Category Archives: weather

Biking to School in the Rain (don’t be a wimp, mom)

IMG_2358We woke this morning to the sound of raindrops pounding the roof and splashing the windows. So hard to accept after the lovely sunny and warm weekend. Yesterday we were at the beach and there were kids in their skivvys playing in the sand and dipping their tiny toes in the Sound. We slathered on sunscreen and sat in the sand eating pizza and drinking beer out of plastic cups (and talked about how summer had arrived).

And today we woke to rain. Really? On day one of Bike to School Month? Can’t we catch a break?

I was ready to ditch the bike-to-school-plan and walk instead. (We only live 5 blocks from school, it’s easier to walk). But we _are_ the organizers and during Bike to School month, we ride. Continue reading

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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

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Waiting out the Rain Under a tree

Sometimes it rains. And you get wet. And you stop and wait for the rain to pass under a tree while you eat chocolate. And mom is kinda mad. Then you go home.

Looking forward to some better weather.

Please.

– Anne and Tim (not pictured but equally wet)

Everybody talks about the weather but no one…

A wet trip homeIt was raining so hard when I got up Wed. morning I didn’t ride my bike to work.

Don’t worry, I still got there on the Xtracycle, but like most days, I found it made more sense to take my time getting underway.

My morning (many mornings, in truth) went something like this: I got up. It was raining. Had my Grapenuts and coffee with the kids. Raining. Helped them get ready. Raining. Said goodbye to the kids. Still raining. Shower? Yep, still raining.

Yet 10 minutes later I was on my way to work dressed in my normal (non-bike) clothes, rain gear safely stowed in the Xtracycle Freeloader. Rain-gear optional is a a pretty usual way for me to roll (and maybe the reason I can still justify owning my hideously ugly purple/pink/black, 18 (!) year-old REI Turismo jacket/pants

I’m not saying all this to sound like a total time-challenged-douche-bag-schedule-slouching-weather-rock-star or something—though if you got soaked yesterday you might think  I sound like one of those. Nah, I just want to share my two simple tools (well, three if you count the merino wool and four if you count fenders, but everyone knows that one, right?)  for staying dry this winter. Continue reading

Hotpocalypse

Record heat in WA

photo courtesy of Cliff Mass Weather Blog

We’re wilting up here in the Northwest. After a week of warmer than usual weather, we broke the record today and surpassed 100F.  It’s definitely too HOT for us!

Just last week I read about New Yorkers and Floridians who are unplugging their air conditioners to save energy and some cash. Meanwhile, we’ve had one week of hot weather in the Northwest and stores can’t keep air conditioners on the shelves. Continue reading

Our Hood Ornament Girls are Ready for Spring

Our girls got spring outfitsOur girls got spring outfitsSpring has sprung in a typical Seattle way these past weeks, one day it’s 70 degrees and sunny and the next it’s 50 and raining. We’re not putting our winter clothes away any time soon.

However, my daughter decided last week that our girls were getting a little hot in their winter wear and they were ready for spring. The dolls’ outfits were not at all appropriate on sunny days. They got outfit changes last week. They are definitely ready for spring now!

Even if we changed them too soon, they are just dolls, they’ll be just fine.

– Anne

Happy Spring!

Cherry Blossoms at UW

The Cherry Blossoms in full bloom at the UW are a sure sign of spring in Seattle.

I hope Spring has sprung where ever you are!

It’s a beautiful day in Seattle. Cheers!

– Anne

Merry Christmas

Sledding HomeMerry Christmas! We hope you enjoyed the holiday. We had a lovely day.

A rare snowy week in Seattle has paralyzed the city and kept us mostly confined to the one mile radius around our house. I guess 27 snow plows aren’t enough to keep the roads of an entire city clear.

I have to agree, snow in Seattle does force people to rediscover their legs. We’ve seen more people carless this week than normal. This seems kind of harsh, but it’s nice when people are scared or ill equiped to drive. The streets have been so quiet and serene. We could get used to these car-free roads. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get rid of the snow and have the roads to ourselves? Continue reading

A chill in the air? Get studs for your tires

Seattle’s once-yearly cold snap has me thinking traction. Sure, so far things have been pretty darn easy. Aside from the University Bridge (no, apparently they _don’t_ read the blog), the roads have been in great shape.

But the weather folks tell me this won’t last.We’re supposed to get some snow tonight and maybe tomorrow. Then they tell us to expect the teens to the low 20s (in Seattle!) for a few days, followed by more white stuff.

That’s tempting me to up the ante in the grip department. Studded tires are a logical choice, but hard to justify for two or three days a year. Even if I wasn’t such a cheap bastard, by the time I got around to ordering them it would be 50 and raining.

So what’s a tightwad with a hankering for traction to do?

DIY of course. Chains seem pretty nifty, but the process is kind of  high maintenance, even for me. That leaves self-studding as my only option. You don’t need me to point you to a studding tutorial — the interwebs are loaded with them. Totally cool studding videos are in shorter supply. Luckily, the Google delivers with this awesome video from Finland:

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Even Anne, who doesn’t give a rip about studded tires,  watched the whole thing. It kind of makes you wanna grab the cordless drill and a beer, huh? If I don’t get snowed in tomorrow, I think I’ll head to Tacoma Screw for some #6  pan-head screws and give it a whirl.

Do you have some studding plans or experience ? (I can’t imagine what our Google search referrers are going to look like after this post). Let us know how it goes.

-Tim

Dear SDOT: A little Sand on the Univ. Bridge, please

The only stretch of ice on the whole commute

Day: The only stretch of ice on the whole commute

Glare Ice on the Bike Path

Night: University Bridge: Glare Ice on the Bike Path

To my friends at Seattle DOT,

If, by chance, you happen to read this little blog before heading out Tuesday morning,  I’d first like to mention how much me and my bike commuting buddies appreciate the great job you did clearing the University Bridge deck Monday morning. It was cold but you were out there working it.

Thanks!

With that out of the way, do you mind if I ask a small favor? Is there any chance that you could pretty-please finish the North and South approaches to the deck? It’s very slippery, especially at night.

I know it may not seem like there are many riders out right now, but you’d be surprised: I think more than a few of us would benefit from such an effort.

Keep up the good work!

-Tim

PS: I used your online contact form to report this issue, but it said I’d hear a response in 10 days. I figure it will be 55 F and raining by then, so this venue will have to do.