A couple summers ago, our family would go on big bike outings down and around the Smith & Bybee Wetlands area (it’s fun, you should try it!). My tweens and husbeast would go speeding up ahead of me, while I struggled behind, pulling the hard-bottom Burley trailer, our picnic stuff, and our kindergartner. It was easily over a hundred pounds.
I’d get home afterwards and my husbeast and I would compare notes and it would just irk me that Strava recorded me having a leisurely bike ride with minimal effort while it recorded him, half as sweaty, as having a vigorous one. I looked all over the app trying to find a way to change some sort of effort or cargo-pulling settings, but there was no such thing.
I have no plans on going pro. I realize I am privileged to say I don’t diet or track much of anything health-related in any earnest effort, but data sure is fun. Why is it that just because the data is there to observe, we need it? Or we need it to be correct? It’s not like I was going to change anything in my life if the data was accurate. I just wanted my little gold star, dammit [Read more…]
“How are you not constantly having a heart attack?”
I know some of you are totally chill. I see you. I have this amalgamation of chill cyclists in my head, based heavily on a few in particular. One looks more like he’s hovering along, and there just happens to be a bike under him. You know the guy. No helmet, no hands on the handlebars, not even aware of the potholes, wearing all black sometimes with a plaid flannel variation, and certainly unconcerned with vehicles. He’s glorious. Sometimes he’s female. She has the cutest little basket in front of a big heavy cruiser, wearing a dress and sandals, and without any effort whatsoever is passing me up a hill. Sometimes it seems like folks of all kinds are passing me and not at all having the same level of stroke-inducing-crazy-car-magnet-luck I’m having.
Be honest with me, okay? Is there some law of diminished returns on wearing reflectors, all the lights, Day-Glo green and pink, and two rolls of reflective tape? Is there a point at which it starts being more like a flame-to-a-moth scenario? I know it happens with emergency vehicle lights and traffic, so you can tell me. I’ll believe you.[Read more…]
After an exhaustive search for a good city bike for my son, I have concluded that kids bikes in general are in a sorry state. Either they are poorly constructed and will last only a year or two or they are overengineered and just not equipped for a city-riding kid.
By the looks of the offerings on the US market, it appears bike manufacturers think that kids mostly go off road and need mountain-type bikes, or that all kids need is a way to cruise around their cul-du-sac with no gears and just foot brakes. [Read more…]
A reader contacted us with a dilemma — she is about to have her first child, she doesn’t own a car, and she travels primarily by bike. In preparing for her new life as a parent, she had some questions.
Is it safe to ride with a newborn? Is it legal? Are there important age benchmarks she should know about? She was particularly concerned about the impact of vibration on a child’s brain development. [Read more…]
[Publisher’s note: This article is by our Family Biking columnist Marion Rice. Marion’s last two columns have been about biking while pregnant. Today she talks about negotiating a first bike purchase with your child.]
Starting at about 10 years old, I can remember going everywhere on my bike with my group of friends on the weekend. We would pack lunches and take off for points unknown. Of course we would have to bring a dime or two to call home and check in with our parents during the day. Sometimes we would call to beg for a ride home after having biked a good 20 miles away. [Read more…]
Angela Koch is now 32 weeks pregnant, and she’s still biking around the streets of Portland with a smile on her face. Her belly is significantly bigger now than it was back in February when I first wrote about her, and she’s still doing great.
Sure, at the end of a long day she’s tired, and there are a few aches and pains (darn sciatica) — but nothing that keeps her off her bike. [Read more…]
Sometimes my kids say they don’t want to go by bike.
“I also have to admit — I keep emergency chocolate in my Xtracyle bag.”
We do have a car and the mere presence of a motorized, temperature controlled cocoon creates the potential option for using it. I often wonder how other bike commuting parents deal with this and what they say to get their kids going when they don’t want to. [Read more…]
This article was written by our Family Biking columnist Marion Rice. For previous articles in this series, and for links to other articles and photos on family biking, check out the Family Biking Page.