Monthly Archive: August 2014

Vintage Mom Bike- 1978 Raleigh Grand Prix

The kids and I headed up North last week to take care of some business, soak up some nature, and see my beautiful mama for her birthday.  Oh- and to play with chickens.  Lots of chickens…  I rode a Zike bike, too, but didn’t get in any of the actual biking I wanted to (thanks, rain.)

Anyhow- we stopped for our customary Culver’s fix and I checked my email, and I saw someone in our neighborhood mom’s group was giving away a free bike and baby carrier.  An OLD bike.  Now nevermind that I already kind of have a bike hoarding problem, I just kind of thought I might need the bike.  When nice neighbor lady said they were all mine, I was stoked- and had to call Mr. M to see if he could go pick them up.  I found out the bike is a 1978 Raleigh Grand Prix, and I got to Googling… A few Google image searches later, I was really excited, as I saw ‘his and hers’ Raleigh’s, and this one looked pretty true to form.  True to mixte form- and I’ve always liked that word…”mixte.” :)

wpid-20140825_194537.jpgMr. M was gracious about hauling the bike home, but ix-nayed the baby seat, since my kids are too big.  He just kind of eyeballed the frame and figured it would work.  He had to call a car to haul it, as the tires are both flat, front wheel is loose, and chain is dragging.  But as he said over a text- it’s a pretty sweet bike. The decals are pretty much intact, the paint job is awesome, the tape on the handlebars is still pretty solid.

This bike needs some serious TLC, but I’m not sure how serious.  It’s a ten-speed, and it shifts with levers in a way I’ve never seen before.  I played around with it as soon as I got in tonight, and most of the components other than the chain, tire, and break pads actually seem fine.  No corrosion I can see… I’m a little concerned the frame might be too small, the seat seems to be lifted pretty far out of the seat post.  If it is, I’m going to be hugely disappointed.

I called Pedal to the People as soon as I knew the bike was at the house and set up an appointment, so tomorrow morning we’ll know what’s what.  Adam will be at the playground tomorrow with his mobile bike shop and I’ll have my fingers crossed!

Oh- some Upper Peninsula highlights: (from left to right)

1) Me and the kids with “silkies”- like kittens, but chickens :)  2) My daughter LOVES seeing her friends and chasing them around my parents’ yard 3) eggs of all colors and sizes  4) A BIKE RACK in my hometown. In front of a ‘tap room’ bar. That’s new!  5)  Feeding the deer at City Park  6) Dinner with family and friends (who are soon to be family)  7)  Two ducks the coyotes haven’t managed to eat. 8,9)  I taught the kids how to throw something into the river and watch the other side of the bridge- Pooh sticks, anyone? 10)  If you have a tent, a fire, and a beer, it’s camping.  11) That’s a child sized helmet for motor sports.  I’m glad we bike.  12)  A Zike.  It’s like an elliptical bike, and my 7 year old cousin got it for his B-day.  It’s a workout! 13) Chicken chat with Papa.  14) Family lunch at the Trading Post.  15)  My mom’s garden.  16) Running down the trail that used to be railroad tracks, and is now used for ORV’s.  17) Visiting great-grandma, that was my yard growing up. 18)  One of many, many dogs my kids were happy to visit again.

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Upper Peninsula

Harrison PBL

PBL= Protected Bike Lane, for anyone who isn’t a nerd spending way too much time reading bike related blogs… (Photo coming! for now, check out these awesome ones at Streetsblog, and full article.)

We got a new East/West route in Chicago a month or so ago, and so far it’s been helping us out a LOT. But what really made me happy today was rolling up to State (facing West on Harrison) and realizing the intersection made perfect sense. Big green squares showed clearly where I was to cross the road, and I was confidently waiting in a space just for bicycles. That’s such a beautiful thing!

Honestly, it’s easier to tell where a bike should go than where a car should go at this point.  Yes!!

Let me expand on this, just a bit. In Chicago, often we have two or three lanes for traffic- two lanes that continue straight, one that is right turn only (and for busses, as well.) I usually position myself near the line between the lane furthest right and the straight on lane so cars turning right at an intersection can roll past me while the light is red. Still- this can get confusing. Sometimes you can’t help but second guess yourself or find yourself wondering if you should pull ahead of a car and not suck in exhaust while you wait for a light to turn green, other times you can sense that they guy in the car wants to blow past you and resents your presence on the road. He doesn’t know why you’re so close to him. Heck, he doesn’t know why you don’t just ride on the sidewalk. And that’s why this green paint is so wonderful.
I don’t just hop on a bike with my two beautiful children and learn as I go. Well, okay, I do, but I also do my reading. I ask annoying questions constantly. (Thank you, seasoned bike friends I regularly annoy, you are wonderful.) I even take road safety quizzes just to brush up. What can I say? I’m a rule follower.
But not everyone knows or cares about the rules in life. But a pretty new bike lane, with adequate way finding is like a rule. A bright, obvious rule, right there on the street. Thank you Harrison, for laying it all out like that.

Don’t Just Drag Your Kids- Drag Their Bikes, Too!

Seriously, I thought I’d be CUT by now…

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Kids get tired? Drag their bikes!

After hours and hours and hours of running around and riding bikes, the kids got TIRED. As in, their ears don’t work and they are near tears for no reason. So even though I’ve been letting them ride independently on some of the quieter streets, they needed to hitch a ride again the other day. The bikes really do not impact the weight or rideablility of the Mundo. It’s a really, really cool trick.