Category Archives: Everyday Biking

Everyday Biking: Using bikes for everyday transportation

Farewell (for now)! 10 Years of Carfreedays (Video Recap)

While we’re not completely shutting the door on Carfreedays.com, (we’ll keep it unlocked in case we want to visit again). We are stepping back from this ten-year-long-blogging-labor-of-love. It’s time. Carfreedays.com will remain up, but we’re moving on.

Anne is starting a new project, 5summers, that she is really excited about. It’s live, but she’s still working out some tweaks and kinks. Check it out and subscribe!

Anne made this little video edit of some Carfreedays highlights these past 10 years. We hope you enjoy it!

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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

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

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

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

Get Kids to Talk: The Modern Equivalent of Trapping Them in the Car

Parenting fact: one-on-one time with kids is where all of the good dialogue happens.

1977 Cadillac Sedan Deville

1977 Cadillac Sedan Deville from The Hartford Guy on Flickr

When I was in high school, my dad was well aware of this fact. I think that’s why he’d bribe me with rides to school in his 1978 Cadillac DeVille (or “the boat” as we called it in the family). Even today I can still hear the “thunk” of the automatic door locks engaging as dad backed this giant, baby-blue, swank sedan out of the driveway.

That “thunk” nearly always triggered teenage-cheek-flush and upper-lip-sweat as I realized I was trapped in the car with dad. On the surface it was a luxury ride, but in reality I was merely being held for uninterrupted questioning.

My 15-year-old brain swirled with thoughts of outsmarting him:

“Crap, it’s just dad and me, no one else to distract him or run interference, he can talk about anything he wants. I can’t escape, I have to answer his questions. Maybe if I just look out the window and feign boredom, he won’t try to talk to me.”

But my sweaty, flushed flight response of my lizard brain knew better.

He always asked questions. So many questions. And I eventually had to answer. Continue reading

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

Riding, Pedaling, Everyday Cycling, What do you call it?

The girls' bikes
Awhile back, Tori over at Gracie’s Wrench asked for suggestions for a new term to describe cycling as transportation or everyday cycling. “Commuting” usually refers to going to and from work. “Riding” usually refers to sport riding.  What do you call everyday cycling? I read all the comments to her post, and quite frankly, none of the terms really spoke to me. Not in the same way “commuting” does.

I’m looking for a good one (maybe two) word term to describe using a bike to go to the store or to get coffee or out to dinner.

Does anyone have a good one?

– Anne