Tag Archives: cycling

Most American everyday cyclists are men. Why?

family transportation Amsterdam

I just read this article about women and everyday cycling that Xtracycle posted on their Facebook page. It’s a subject we love to talk about and one we’ve covered before.

The article (and some of the commenters) point to a lack of cycling infrastructure in most American cities as a reason women feel unsafe on the road.  They also mention that household and child rearing responsibilities make it more difficult for women to go by bike.

What do you think? We’d love a lively discussion in the comments. Are safety concerns keeping women off bikes? Lack of showers at work? Too many kid juggling duties?

Tim and I talk about this a lot in our household. Unfortunately we don’t have any major new insights. All we can think to do about it is to keep encouraging people to ride and to raise our own kids who we hope will grow up thinking going by bike is normal.

What about you? Any thoughts on the not-enough-chicks-on-bikes issue? We’re all ears.

– Anne and Tim

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

48 Hours in Portland

Taking the Appliances on VacationIt turns out you can take your appliances on vacation. (btw Stephan – even if Anne has to eat her words, the trip was well worth it).

We have been trying to get to Portland for a childless getaway for awhile. The stars aligned this past weekend and we were able to get the grandparents to watch the kids so we headed down to the Rose city to celebrate our anniversary.

We ended up driving our VW van after much discussion of trains (no go since we read you have to box odd shaped bikes) and Zipcars (we didn’t think our bikes would fit in any of their cars). To complicate matters, we had to pick up our kids at the grandparents house in the suburbs at the end of the weekend and driving simplified all of that.

Did you like all of those excuses for taking the stinky car?

Continue reading

Labor Day Ride Update

Gathering at 2020 Cycles

The Labor Day ride was a huge success. We didn’t get an official count but we’d guess the ride drew at least 50 bikes pedaling down Broadway, over the University Bridge and up University Ave to Cowan Park. All kinds of bikes were represented–road bikes, mountain bikes, kids on bmx bikes, Xtracycles, Bakfiets and trailers to name a few. It was great to see so many folks out riding on an early fall Seattle day.
Labor Day Cargo Bike Ride

More photos here

Traditionally the next ride is the day after Thanksgiving(or buy nothing day). Mark your calendars and we’ll see you out there.

– Anne and Tim

Carfreedays Dot Com – We (finally) own our URL

Summer Ride

Just a quick post to note that we’ve finally coughed up for http://carfreedays.com. Our one-year annivesary seemed like as good a time as any for an address change. Besides, we didn’t want his mayoral Largeness to grab it out from under us for his familiarly named Ciclovia program.

WordPress seems to be handling redirects quite well, but you may want to update your bookmarks, if you are the kind of person who worries about such things. Same goes for RSS—from what we’ve seen it’s working fine in places like Google Reader and Sage, but if you are having problems you might just want to add it again.

We’ve probably got some other changes up our sleeves—I’ve been meaning to update the template for about 10 months now—but we’re going to squeak out a bit more of this care-free/car-free summer before resuming our normal level of web-dorkness.

Enjoy the ride!


Riding with Kids: The Recipe for a Happy Summer

Riding in the RoadWe’re having a great, virtually car-free summer. After a horrendous spring, with snow and cold rain way too far into June, the weather in Seattle has improved to a near perfect 70° and sunny on a daily basis.

Tim’s working his ass off for the the man this summer, but other than morning swim lessons, the kids and I have no set daily plans. From lunchtime on, we’re free to pursue classic summer activities: park visiting, swimming, gardening, reading in the hammock, beach combing, library visits, insect studying, berry picking, lake wading, and just about anything else that involves transport by bike. Continue reading

Is America Turning into Europe Right Before Our Eyes?

Biking to Bottleworks
That headline from the Freakonomics blog caught my eye this morning. While Americans are slowly changing their evil, car–loving ways (mostly because of skyrocketing gas prices), we certainly have a long way to go before we get close to European transportation standards. Continue reading

Are Women The Key To A Successful Bike Culture?

Bike and Notre Dame
This morning I was reading Copenhagen Cycle Chic’s report on the véloculture in Paris. It’s so wonderful to read about the success of the Vélib program. Since the program was introduced last summer, biking has exploded in the city of Paris.

When I lived in Paris many years ago, transportation options were limited to

  • Métro (efficient but underground so you can’t enjoy the scenery, also crowded and stinky at times)
  • Bus (also efficient but always crowded)
  • Walking (my preferred method of transport but took a long time to get anywhere)

Biking around Paris would have been so great!

Tim and I were there last July and we missed the installation of the Vélib bikes by one week. We saw the stations all over town, but they were all bikeless. We walked and took the Metro – but would have prefered cruising around Paris on bikes. I guess we’ll have to go back and give Vélib a try.

While Copenhagen Cycle Chic’s post was about biking culture in Paris – my key take away was this quote:

The key to any successful bike culture is to get women onto bikes. They are the group that is most likely to ride and yet least likely to actually do it, especially in urban settings. Continue reading

Bike to School Month Family Bike Extravaganza

We kicked off Bike to School Month in style this morning with a fantastic family-focused bike event at our elementary school. Judging from the turnout – easily more than 100 people –  it seems there’s no better way to get families excited about biking to school than getting them biking at school. Of course a rare sunny (this spring in Seattle, anyway) Saturday didn’t hurt numbers. Continue reading

Road Riding Skills for Kids

RidingA few days ago we mentioned that the kids are getting heavy enough that carrying both long distances can be a chore. While the Stokemonkey, is an obvious (though unobtainium) solution, we think we might be on to something else —kid power!

The seven-year-old is getting interested in riding on her own. By this summer, when we don’t have school and more time to get places, I’ll probably experiment with having her ride on her own and just haul the five-year-old on the Xtracycle. She needs to get some miles in before then. She’s pretty timid and not very comfortable with speed just yet. Continue reading