Family Bike Date.

May 24, 2010

If you're a girl bike blogger chances are you've already heard about and are likely participating in LGRAB's Summer Games!

With all my bibliography work before my upcoming trip to Toronto I figured I wouldn't get any of the tasks in the first section done until my return home next week. I'm still riding my bike all the time, I just assumed it wouldn't be things like going on a bike date or a family ride. More like going to the library and parking myself in caf├ęs so I can read and write up a storm.

Despite how stupidly busy both of us are this week, Don suggested we go for a family bike ride after pancakes this morning. It's a long weekend in Canada (Victoria Day) so that's why Don didn't have to go into work. I was still teaching, but not until later in the afternoon.

It was a multi-task bike trip. First we rode around with Dougal so he could have a nice sprint before he was left home alone. Notice the white pickup truck behind!

He's really frisky and hyperactive if he doesn't expend enough energy so biking is really good for the dog too.

Don rode with Dexter in the Madsen. We haven't had time to change the saddle out yet. I think the one it comes with is utterly terrible. I always make Don do the more labour intensive things, anyway. I know that's so typical, but he is more than twice my size!

After picking up supplies for Dexter at Planet Organic we were hungry for lunch and Don said we should do something out of the ordinary. We set out for Tasty Tom's, this place that is totally delicious for brunch but has funny hours (from what I remember). Half a block away we saw Dawaat, this Indian place we like, and I joked about buffet for lunch. Don stopped the bike and said all joking aside, that curries and naan sounded really appealing. So we locked up and went!

I won't classify this as a "bike date" for the summer games because neither of us were dressed up. However, it did qualify as a date in that we got to sit down and hang out and talk about stuff other than the logistics of our daily stuff.

I wore this new dress I got from Joe. It sort of has an identity crisis. On the bottom it's this beautiful satin black and white full skirt with pockets. But, it's attached to a flimsy jersey top. I'm not usually a fan of buying thin jersey stuff. I find that it warps and pills and although it is very comfortable, it doesn't look very structured, tailored, or finished. I've been wearing this with a cardigan on top but now that it's getting warmer maybe I can just embrace the upper half.

Don is waiting for Dexter to finish giving high fives before we head home.

Dexter likes to hold on to the edge of his car seat's canopy when we're on the move.

I'll use today's outing as a illustration of family bicycling. I'm hoping to get a bobike on one of my rides soon, so that I don't have to always take the bucket out. Nice thing about the bucket, though, is that it carried the baby and TONS of groceries too. We ran into some friends on the way home and one of them said, "You could go to Costco with that thing!" It's true.

In a lot of the reading I am doing for my Masters there is a frequent distinction made about why cycling in the Netherlands, Denmark, and Germany is more popular than it is in North America. Education is one of the major factors. Kids across the pond are taught how to cycle when they are young children in school. Generally most of these kids are also taught to ride a bike (as a commuter) very early on in life and it's just how their families get around. These kids grow up with bikes being a normal, regular, easy form of transportation. Imagine that!

I hope Dexter grows up to like riding as well. Then HE can ride the bucket bike to get all the groceries!


Cosmo said...

What a fun day. The Hubby and I aren't as committed yet to bike commuting as you and Don but the riding for errands that we do and the social rides definitely seems to be rubbing off on Miss S. She loves to "take the bakfiets to the store" in our living room where we keep it. She has also converted a chair and a plastic storage bin into a bakfiets that she pushes around the house. I am sure that since Dexter travels by bike so often it will be even more normal and fun to him.

M and G said...

We decided after our bike date that all our dates are going to be on bike this year...and maybe beyond. We do everything else on our bikes, why do we tend to always drive when we go on dates??

Jennifer said...

Hi! I've been reading your blog for a couple of weeks and it's inspiring me to get rid of my road bike and get one where I can wear "normal" clothes when I ride. I'm wondering what kind of bike you have. I really like it.

miss sarah said...

Cosmo - Yeah, Dexter isn't nearly that advanced yet:) But it's inspiring to hear that kids dig the tub/box bike!

M and G - Bike dates are the best. You can actually talk the whole way. And no parking.

Jennifer - I ride a Pashley Princess Sovereign. I'd keep your road bike too, sometimes it's fun to go really fast!

sara said...

You NOT dressed up is WAY more dressed up than my dressed up ever is!!! Can you follow that?

You look adorable in that striped skirt. And red shoes. I love red shoes.

Dexter looks like he is getting ready to sit up on that Madsen seat himself with no bucket. Break out the little guy helmet!

miss sarah said...

sara - Haha! I wear dresses and skirts because I don't like hemming pants. At least that's how it all started...

I'm thinking about giving the sit-up a try. There is only the seatbelt thing, no 5 point harness. Is that still legal? I have a little dude helmet for him but I'm sure it's way too big despite being the smallest I could find.

Will report back soon!

Anonymous said...

Your bike rides always seem so stylish. In Finland people usually ride on road bikes or such but I think there's a revolution coming :)

I have also thought that us Finns are very active with riding our bikes (and compared to UK, where I'm living now for a while, it's true) but I just visited Copenhagen and I have to say I really envy them. So many stylish people riding on their bikes and such great bicycle lanes everywhere in the city area. It was amazing. Perhaps funny to say this but it was really beautiful to watch them ride and a nice experience to ride our rented bikes.

Your Finnish fan ;)

immaculate said...

Hi Miss Sarah!

I have found your blog recently, and as a fellow Canadian (currently living in Melbourne, and returning in June) I was excited to read about your adventures, as I was curious about biking in our climate and whatnot.

But then, as I read and saw that you have impeccable style, and are likewise drawn to adorable Hello Kitty, Pucca, hair bands and retro home furnishings I fell in love with your blog. I could go on forever about your great and accessible sensibilities when it comes to ecomobility (not too stodgy, and very stylish) but I'll stop fawning and move in to some questions :)

I was curious about a few things if you don't mind. I am going to be getting into riding a bike, having only ever ridden uncomfortable mountain bikes in my teens, and I would like to invest in something good, but as a student my budget is somewhat limited (or at least it should be!). I was initially drawn to the Batavus, because it seemed the perfect all rounder for what I was looking for, and they carried them at Curbside Cycle in Toronto, where I'll be going back to U of T.

But I read an unfavorable review of the Old Dutch by "Lovely Bicycle!' which made me consider other options. After noticing that you had an Amsterdam (which I think is just the cutest bike after the Rivendell Betty Foy - cannot afford!) I did some research and also found a bunch of people with negative comments about things breaking, and general lack of quality. What are your thoughts on that? Only good as a short jaunt type of bike, in fair weather? Could you ride it in the winter?

Now the Pashley. I am falling in love with it, and planning on test riding one, but I notice a trend that people say it's good for smaller girls, and I'm 5'10. I'm wondering if you think the larger frame might work, and also, even though I know you don't ride your Pashley in the winter, could you? I noticed that Dottie at LGRAB uses her Azor Oma in the winter due to the sturdy heavy frame, and I was wondering if Pashley would work well in that respect.

I'm considering the Pashley more than the Batavus mostly due to the fact that it would already have all the elements I would love to have if I bought a Batavus, and then the price would come to be about the same. The Brooks saddle, the hub dynamo lights, the Shwalbe Marathon tires etc. Plus it is just so darn pretty!

Anyways, if you could possibly help a new biking girl out, I would be incredibly grateful! Sorry about the long and overwhelming post, but I'm really excited about this new prospect in my life and trying to soak up as much information as I can :)


miss sarah said...

Hi Immaculate!

Thanks for reading, my brain is currently fried from doing school work, but I'll hopefully address all your questions. If I leave anything out, please email me!

My biggest piece of advice is please please please go test ride these bikes. Curbside stocks Pashley, Batavus, and many other delicious things. You can try them all! Since I'm not 5'10 it's really hard for me to be an authority on sizes, but honestly, I think the Batavus would be a great choice! It's a lot of bang for your buck, too. My friend Brian (who actually works at Curbside) found an old Batavus in a dumpster. He fixed it up and it rides like a dream!

And it's good to do your research, but everybody has very specific likes and dislikes. What rides good or bad for one person might not be good or bad for you, you know what I mean? So I hesitate in saying this bike is better than that one, etc. The important thing is you can find something in your budget that YOU really like. I have both a Pashely and Amsterdam and like them for different reasons.

Since Edmonton is disgusting in the winter I ride a mountain bike. If the streets are cleared you could probably navigate T.O. on the Pashley or Batavus. i think they're the same kind of thing. Honestly if it's really bad, stick to the subway and streetcar!

In any case. Don't be dissuaded by bad reviews of things. Each new bike also needs a fair bit of adjusting and tuning before it's comfortable.

And my husband Don had a Pashley at first, then he rode a Batavus favoriet and he preferred it so much he traded it in.

So if you get something and ride it for a year or so and lust after something else. Just sell the old one and upgrade, or add to your collection when funds allow.

Hope this has been some help!

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