Carfreedays and Shopping: the Journey to Bikes
Tim and I didn’t always grocery shop by bike.
Before the summer of 2007, other than an occasional walk to the store, we bought and transported groceries exclusively in cars. At the time we owned a bike trailer and we could have used that to grocery shop. But dragging it out of the basement or garage and hooking it up to the bike just to go to the store? Nah, too much trouble; the car was easier. Panniers were the same, I had plenty of those lying around. But I was a busy mom and shopped for a family of 4, I could barely fit a days worth of groceries in two panniers, let alone groceries for a week.
August 2007, enter two Xtracycles. Those bikes changed everything. Continue reading
Posted in alternative transportation, bigger than here, bikes, cargo bikes, neighborhoods, shopping
Tagged carfreedays, groceries, groceries by bike, grocery shopping, history, shopping by bike, tips
Our Pacific Coast Bike tour is O V E R . We’ve been back for a while now but it’s taken me this long to process the trip and figure out what I wanted to say about the amazing experience of riding 946 miles in 22 days with 2 tandems and 2 kids under 12.
Can I just say Wow and leave it at that? Continue reading
Posted in bigger than here, bike touring, bikes, extravehicular activities, family cycling, Pacific Coast Bike Tour, summer
Tagged bike touring, bikes, carfreedays, family bike touring, Pacific Coast Bike Tour, summer, tandem, travel
It’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
Dear Anne and Tim,
What’s the deal with your blog? We used to get all kinds of information about riding as a family from Carfreedays, but you haven’t updated your blog since May. What gives? Are you all done? Did you run out of things to say? Left the country?
Your faithful readers
Heading Home from the Farmers Market
Summer in Seattle is in full swing. We’re taking advantage of a streak of near perfect weather by drinking a few of Tim’s Mojitos , swimming and kayaking in the lake, enjoying backyard BBQs, visits with out-of-town friends, staying up late, reading lots of books and neglecting our blog.
Here are a few photos of our summer adventures so far. I hope you’re enjoying your summer too!
Tim's famous Mojitos, always worth waiting for
3rd of July Kayaking on Lake Washington
Jim Needs an Xtracycle
4th of July Neighborhood Bike Parade
17lbs of Backyard Raspberries
Just a quick post to note that we’ve finally coughed up for http://carfreedays.com. Our one-year annivesary seemed like as good a time as any for an address change. Besides, we didn’t want his mayoral Largeness to grab it out from under us for his familiarly named Ciclovia program.
WordPress seems to be handling redirects quite well, but you may want to update your bookmarks, if you are the kind of person who worries about such things. Same goes for RSS—from what we’ve seen it’s working fine in places like Google Reader and Sage, but if you are having problems you might just want to add it again.
We’ve probably got some other changes up our sleeves—I’ve been meaning to update the template for about 10 months now—but we’re going to squeak out a bit more of this care-free/car-free summer before resuming our normal level of web-dorkness.
Enjoy the ride!
One thing I like about bike commuting is the opportunity to experience more of my city. In the morning, I might see a single scull or kayak slip under the University Bridge, the rising sun reflecting on the Olympic range, or a familiar landmark partially obscured by fog.
Of course, the downside of such an immersion is a heightened awareness of Seattle’s runaway construction projects. I rant about the state of our roads because I’m all too aware of how poor they’ve become. As I daily dodge cement trucks, impromptu street closures, and poorly patched pavement—a victim of heavy equipment or new-utility runs—I can only wonder about the sustainability of Seattle’s current development choices.
In the morning, I worry if Seattle knows what she is doing. Continue reading
Nice piece in Momentum about Jorg & Olif – City bike company in Vancouver BC. We get excited every time we read about interesting bike shops popping up. Anne first read about Jorg & Olif in Inhabitat a little over a year ago and was impressed by their stylistic approach to marketing their bikes. It’s a good way to reach a certain segment of the population – you know – the ones who buy $400 shoes. Continue reading
Posted in alternative transportation, bigger than here, bikes, consumerism, Human Powered Politics
Tagged bikes, carfreedays, dutch bikes, europe, marketing, revolution, transportation
It’s a tired old title cliché, but really, what else do you call such an exercise in vehicular vanity?
Regular readers may remember Anne complaining about her bike being in for service last week. I tried to remind her that other people travel to shops and pay a mechanic to accomplish the work magically completed on her bike, but apparently even that doesn’t excuse said mechanic to remove saddle and Snapdeck from her main source of transportation.
To make up for the inconvenience, as I tackled some minor tuneup tasks and installed her honey Brooks B17-s Christmas present I threw in a few stylistic upgrades: Continue reading
Posted in bikes, buildin' the xtracycle, xtracycle
Tagged bikes, brooks, carfreedays, cork, custom, leather, rivenell, saddle, shellac, xtracycle
So, I haven’t had a real commute in a while. A five-minute bike ride or 15-minute walk to the UW campus doesn’t count. So, when I got a new job I vowed to keep up the carfree style we’ve been working since the summer. It’s still not a major commute — 30 minutes each way via Xtracycle — but most people, certainly, would drive (especially if they have a free, covered, parking garage).
Well, today was my first day. On the way in, I got the typical Seattle misting. Pretty much expected, even though it wasn’t supposed to rain until the afternoon. No biggie.
And the way home?
Posted in alternative transportation, bikes, Burke-Gilman Trail, Commute, weather
Tagged bikes, carfreedays, commuting, rain, seattle, sleet, snow, weather, xtracycle