He's having fun, making friends, and enjoying unlimited Clif bars.

Well hello, everybody.  We’ve been busy- enjoying pleasant weather and lots of fun rides.  As you can see, my husband is totally digging this “his and hers” cargo bike thing we have going on, and so are the kids.  And so am I.  We’ve covered a lot of miles in the past week.  The pictures might be a bit out of order, but I’ll share what we have here.  We bought a Fuji waterproof camera awhile ago at Costco, and the kids have been my designated photographers, which is cool.

Early in the morning, on our way to the ride.  5:30 early.  Whew!

Early in the morning, on our way to the ride. 5:30 early. Whew!

He's having fun, making friends, and enjoying unlimited Clif bars.

He’s having fun, making friends, and enjoying unlimited Clif bars.

You can see in the picture above that we improvised another seat to go on the deck, and I think it’s sort of genius.  Our Bubblebum booster works GREAT.  I took an old tube and tied it around the deck, then feed it through the side hooks like a seatbelt.  Voila!  And we’re street legal if we need to use a car for some reason.  Yay!

 

Hey, look at us!  Over four lanes, all for bikes!

Hey, look at us! Over four lanes, all for bikes!

All the above pictures are from Bike the Drive, which was on Sunday- EARLY.  We aren’t an early rising bunch, but it was worth it.  There was bad weather in the forecast until almost the last minute, and my pre-coffee brain totally forgot to throw our raingear in the backpack, so we only did the North segment of the ride this year.  The kids had hoodies, but it was raining and windy for awhile, and they said they were cold, so… We can easily use the Lake Front Path to head South, but the northern section is usually so crowded I thought we should definitely take advantage of the ride to head that way.  If you aren’t from Chicago or familiar with the event, it’s a fundraiser held every year for the Active Transportation Alliance where they close Lakeshore Drive to cars for about five hours in the morning for registered cyclists.  We did about 20 miles, but the whole route is over thirty and you see bikes of all kinds.  A friend of mine is training for a triathlon and said she had a blast.  My friends who carry kids also had fun, and it looked like a lot of people opted for Divvy’s or rentals just to try it out.  Good times for all!  One thing I was grateful for was our fenders, as I saw lots of people ‘striped’ on the ride.

Inflating tires at On the Route the day before Bike the Drive.  And buying another tube!

Inflating tires at On the Route the day before Bike the Drive. And buying another tube!

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Changing the tube on the new bike, because I was too lazy to pump the tube up to the suggested pressure before… live and learn.

We’ve ridden both bikes a lot already.  I saw the rear tire was low on the new bike, but only pumped it up a bit with a hand pump and paid the price- a pinch flat.  Keeping your tires in the suggested range of pressure is important, people.  Luckily, it was super easy to fix the flat, even without levers.  I’ve had some bad experiences in the past. (which ended in bruised and raw thumbs, lots of cursing, and ultimately a shameful visit to the bike shop…) I don’t know if it was the 20″ wheel or the fact that it’s really new and not too grippy to the wheel, but it was a breeze to replace the tube, and I was pretty dang proud of myself.

The little guy fell asleep in the middle of Critical Mass.  We stopped in Pilsen and traded riders, because the old Haul-a-Day has lower clearance and seems safer for sleeping.

The little guy fell asleep in the middle of Critical Mass. We stopped in Pilsen and traded riders, because the old Haul-a-Day has lower clearance and seems safer for sleeping.

Haven't removed the sticker from bike the drive yet.  (because it's sticky.)

Haven’t removed the sticker from bike the drive yet. (because it’s sticky.)

There it is!  A great example of the "Chicago Hold-Up" during tonight's mass.  You can see quite a few bikes lifted down in front- I wasn't about to kick my kid off to try it, but I think I could...

There it is! A great example of the “Chicago Hold-Up” during tonight’s mass. You can see quite a few bikes lifted down in front- I wasn’t about to kick my kid off to try it, but I think I could…

At Daley Plaza, getting ready for Critical Mass

At Daley Plaza, getting ready for Critical Mass

It's like a date night, but with kids.  And tons of other people. :)

It’s like a date night, but with kids. And tons of other people. :)

Okay, one more change I made- my husband loves the straight bars, I love the cargo bars.  So I switched them out.  It takes hardly any mechanical inclination to do this, I promise.  I just took photos of how my shifters looked before with my phone so I could check my work.  The toughest part, I swear, was getting the darned grips off without scratching or gouging anything- but a measuring spoon and a bit of water did the trick.  I’ve learned to like the new shifting/gearing on the new bike, and I especially appreciate that it’s quieter.  Without the foot plates and with a new kickstand that doesn’t bang, I’m feeling kinda ninja when we ride.  I really don’t prefer one bike to another, but the larger bar in the back of the most recent model means more room for kids, and since I’m most likely to carry two, we switched things up.

wpid-20150519_205430.jpgI have big plans.  One involves using a product called “sugru” to dampen some of the noisier parts of the old bike- funny I never even noticed this until I started riding the new one- and another is a themed Kidical Mass ride we have coming up in early June.

The bike business is also underway.  I’ll tease with the logo, but will fill you in with another post- soon!

Not committing to one or the other quite yet- but there will soon be a "working Haul-a-Day" in Chicago!

Not committing to one or the other quite yet- but there will soon be a “working Haul-a-Day” in Chicago!

Have a great weekend, everybody!