29 April 2012

Cargobike Fail

Yesterday was the Tacoma Bike Swap, usually the largest single event of Bike Month in the area.  It's held at the UPS Field House, not quite 1 mile from my house. So how did we get there?

We drove.

WHAT??!! Yes, we loaded up the minivan and drove there. It took 2 minutes. I lost track of how of many friends found me at the 2nd Cycle booth and asked, "Where's your bike?"

It simply wasn't feasible to get the pop-up tent, folding table, cases of magazines, and kid supplies on the Xtracycle.  Even if I could have strapped these large and heavy items on-board, the bike would have handled like a migrating salmon, forcing me to focus more on my handling and less on directing my kids through traffic. They could have ridden their own bikes, but they are still learning how to ride in the road safely and Super T's 12" tires limit her to a snails pace.

We could have taken more then one trip, but it would have been a lot of work for the kids.  A hand-truck or wagon would have worked, but I own neither. A similar issue arose with a load of lumber last week. Is it time to find a cargobike replacement for the Xtracycle? Maybe a cycletruck, Mundo, or Ted trailer? Or do I need to just suck it up and drive these short'n'heavy trips?

In the end, I brought back all of our stuff, plus a bike that was donated on-site to 2nd Cycle (plus two tired kids and their bikes.)  The van was a good choice.

But I still wish we could have biked there.

25 April 2012

What a Weekend: Bicycle Highlights

We had a bustling adventure of a weekend in Tacoma. We biked almost everywhere we needed or wanted to go and never went more than about 3 miles from home. Living in the city has its perks!

Friday: First, another round of the weekly Frost Park Chalk Off. We like to bike there with a picnic lunch. Super T decided we would draw kitty whales, something she created on our kitchen chalkboard earlier in the week.

Much later that night...


If you missed it, watch for posters like this around town (note the MOB logo).

Saturday: Up early so that my little fairy could march in the Junior Daffodil Parade with her pre-school pals.  We biked to this neighborhood like we always do, but driving would have been especially inconvenient since many roads around the parade route were closed to vehicles.

After the parade, we visited the Proctor Farmers Market. (I recommend the spring rolls from the Two Sisters sauce booth.) We also browsed the new Playback Sports shop, which we hadn't been to since they moved. They sell used sporting goods on consignment, including bikes and bike accessories. Tacoma parents should know about this place: spread the word.

Sunday: Wayzgoose! It's a print arts extravaganza hosted by our local independent book store, King's Books.  We biked there with another family. Eight people: four bikes.

The main attraction is the steamroller printing press. RAWR.

Local artists hand carve these sheets of linoleum then print a few very limited edition posters which can only be won through a raffle drawing. There were eight designs, including these two that included bikes.


We also brought shirts to take advantage of the free screen-printing booth run by some University of Puget Sound students. And I picked up some cool prints from an artist who also makes records with a vintage record lathe. This one is cut from a plastic pie plate.

A friend from the chalk-off was running the bicycle ice cream trailer for Jeff's Ice Cream. Made in Washington ice cream bars and cookie sandwiches FTW!

 We finished off the day with a Harmon Hub pizza picnic at Wright Park. It was a beautiful day in Tacoma.

Monday: Back to School!