Category Archives: alternative transportation

Tree Hauling Year Ten.

 

Tree Hauling Year TEN!

After TEN years, I don’t have much more to say about tree hauling by bike. Other than TEN YEARS! Wow, we really are old. The 13-year-old hauled the tree home, then immediately set off on his bike for an afternoon D&D session at his friend’s house. Teens are busy! I will say that my family has labeled me the Scrooge because I’m sorta down on Christmas and all of the commercialism. That tree we hauled home yesterday was eighty bucks! Bah Humbug.

Thanks to Tim for keeping the Christmas spirit alive in our house! His Christmas-loving mom would be proud. Merry Christmas!

Memory Lane

Once again, I’m recycling our tree-hauling photo retrospective from years past. Last year our daughter claimed that, “our family is weird” and “this was her last year”. And yesterday she said, “Now that we’ve done ten, I’m done.” So this really could be our last Christmas tree post, EVER. We’ll see.

 Year One: 2007, look how little!

2007 Family Long Bike Christmas

Year Two: 2008, a dusting of snow

Xtracycle Tree Haulin 2008: The happy family

Year Three: 2009, the year we frozeXtracycle Tree Haulin 2009

Year Four: 2010, the year it rained a lot2010 Xtracycle Tree Haulin

Year Five:  2011, kids on their own bikes!

2011 Xtracycle Tree Haulin Family

Year Six: 2012, looking so grown up!

2012 Xtracycle Tree Haulin (Year Six!)

Year Seven: 2013, Kids hauling trees. (She’s almost as tall as me)

Foggy Xtracycle Tree Hauling (year 7)

Year Eight: 2014, whoa these kids are tall, but still shorter than me.family and tree_DSC8705 (Large)

2015: Year Nine. We’re almost all the same height (except for Tim)
Family Christmas Tree Xtracycle 2015

2016:  Year Ten. I have places to be. Can we go yet?

Tree Hauling Year TEN!

Happy Holidays, everyone. Looking forward to checking out your tree-hauling adventures.

– Anne and Tim

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Carfreedays Does Vélib en Famille

Full velib-station

As Seattle debates the relevancy, solvency, and future of Pronto bike share, I reflect on our family’s (first ever) bike share experience.

In Paris! Continue reading

Tree Hauling, Year Nine!

Family Christmas Tree Xtracycle 2015

You might be (editor: probably are) bored of tree-hauling posts by now, but I’m not. And since this is our NINTH-annual-Christmas-tree-by-bike post, and I already have kids in middle and high-schools, you’ll have to suffer through another sentimental one. The kids are growing up so fast <sniff> and our time with them is almost done. They’re already talking about their future holiday traditions, the ones they’ll start when they have their own (more stylish than our) homes and families. But for now, they’re still stuck with what passes for tradition around here.

Little boy in 2008; Much bigger boy in 2015

Boy on bike with Christmas Tree3109775332_15031be858_z

See that cute, little, three-year-old, riding on the back of Tim’s Xtracycle Mad-Max style? He’s now twelve! And almost taller than me! AND this year, he hauled the tree home on my Xtracycle! (I hope my overuse of exclamation points has properly conveyed my enthusiastic mirth.)

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What Free Days?

car

There’s a giant grey (editor: almost black, really) elephant parked in my driveway, and it’s time to talk about it. Just over two years ago, after six years in various states of carfreeandcarliteness, we ripped off our metaphoric hairshirts (editor: and said “fuck it”) and bought a very used car.  I’m (still) thrilled with our decision.

But I also understand such a disclosure could be confusing to some readers. I can hear longtime reader, ol’ Elmer in Iowa, right now (editor: we made him up):

Wait, wait… back up. I’m confused, if you have a car, why is your blog titled Car FREE Days?

Yes, this blog is titled Car Free DAYS, with the emphasis (originally, now, and always) on the DAYS part. That’s how it was from the beginning (editor: check that link. Those are some young, good looking cats!), and though we went pretty heavy into the car-free part for a while, the DAYS emphasis was always our intention.

Alrighty. I hope you’ve already had coffee. You might need it to get through this (editor: long, but very enjoyable) post. Continue reading

Teen Bike Rejection Syndrome

Great advice: Just enjoy the #icecream (and ride your bike) #Fremont #bluebird #Seattle #everydaybiking #familybiking #getoutside #urbanbiketour #coastlife #urbancycling

Let me start by admitting two things:

  1. Of the many parenting issues I’ll likely face in my lifetime, this one is minor
  2. This issue definitely falls into the ‘first-world-problem’ category

Even though this issue seems trivial in the grand scheme of parenting woes, it’s one that Tim and I have been pondering, discussing, obsessing over and pondering some more: What does a ‘bike family’ do when their teen rejects her bike?

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Light Up Your Bike with Battery-Powered-Holiday-Lights

a&g_DSC8655 (Large)Tree-hauling preparations started last week with a search for LED-battery-powered-holiday-bike lights. We love using these festive lights in the winter, not just to spread holiday cheer, but also for safety, they provide excellent side visibility! They come in all shapes and sizes: from stars to pine cones to super mini-bulbs. We string them through our front baskets and weave them around our rear Xtracyle Snapdecks. Drivers really appreciate a festive well-lit bike, and often stop us to compliment our high-vis-decorated bikes and cool lights. Continue reading

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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Confessions of a Bike to School Advocate

Panda enjoying the ride

I think I’ve mentioned one or two (or a hundred) times over the past seven years that I’m a bike to school advocate. If you’ve been reading Car Free Days for any amount of time, you’ve most likely surmised that I’m a tiny bit passionate about encouraging kids and families to bike and walk to school.

One message I’ve repeated over the years is how easy it is to bike and walk to school. Since my first kid started pre-school in 2004, I’ve talked about the simplicity and the joy and the fun of biking to school with kids.

But lately, I’ve started to wonder about the ease of this whole bike-to-school thing.  Continue reading

reBertha: What To Do With Our Very Large Hole

photo modified under Creative Commons. Original available on flickr from the WaDOT (http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/8260834957/in/set-72157631880763139)
As you’ve probably heard, our tortured tunneling titan, Bertha “the world’s largest and most expensive tunneling machine,” hasn’t moved in more than a month.

Armchair speculation says she’s likely over budget and certainly behind schedule.

I think it’s safe to say things are a mess.  Many of us alternative transportation nerds advocates have been against this mega project debacle since the beginning.  A mere $2.8B to move some cars at roughly the same speed and efficiency as if we tore down the doomed Alaska Way Viaduct and did nothing? “Sure that sounds like a great investment (air quotes over the great),” was my reaction all along.

Tweet: Bertha's Budget Busted

Nobody official wants to speak publicly about the growing quagmire, probably because the State and the contractor, Seattle Tunnel Partners, are busy lining up their litigation teams for the lawsuit(s) of the century.

Meanwhile the same state leaders glady supporting the motor-vehicle-only tunnel also think that investing in bike and transit infrastructure is too expensive and/or too socialist. Right….

So it’s tempting (oh so tempting!) to play I-told-you-so and draft an initiative to require all State Legislators to write suitably conciliatory, daisy-scented, “I’m sorry” notes to hero tunnel obstructionist/former Mayor McGuin.

Bertha's Junk. A creative commons photo from the Washington State Department of Transportation http://www.flickr.com/photos/wsdot/11828410274/in/set-72157631880763139/lightbox/

Bertha’s Junk

As much as I’d like to see how a liberal Tim Eyeman-style effort would play out in Ephrata, we’re instead going to join the moral-high ground freshly shoveled in by Tom over at the Seattle Bike Blog. In a post Thursday morning entitled “We can do better things with our new downtown tunnel,” he’s calling for a positive spin to install on our sinking Titantic. Continue reading

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