Category Archives: alternative transportation

Why We Ride: Thoughts on Motivation

Let’s talk about motivation. What drives you to ride your bike or walk? Why on earth — especially during these sodden, cold winter days — do you commute via bike or feet over a warm, dry car?

A little housekeeping first: when used in the same sentence as bikes, commute has many definitions. Most people associate commute with work. But work isn’t the only destination for a commute. What about school? or play, activities, errands, appointments, or even to run kids here and there? Maddie, for example, is a bike commuter in our eyes. And for the purpose of this article, if you use a bike to “get around” (say, any use not strictly for sport),  then you are a bike commuter too. This article mostly refers to “bikes.” But if your needs are better met by mentally substituting “walk” or “scoot” or “multi-modal” instead of “bike” as you read this post, you have our blessing.

share the road with a Kid

This discussion is not new, our bike tribe has been talking about this topic for years. Back in 2008, Kent Peterson did some posts: why do you bike commute? / Why don’t you bike commute?

You’ve heard of first world problems, right? Most people who live in the world’s wealthiest nations have abundant choices. One of those is the option to choose our mode of transportation. To get from point A to B, we can drive or walk or take the bus or use a bike, a scooter or a unicycle, or even hire a town car. Us first-worlders are blessed (cursed?) with commute options. Continue reading

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Groceries by Bike: Turn a Chore into Fun

slowbikecart

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

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!

Continue reading

Cargo Bike Old Farts

how we rolled in 2003, san francisco

I really enjoyed reading Todd’s latest post. Especially the retrospective and the Clever Cycles back story.

Todd and Martina have been riding Xtracycles since 2001. I knew they were cargo bike early adopters, but I hadn’t thought about the chronology or the details until I read the post. 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

Brompton: Take it in? Or lock it up?

BromptonsTim and I have a difference of opinion when it comes to Bromptons.

When he rides the Brompton, Tim forgoes toting around a heavy U lock and frequently chooses to take the bike with him when he arrives at his destination. In a shopping cart, in the corner of a restaurant or in a waiting room at the doctor’s office, Tim’s choice is usually to tote and stash the bike. Continue reading

Bikes carrying skis

Tim's ski shuttle

Tim makes hauling large items look so easy

Continue reading

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

Fall Basket = Smiles

Fall Leaves

I followed a cyclist down Eastlake the other day. We yo yoed for a few miles as we both climbed and descended all the hills heading North. He passed me, I caught up, he pulled way ahead, I caught up again.

The only reason he kept getting so far ahead of me is he was running red lights. As in, not–even–a–question the light was red, it was R E D. Continue reading

Soccer Mom, Hold the Mini-Van

Soccer without a car question from TwitterCan a kid participate in soccer if their family doesn’t own a car?

Tim and Maddie had a conversation about that very subject on Twitter today…she was surprised to learn that our kids play soccer and we don’t have a car. (She knew about the car part, she just didn’t know about soccer). Continue reading