Tag Archives: family

Pacific Coast Bike Tour Days 14 and 15: Big Sur to San Simeon

Pacific Coast Bike Tour previous post: Santa Cruz to Big Sur

Day 14: Big Sur to Plasket Creek

After a day of R&R at Big Sur campground, everyone was ready to tackle the day. Our daughter was feeling better, Tim thought his knee could handle a short day and we were ready to get back on the road. Our Big Sur hiker/biker campsite campmate, Jay Dancing Bear, gave us the scoop on the next stretch of the coast. Jay reported that the sparsely populated and rugged coastal area would be the best part of our tour. He’d been traveling this area for more than 20 years and had some strong opinions about the set of campgrounds, beaches and services.

big sur to san simeon

Jay Dancing Bear suggested we take the next section of the tour slow and to relish the tranquility of the remaining section of Big Sur. He scouted our Adventure Cycling maps and told us where he would camp if he was us. We appreciated the inside tips and settled on Plasket Creek campground, a forest service campground 33 miles south. Our friends, whom we traveled with last summer on the northern portion of the Pacific Coast stayed at Kirk Creek campground when they passed though Big Sur last year. They reported it was beautiful but had no potable water. They left the campsite thirsty and dehydrated and suggested we aim for Plasket Creek instead.

Foot Bridge at Pfeiffer Big Sur

A little tip about grocery stores in the Big Sur area: they are scarce and expensive along this stretch of coastline! We stocked up on groceries at the small store three miles from the Big Sur campground, still more expensive than a splurge at Whole Foods, but still cheaper than grocery options further down the road. Continue reading

Navigating the Maze of Kid Activities (on bikes)

Bike to laxHave you listened to the latest NPR health story? In Many Families Exercise Is By Appointment only? The story highlights two very different approaches to kids and activities and how their parents ensure they get exercise. Some families choose organized sports, driving kids to various practices and games. Some choose walking and biking and playing outside.

Which is better? To schedule or not to schedule? And if you schedule, how do you transport kids to all of their various activities? By car? Or by bike?

I sometimes take this issue up a notch and start to worry about over-scheduled kids. What about them? Do they really enjoy having that much going on? Don’t they just want to hang out at home on occasion?

If you were blissfully unaware of this problem, don’t fret, you can find books and articles on the subject. You too can read about how to avoid over-scheduling your kids. Then you can sit down and watch a documentary and learn about the perils you will certainly face if you don’t get this problem resolved now. After you have yourself in a tizzy about your kids future, you can go back to news and articles regarding childhood obesity. The grim stats will certainly depress you: 18 percent of kids are obese in the United States. “Childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and tripled in adolescents in the past 30 years”

Feeling crazy, confused and on-edge yet? I know I am.

What’s a parent to do? To schedule or not? To relax or worry? 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

Day 1: Starting off on the wrong foot, but at least starting

bolt bus tandem loading

photo by David Clifton

If you’re bored with trip stories, you’ll just have to sit tight and wait a little longer for our excitement to pass. Because here at carfreedays HQ we’re not done talking about our Pacific Coast Bike tour.

Bike touring is one of those life changing experiences: you’re not quite the same after returning from an extended tour. But it takes a few weeks and months for those lessons to reveal themselves. Even though we’ve been home for 51 days, we’re definitely still processing the experience. And finding meaning and life lessons in the most mundane parts of the tour. Continue reading

Pacific Coast Bike Tour

Testing DIY stoves Our Home for the Next Month

We’re getting ready to head out on our  Pacific Coast Bike tour. We still have lots to do to get ready for the trip but we’re slowly making progress. Gear is piled up around the house, the new tent has been seam sealed and we’re slowly checking items off our to-do list. Even if we have to stay up all night, we’ll eventually get everything done and be ready to roll out-of-town. Departure may be a few days later than we planned, but that’s OK. Continue reading

Bike to School Day

2012 Bike to School Day128 kid bikes, add some parent bikes, 8 dozen doughnuts, much-needed coffee for the parents who don’t like to get up earlier than necessary, police escorts riding with the kids and blocking intersections with patrol cars = successful Bike to School Day.

We hope you enjoyed Bike to School Day and Bike to Work Day!

more photos here

 – Anne and Tim

2012 Bike to School Day

What’s Normal?

IMAG0239Yesterday, I got a Zipcar to pick up the 10-year-old at my parents house in the suburbs. On the walk to the Zipcar parking spot, the 8-year old negotiated a chance to play with my phone in the car. His excuse:  “we never ride in cars, won’t you let me play games on your phone while we’re in traffic?”

It’s hard for me to resist that sweet boy at times, and he had a point, we would be stuck in traffic for awhile.

Later I found it kind of interesting that while playing with the phone, he chose to snap this photo to document something that seemed odd from his perspective: his mom at the wheel of an automobile. Continue reading

Summer by Bike: The Video

As we’re wrapping up Summer 2010 (aside from 1980, the worst summer in 5 decades) and looking ahead to Fall, we still can’t stop talking about our terrible weather. Where did our glorious Northwest September go? (usually our favorite month of the year).

Despite the rain and clouds, we still enjoyed many fun times on the bike with family and friends. Check out the video we put together of Car Free Days summer riding.

When we watch the video we realize, it wasn’t all bad.

How about you? Tell us about your summer riding.

– Anne and Tim

Fiets of Parenthood Seattle: HOT HOT HOT

Fiets of Parenthood Seattle 2010We’ll admit it. We were worried. When the mercury climbed above 90 on Saturday, we were pretty sure most everyone would call in “hot” and go to the lake instead.

Hey, that’s what we would have done.

But still, what were we going to do with four freakin’ gallons of Grade-A gelato, 120 spoke cards (note to self: don’t print the date; you can re-gift them later), and enough Slow Race Silly Bandz to outfit the entire 2-4th grades of the John Stanford School? Continue reading