wrote last year if you’re interested. Continue reading

Brompton: It’s a Utility Bike

Portland on BromptonsIt’s been a year since we bought our matching yellow Bromptons.

Of all the bikes in our fleet, our Bromptons garner the most notice. Why? Obviously because of the tiny fold. And because they’re matching. And lemon-yellow. And we’re both quite tall and we look a little ridiculous riding them. And so on… basically they are not bikes for the shy.

Quite honestly, at the time of purchase Anne doubted our families’ need for Bromptons: we don’t travel much, we don’t have a shortage of bike storage space at home, and we aren’t big bus riders.

Tim’s purchase pitch smelled like bike lust to her: more of a want than a need.

But his negotiating skills (with Anne not the seller) prevailed and he eventually convinced her. He even pulled out the habitual-bike-purchaser’s classic line: “At this price, if we don’t ride them, we can easily sell them for more than we bought them!”

Anyone heard that one from a spouse before?

And we’re both glad he won the negotiation because in the past year, we’ve discovered so many uses for our Bromptons. Continue reading

Third-Annual Xtracycle Tree Haulin’ Adventure

Xtracycle Tree Haulin 2009

When the already short Seattle days end at 4:18 pm (the earliest of the year!),  the window for an after-school tree-gathering-family-bike adventure is small.

We tried to grab the kids right after school, bundle them up in extra (or is it Xtra) layers and hustle our way over to the local summer berry stand/temporary pumpkin patch/Christmas tree oasis while the feeble sun still shone.

ChoosingThough we did our best to make our selection in the waning light and hightail it home before everyone turned into a Popsicle, it wasn’t meant to be. Not to point fingers, but damn, those kids are picky. I think we liked it better when they didn’t get to vote. Instead, we shivered up a storm while we picked up, fondled, and rated what seemed like every Noble Fir on the block. I finally stepped in with fatherly veto power to break a three-way tie (no surprise to anyone who knows me: The winner was $11 cheaper) and get us on our way with a minimum of bloodshed.
Tree Haulin

Then it was on the bike for a should-be-quick trip home in the dark. And Did I mention it was cold?

Hell yes. We even resorted to ducking into a Starbucks for cocoa and cider so the kids’ little piggies could thaw out before the final leg home.

Said Fir now sits in a bucket, hydrating in preparation for its month on stage in the lights. And me? I’m already over the voting scandal and looking forward to the fourth anniversary adventure.

More photos here

-Tim