Tag Archives: alternative transportation

Habits: On Starting Walking and Biking

Happy New YearThe tree came down weeks ago and 2013 is already in full swing. I know I’m a bit late, but I forgot to wish you all a Happy New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! (just trying to keep the party going a little bit longer) Whoo-hoo!!!

Did you make any resolutions? Sticking to them? This is about the time of year that most resolutions fizzle out. I don’t know about you, but I’m with the 30 percent of people who break their resolutions by the end of January.

Two of mine are totally busted and the third is merely hanging on by threads:

  1. Learn and practice Spanish for 30 minutes every day. Oops, it’s been weeks since I logged on to my Livemocha account
  2. Do the Primal Workout every day. Yeah, I ran like Grok once, and did a few wall squats. But daily workouts? Busted!
  3. Write every day. I’ve been better about that, but I can’t say I do it every single day.

There’s a reason habits and resolutions are such a hot topic every year: we really, really, really want to change, but our pesky bad behaviors are difficult to break, and new routines are hard to stick to! Continue reading

ATP (Alternative Transportation Project): Leave the Car at Home

Thanks, Jorge, for sending us this video!

The entire Car Free Days family enjoyed watching this whimsical video that’s a refreshing reminder of the fun involved in leaving our cars at home on occasion!

Happy Bike-to-School-And-Work-Day tomorrow!

 – Anne

Kickstand Campaign

Thanks for bicycling in our city! stickers left for us in U-district. Kickstandcampaign.con
We found these stickers on our bikes today (outside of Goodwill in the U District).

When we got home, I looked up kickstandcampaign.org and found this blurb on their About page: Continue reading

Little Green Bike (Brompton rocks a hilly Italian commute + doing better here)

As Anne mentioned recently, we’ve been loving the Bromptons and the role they’ve helped play in letting us live car-light. Beyond the expanded Zipcar range, or the fact that a gorilla-sized dad and his 9-year-old daughter can ride the same bike, we’re in love with how easy they mix with transit. This is especially clear when bussing across the bike-hating 520 bridge (which normally requires us to ride a special—non Xtracyclebike, and then hope that the bus bike racks are clear).

Altogether the Broms allow for some nifty, who-the-hell-needs-a-car-at least-when-it-isn’t-raining-three-inches-a-day options.

But if we lived in a real city, with real density and real transit solutions, well, the mind boggles at the imagined practicality of our little yellow folders.

Well, thanks to this fine video from the 2010 edition of the Toward Carfree Cities Conference, in which the Little Green Brompton OWNS a freakishly hilly, dense-city commute in Genova (Genoa), Italy I’m boggled no more.

(hat-tip to video creator Massimiliano Amirfeiz from the Brompton Talk list)

After watching this commute (for the 3rd time or so) I’m also struck by how little* Seattle has done to flatten our fair city for the non-driving folks.  How about a Trampe up Queen Anne and Capitol hills, for example?

These motorized bike-lifts can flatten out the steepest sections of a city. Check out the video, but save yourself by muting the sound. If I was slapping them down around town, I’d also like another placed to ferry riders over Phinney Ridge.

I’m sure you’ve got some locations to nominate—0bviously West Seattle, downtown, and Beacon Hill seem like naturals—so let’s hear ‘em.

Of course I know this idea is fantasy. A mere mention of the option in San Francisco brought out the haters, who failed to see that this was an option to get non cyclists out of their cars and onto bikes, not a way to pamper already-riding hipsters who don’t want to “walk up the damn hill.”

I can’t imagine the spew and outcry such a plan would generate around here.

Sigh…  at least the Brompton video was cool ;-)

-Tim

* Don’t get me started on the SDOT propensity to route bike lanes up and down hills when they don’t have to. Instead of forcing riders to sweat their way up the Dexter hill for a Fremont-to-Downtown bike route, why don’t we just bite the bullet and build better infrastructure a mostly flat and under-traveled Westlake Ave?

Hills like Dexter may be fine for the neon-clad Cascade fitness riders, but casual commuters you know, the people who don’t call themselves cyclists, but still need to start riding if we want cycling to move out of the transportation fringeare never going to do it.

Sharing is Nice

Zip+BromptonTim and I are both officially Zipsters. I’m glad being hip is not a requirement, apparently all we need is a membership card to earn the title. I’ve been a Zipster for a few years and Tim recently joined when we  sold our final car last month. (can you believe we used to have four cars?) Since we started using it more, we have managed to slip  “zip” into our vernacular: Zip skiing, Zip Brompton, Zip trip, the Zip possibilities are annoyingly endless. Continue reading

Testing the Madsen Cargo Bike

Madsen Grocery StopOur blog friend, George, contacted us last week and asked if we wanted to borrow his Madsen for a few days to test it out and share our impressions. We’re always up for trying out new utility bikes, so of course we agreed.

I pedaled over to Ballard yesterday afternoon and picked up the bike. We’ve only had it for 24 hours and are not ready to post a full review.

But I thought I’d throw up a few pictures of the first afternoon with the bucket bike.

School Pick up with the Madsen

– Anne

Xtracycle Shuttle Service

IMG_0557Since the kids were out of school today we decided to spend the day at the Science Center. The Science Center is in the middle of Seattle Center on Lower Queen Anne,  six miles from our house and just a little too far for me to haul both kids on the Xtracycle.

One fifty–pound passenger is completely doable. Add another and they eventually get bored and pick fights with each other. No fun for anyone. Especially not the pilot.

Usually, when I travel distances over three to four miles with both kids, I take the bus. But after days and days of fog in Seattle, the sun finally appeared and it was beautiful. I just couldn’t bring myself to load everyone on the stinky bus for the 30 minute ride.

I really wanted to ride my bike. Continue reading