madi carlson

Family Biking: Join us for a new ‘Storytime’ event series

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on January 8th, 2019 at 11:57 am

Storytime! 2nd and 4th Mondays of the month January-March.
(*Thank you to Liz Holladay from Clever Cycles for the bike-riding book illustration and to Leslie Hickey of Hoarfrost Press for the graphic lettering.)

I’m still chugging away at trying to pedal more throughout the winter in an attempt to keep my winter blahs at bay, but I’ve decided to supplement things with some indoor bike-related fun for the off-season. Enter Bike Shop Storytime.
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Family Biking: Share your new bike stories!

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on December 27th, 2018 at 4:37 pm

New bikes don’t care about the weather!
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

I don’t observe Christmas myself, but I’m happy to celebrate it with other people. One of my favorite parts of this season seeing kids and adults on new (or new-to-them) bikes.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

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Family biking profile: A new(ish) rider and her toddler take to the streets

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on December 18th, 2018 at 8:42 am

**NOTE: Photos and names of our profile’s subjects have been removed from this story by their request. Sorry. – Jonathan**

This week we’re going to share a profile of a local family biker.

K*** ****** is relatively new to Portland and has embraced bicycling for transportation with her toddler son in tow.
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Family Biking: Beyond mama bear rage and toward healthier responses to bad drivers

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on December 11th, 2018 at 11:51 am

Try “Wow, someone’s in a hurry” in place of “Slow the f— down!”
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

As the days get shorter, wetter, and colder it feels like more people are driving faster, less predictably, and more assholishly.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

I used to get all heated-up about people driving unsafely around me and my kids. You know, like a protective mama bear. Grrr. I once angrily pantomimed hanging up a phone at a woman talking on her cell while running a stop sign in front of us and I’ve even thumped the trunk of a car after its driver barreled into the crosswalk against a red light, coming within an inch of my front wheel.

The thing is, reacting angrily just leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, not to mention doesn’t set the best example for my kids. So I’ve drastically changed my reactions. I’m not perfect and slip from time-to-time (mama bears gonna mama bear), but keeping my cool has vastly improved my quality of life despite still sharing some roads with people misusing two-ton battering rams.[Read more…]

Family biking: Our annual tree-by-bike tradition

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on December 4th, 2018 at 10:22 am

An annual tradition.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)


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Saddle height hints, ballast before babes, and other tips for settling into family biking

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on November 27th, 2018 at 9:05 am

Me and my boys shortly before I removed the front kid seat and raised my saddle two inches.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

‘Tis the season for giving and receiving new bikes. With that in mind, I want to share a few tips on how to comfortably settle into a new rig.
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Family Biking: Come join us at Cranksgiving

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on November 20th, 2018 at 6:42 am

I don’t like grocery shopping with kids, but I love Cranksgiving shopping with kids.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Cranksgiving is a bike-based food-and-supplies drive, treasure hunt, costume contest, and bike race. This is the sixth year for the event in Portland, but it started back in 1999 in New York City. It’s fun for participants fast and slow, and whether you’re equipped to carry a lot or a little, it’s definitely something to bring the kids to.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

This year’s edition is on Saturday, November 24th from 12:00-5:00 pm at Nomad Cycles PDX (5820 NE Sandy Blvd). Here’s the blurb from the event page, “Cranksgiving is a tradition. You come, you ride, or volunteer. We provide a manifesto of locations, supplies, and tasks that must be completed. You make it happen with your team.”

This year’s beneficiary is Portland Street Medicine — whose donated bike fleet we featured here on the Front Page two weeks ago.

In addition to purchasing items to donate (expect to spend $20), teams are eligible for prizes in several categories:
➤ Fastest
➤ Most donated
➤ Best costume
➤ DFL (dead…uh…festively last)
Form your team (of any size this year) ahead of time or find teammates on race day.
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Family Biking: Get ready for puddle season

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on November 14th, 2018 at 10:46 am

Start ’em young…also, balance bikes have no drivetrain to douse with puddle water.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Puddle season is right around the corner, are you ready?

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Officially, I believe one should always avoid puddles because you never know what’s hidden under the water. Unofficially, they’re really fun to ride through!

But seriously, puddles can contain sharp rocks that puncture tires or hide deep potholes that throw you over your handlebars when you enter them. Or if you lose momentum on your way through a big puddle and have to put your foot down: soaking wet foot.
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Family Biking: Let’s (not) talk about safety

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on November 6th, 2018 at 9:36 am

On Clinton, and only Clinton, we ride side by side even when cars are near.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Last week I wrote a “rah rah” post about making a plan to pedal more and beat the winter blahs. That post inspired a few comments about readers’ plans for winter biking; but there was one commenter who felt I, “Missed a huge opportunity to point out that riding at night or even in a light rain increases one’s chances dramatically of death and maiming.”

So this week I figured I should write about safety. Or rather, why I don’t write about safety.[Read more…]

Family Biking: Beat winter blahs with a plan to pedal more

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on October 30th, 2018 at 9:50 am

Setting goals and plans might keep you riding more this winter.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

It’s that time of year.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

We stayed in all day Monday. The kids were out of school due to a Portland Public Schools planning day. My one bike-related chore was digging dozens of pieces of glass out of my tires while fixing a flat (more on that in a future post), but that was the closest I got to riding my bike.

The planning day got me thinking about planning something — anything — for the upcoming months to help keep the winter blahs at bay.
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