Monday, September 21, 2009

Finally a break!

This is a sight that I love. My wife, my best friend, in front of me on her bike.

My parents were visiting us this past weekend. It may be more accurate that they came to visit their grandkids. I feel like I hardly saw them since they were almost insistent that Nicole and I get out of the house together without our kids. Tenzin isn't quite old enough to ride with us (another ~9mos!) so we don't get this chance very often. We rode through Golden Gate Park and then down the panhandle before deciding that we wanted to go to the Lower Haight for coffee.While we we down there, Grandma called to say that the kids were still napping and to encourage us to go out to eat alone. Just the two of us! It's amazing how valuable this kind of time has become to us now that we're parents of two :) We quickly found a Thai restaurant that we had not eaten at before. Totally fell in love with their crispy fried portabello mushroom & eggplant dish. Wow. Nicole took pictures of the food, it was all so beautiful. Coincidentally the restaurant is right on the wiggle so when it was time to go we just hopped on our bikes and wiggled our way back up to the panhandle and back through the park on home. Part of the way that I fell in love with Nicole was through our mutual love of bicycles. Riding with her is easily my all time favorite activity and I miss it so. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa for allowing us the space to get out together :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DFL Cross Dress Cyclocross Race!

Jula and I had a grand time in Golden Gate Park watching the annual DFL Cross Dress Cyclocross race. It's an unofficial, unsanctioned, illegal cross race through Golden Gate Park. Race entrance fee was $5 or free if you wore a dress!

There were lots and lots of bikes!

Part of the "course"

Pink tu-tu's make you ride fast!

Jula (and Brown B) were enthralled with all the bike action. I had a hard time peeling her away.

The crowd from Jula's level.

Eventually I persuaded Jula that it was time to go by taking her to the nearby pond to watch the ducks and the fog roll in.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Pet food haul++

It was that time again. Dog out of food, cats out of food and litter. Time for a big haul!

This load was actually pretty heavy! It was still a breeze to actually pedal home but I could really feel the pull of the off-center load this time.

I used 10 (!!) bungee cords to hold all of this on. After the pet store I hit up the grocery store, the hardware store and the pharmacy just to top off the xtracycle.

Left to right, Full bag of groceries, MC Escher book I found on the way home, baby diapers, box of baby bottles, 35lbs of cat food, new griddle, 45lbs of dog food, 60lbs of cat litter.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Sunday Streets!

Jula and I just got back from riding the last Sunday Streets of the year. Sunday Streets is a San Francisco event where the city shuts down car traffic along a long-ish route though different parts of the city for most of the day. The closed roads are open to all non-car transit, bikes/skateboards/walking/etc. Today's event included all of JFK Drive through Golden Gate Park and then all of the Great Highway. It was such a blast! All kinds of people on all kinds of bikes (some walking too)! Riding down the Great Highway without any car traffic was so nice. The over all speed of the ride was very relaxed. We started a ride with a neighborhood friend but ran into many other people we know along the way.
We saw five other xtracycles while we were riding, most with stoker or kid seat set ups. Here's that Mundo that we saw in our neighborhood!
The Cyclocide folks had a few rides out for the kids to enjoy. This little 4-bike ride was great. Watching the kids all try to stop at the same time was interesting :)
This ride looked like a lot of fun. Kids ride in the swings on the outside and parents power the whole thing by pedaling in the middle.
As you can see the kids really got quite a ride out of it!
I accidentally took this picture of our "Mutant" xtracycle bike while trying to take some overhead shots of the Great Highway and I thought it was kinda cool :)
I heard a rumor from a reliable source today that Sunday Streets will be coming back again next year and they plan for it to become a permanent yearly event. Last year there were 3 Sunday Street's, this year there were 6. Hopefully next year we'll get more added to the calendar!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Hobo Bike!

Nicole found this bike totally crammed into some bushes out in Golden Gate Park. She was walking our huge dog, pushing our son in the stroller while our daughter was walking with her. Even though her hands were full already she somehow managed to push the bike-heap nearly a mile back to the house!

There's not much on the internet about it but I did find this link that says it was given away with other kinds of purchases "BUY A STEREO, GET A BIKE!" which cracks me up.

It was in pretty poor condition and had clearly been abandoned, maybe because the derailleur was broken or maybe because the brakes didn't work at all. Go figure!

I took the bike into the office to show all my bike-loving coworkers but it was clearly not rideable so I packed it into the xtracycle to haul it in.

With the help of a friend and a handful of scrap parts that were hanging around our office I managed to get it into a little bit more of interesting working order. I replaced the spindle but used the original bottom bracket cups and bearings and rebuilt the entire bottom bracket. Used the original pedals but replaced the cranks to match the spindle. The wheels and tires were totally shot and I was able to find a pair of 700c wheels and a set of knobby tires to go with them. The scrap bike I got most of these extra pieces from had been set up as a fixie which I definitely didn't want but the idea of a cyclocross-esque single speed sounded like fun. I hit up Roaring Mouse for a set of new tubes and a freewheel cog for the back wheel. This morning I finished off my initial modifications by swapping the spare saddle on to the original seat post and putting the new tubes and knobby tires on to the wheels.

I also had to tweak the brakes a bit but only managed to get them to barely work, clearly there's room for improvement here. I just took it for a little spin just a few blocks away from the house, it's definitely fun to ride though I think I may opt for some different handlebar arrangement. Oh, and the brakes need lots of love. :) I've been wanting a bike that I could learn to disassemble/reassemble but couldnt really fathom blindly taking apart any of our daily rides for fear of rendering them unusable.

Thanks Nicole for my new bike!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mundo! Mundo!

One of my coworkers was telling me that she'd seen this "huge orange xtracycle" in the neighborhood and while walking back from dinner I spotted what's she's talking about!

These two Yuba "Mundo" were hanging out near 9th ave/Irving and clearly belong to a family. Each has a Peapod-esque kids seat and both have a rear deck and stoker bars for taking other passengers. I wish I knew these folks, clearly they have the same passion for family biking that I do!

Bike Drawrings

While we were waiting for Tenzin's pediatrician a few days ago I was explaining to Nicole what I'd been doing to this bike that she found (more in the next post) and I made these chalk drawings to illustrate what I was talking about. :)