Friday, June 25, 2010

So Much Bike Fun

I'm sitting here watching Jasper play his new game: knocking toys across the floor and then wiggling his newly-mobile-but-not-quite-crawling self on after them. We're spending lots of time on crawling these days... and lots of time on the bike.

Pedalpalooza has been a blast so far: we went on the Kick-off Ride where we met a dad called Jasper who pedals his baby in a locally-made box bike, visited the grand opening party for Splendid Cycles and checked out some slick cargo bikes there, competed in the Fiets of Parenthood, led a handful of families on the Teddy Bears' Picnic Ride, did half of the Labyrinth Ride (called on account of my and Jaz's bad moods), pedaled around SE Portland learning about solar power options on the SE Solar Tour, pursued the perfect pie late into the night on the Epic Pizza Ride, and this morning went out for waffles and silliness on the Pajama Party Ride. Still to come: leading a group ride for our CSA's farm tours tomorrow, and on Sunday brunch with some friends followed by Sunday Parkways followed by the Multnomah County Bike Fair. Followed by sound slumber.

And how's Jasper handling all this bike fun? With the exception of the Labyrinth Ride, on which factors converged against us, he's been a really happy camper. He loves people, and attention, and he gets plenty of both on these rides, where kids are scarce and his rig is strange and remarkable. Facing backwards, he gets to stare at the people who ride behind us, who are usually obliging in making silly faces to entertain him. And he's made a new friend in Sarah's son Everett, who watched kept him entertained at the Fiets and pushed him in a swing on the Teddy Bear ride. Sometimes he just stares up at the trees as we ride. Unlike in his stationary life, when he gets tired on the bike he simply falls asleep (ok, sometimes there is crying between awake and asleep, but not much). And once asleep, he stays that way, sometimes for hours and hours. And then wakes up, cheerful and ready to play. A quick nurse, an on-board diaper change, and we're good for a few more hours of riding. The biggest problem is that these rides sometimes take a faster pace than we do in our everyday riding, and when the pavement is bad that can lead to a bumpier ride than he's used to. And that can result in some fussing and crying until the road smooths out again.

I've taken very few pictures, though there's lots of coverage over at BikePortland's Pedalpalooza page. Check our Flickr stream for shots from the Fiets of Parenthood and the Teddy Bear's Picnic. Featured are fellow bikey-parent bloggers Julian from Totcycle and Sarah Gilbert from cafe mama-- or rather, mostly, those bloggers' fabulous kids.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Feits of Parenthood and Teddy Bears' Picnic

Pedalpalooza is coming.  Pedalpalooza is coming!  Pedalpalooza!  Is coming!  And family cycling will be making a showing.

There are LOTS of events (like, pushing 300) planned for this 2.5 week festival of bikey goodness, starting this Thursday.  But we're associated with two.

FIRST: Feits of Parenthood.  A week from yesterday, at Clever Cycles (SE 9th & Hawthorne).  Here, the fabulous Sarah Gilbert describes the event:

To ride a bike with your children is this: a continuous unfolding of joy and a workout like no other. Nowhere does creativity and ingenuity and the soaring free spirit of the bicycle combine with such (literal) blood, sweat and tears. Fiets of Parenthood is a celebration of that: part time trial, part demonstration of skill, part showoff, part hilarity.
There will be a family bike obstacle course inspired by Julian's genius thread over at Totcycle.  There will be kindercross and parent-child figure cycling.  I'll be talking with a couple of other mamas at a workshop on cycling while pregnant.  There will be SolPops and Trailhead Coffee and snacks from Madison's Grill.  Crafts.  Bike decorating.  An opportunity to fondle a whole array of family biking setups.  Should be fun!

SECOND: The very next day, Sunday the 13th, Dave and Jasper and I will be leading a low-key family ride starting at the Abernathy School playground at 12:30.  The theme is Teddy Bears' Picnic, and we'll have a crew of stuffed friends along for the ride.  We'll stop at a few parks and playgrounds, do some picnicing and playing, and generally have a silly good time.

If you're in Portland and ride with young kids, we hope to see you!  If you don't ride with your family yet but want to know how it's done, or if you don't have kids yet but plan to ride with them when you do, we hope you'll come out!  If you'd like a low-stress way to introduce your family to riding together, you should come join us!  And if you're child-free and love it, but want to hang out with a bunch of parents and kids on bikes (because we're awesome, and kids on bikes are adorable) we'll see you there!

For the whole Pedalpalooza calendar, see here: Pedalpalooza 2010 Calendar