Monday, April 11, 2011

Family Cycling

Spring has sprung! People everywhere. Riding Bikes. Jogging. Walking Dogs. Pushing Strollers. The reclusive natives that hid from winter are coming out to play. With that, so does my family. While I may have been the only crazy one to ride all through the winter (which apparently is the toughest in the nation according to!), we've all made it out to embrace spring. First up was making sure my oldest son's 24" Trek Mountain bike still fit, and with the seatpost all the way up, it does. This will be his last year on it before we go to 26" wheels. This was necessary to make room in the budget for the "missing" bike, my wife's.

We sold her walmart Schwinn before we moved here, and have been looking for a suitable replacement for a while now. With the iBert baby seat in mind, we had to find a bike with a long enough top tube to make the ibert comfortable to use. We looked at the local shops and nothing really "spoke" to her. But at the Community Bike Workshop, the lonely 74 Fuji Dynamic 10 Mixte did. We both liked this bike when we first saw it months ago, and it was still sitting there so we had to try it. The ibert fits perfectly, and the cost of the bike was 1/3 of what we would have spent at a "real" bike shop. Even with the upgrades planned it'll still be cheaper and it's the perfect bike for her.

So now that we're all bicycle equipped again we've been riding as a family. To breakfast. To lunch. To the store. To explore. I love it. My wife has completely fallen in love with riding again. The weight loss goals that my wife and I set are pretty aggressive, so riding as much as possible will certainly help us achieve our goals. Riding isn't all about the goals though, we're having fun. Discovering new routes and paths, seeing new things, and sharing the love of cycling as a family.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


Finally fitted some 26x2.35 Schwalbe Big Apple tires to the Xtracycle. I've been fascinated by these tires for years now, and I finally caught them at a "too good to refuse" price, so I figured I should jump on the chance to finally get some. The roads here are pretty rough and I've had to true these wheels twice in the past 6 months. The high volume of the Big Apples made such a huge difference in ride comfort and quality, in fact much more of a difference than I was expecting. I'd say after today's 22 mile ride, I'm completely satisfied with these tires. They roll plenty fast, do great on gravel, and they are comfy! Sure they are heavy, but on a 45lb bike it doesn't really matter, and their weight wasn't really noticed.

With the impending flood, the "easy" route to Fargo wasn't available so I had to go way out of my way to get to that side of town, but it's a fun route. Gravel roads, county road shoulders, and wide paved paths were just some of the stuff I rode on today. I didn't even notice the long mileage as it was a nice day. I had to take off my coat, hat and liner gloves a few miles in. This is where its nice to use the Xtracycle as a weekend cruiser, it can hold all that stuff without worry.

After a cruise around Fargo I headed back east and met my wife and kids for lunch at Ruby Tuesday for a nice lunch of Blackened Tilapia and Diet Coke. Once done with our meal, I headed home only to have the sun retreat behind the clouds, warranting the need for my extra layers again. The temperature was in the high 30s and slightly windy, yet I saw dozens of pedestrians and one other cyclist today. Its nice to see others taking advantage of a perfectly good Saturday.