Category Archives: bikes

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

SUP, Finding Solitude in Nation’s Fastest Growing City

If you follow me or Tim on Instagram, (@annesavvy & @carfreedays), you might have noticed more SUP, or stand up paddle boarding photos this past year. Tim got his first board in 2011 and I joined him last spring. Why should Tim have all the fun? Plus paddle boarding is so much better with a buddy! 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 2015Icy Xtracycle Tree Haulin 2008Boy on bike with Christmas Tree

 

See that cute, little, three-year-old, riding on the back of Tim’s Xtracycle Mad-Max style? (left image) He’s now twelve! (right) 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 (Part 2)

This place we drove (Salt Creek)
You’re really going to need coffee for this one, get it now before you start.

In Part One of What Free Days,  we talked about the (editor: ugly, fat, smelly, comfortable, dry, cheap, and easy) car in our driveway, non-subsidized transit costs, kids biking in the city, and Seattle bike infrastructure to name a few.

I’m sending a huge ‘Thank You” to all who reached out on the blog, Facebook and Twitter! (editor: it’s been nearly a year since we’ve posted anything and me, the grumpy, negative part of the team thought we’d hear crickets, if that. Instead, ya’ll came through with some great contributions. So pat yourself on the back and say: “nice job”). I’ll highlight a few comments that resonated with me:

“This is a fun-to-read highly pragmatic and honest assessment of where we are today, and as a guy who went through the 2 kids in a Bakfiets to Xtracycling to kids on their own bikes evolution and who loved every minute of it, driving when you need or want to is just fine. Thanks for saying it loud.” (Frank)

“I console myself with “best tool for the job” phrases. We are all fortunate to have options.” (Stacy)

“One day I will write a blog on the benefits of a multi-mode life. I love it all: biking. Busing, walking, occasional car ride, train. It all beats daily one person car commute alone! I’d much rather have these options. It is a luxury to have options and the people watching is hilarious!” (Charlotte)

Added bonus, we only heard from one hater who called us ‘lame’ on Twitter! Of course, the hater hides behind an anonymous Twitter handle. Of course. Anonymous  commenters get what they deserve, dismissal. I can, in good conscience, ignore them on principle. If you’re going to call me lame; face me, take off your hat and dark sunglasses, and use your name!

Back to Part 2. If you’re still with us…. aw, shucks, thanks! Read on to find out the rest of our story. Continue reading

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

One Day at a Time (an Alternative to 30 Days of Biking)

#30daysofbiking

April 1st is not only April Fools Day, centered around pranks and jokes and various forms of tomfoolery, it’s also the beginning of 30 Days Of Biking. According to their site, 30 Days of Biking started in 2010 as a way to encourage people to ride their bike. “We ride our bikes every day in April, no matter the weather, no matter the distance. We started in 2010, and thousands of people from around the world have joined in.” At this count 6997 people have signed up. Have you? 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 rideI 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