Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Three Brompton folding bikes with bags, a Burley trailer, and a BikeRev trailer with dog kennel

We rode this setup during CicLAvia To The Sea. It is the most compact setup we have.

All this fit in our Prius: Three Bromptons fit in one passenger space in the rear seat: One on the floor behind the driver seat and two on the passenger seat. The trailers and bags were in the rear cargo area. We rarely use bike racks on road trips.

The Pink Brompton had a Commuter bag for front luggage and a Burley Travoy in tow. The Arctic Blue Brompton had a Grocery basket for front luggage for our pooch and the BikeRev/Kennel trailer in tow for the pooch. The black Brompton had the Touring bag for front luggage.

Venice beach in the morning before the throngs of CicLAvians invaded the area.

View from to the west. The Venice beach skate park. This is my favorite spot for bike and people watching. It is a rather busy intersection for bicyclists, pedestrians, jogger, skaters, skateboards, and many more human powered contraptions.

First time to see so many acrobatic and circus play and workout place.

The spinning ring was amazing to watch. The galvanized steel ring is made of four sections that snap together. You get in to it like the Davinci painting and spin round and round.

CicLAvia To The Sea, April 23, 2013

The first CicLavia for 2013 linked downtown LA to Venice beach. The route was 15 miles long of car free streets. We rode from the Venice beach hub to the Culver City hub (18 miles total trip from Santa Monica). Normal driving along Venice Boulevard is blah on most days. Thanks to cicLAvia we enjoyed the many community events like the Farmers market, downtown Culver city businesses and people friendly infrastructure. Most businesses along the route did very well that day as many cicLAvians flocked to re-fuel (get food and refreshments). I heard that there were 150,000 people along the route. Some say it may have been double that.

A snapshot of what could be possible if separate bicycle infrastructure is put in place.

This is what happens when people leave their cars at home. More space for fun!

Historic Culver City hotel, pedestrian plaza, and restaurants. Family friendly!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Preparing for bike tour

One of the best way to prepare for a bike tour is to commute to work even if it is only a mile or two. It allows you to test your equipment and make modifications as needed. Below are some photos I took along my commute on a gorgeous beautiful day in Del Mar and Torrey Pines.

Taking a break from climbing the inside grade of Torrey Pines hill.

Sunset on the ride back to the train station. It felt like I had gone on a short tour.

Dutch Bakfiet test ride

My friend is selling his like new Bakfiet. So I got to test ride it around his neighborhood. This is the family cruiser cargo bike; a rideable wheelbarrow. A robust family vehicle that is eco-friendly.

It is just over 7 feet long and 90 pounds. It barely fits inside the Transit Connect.

I carried my very heavy toolbox that weighed in at 80 lbs but it only made the bike ride more solid and stable. The low center of gravity has a stabilizing effect when there is cargo in the bike.

Project Rwanda Coffee (cargo) Bike

The Coffee bike, with its integrated full chromoly frame was designed to be a beast of burden - a pacmule that weighs just under 47 lbs with a total cargo payload of 440 lbs plus the rider. The Yuba Mundo (also with full chromoly frame) weighs in at 53 lbs. The Trek Transport weighs 45 lbs. The Xtracycle radish and other Xtracycle builds can be built lighter. My two previous Xtracycles where 35 pounds.

It was designed by Tom Ritchey for the Coffee farmers of Rwanda. This bike was designed to withstand the hillside paths of Rwanda. So the coffee farmers can deliver their coffee beans to the central processing plant.

Note the BMX foot peg on the rear wheel. This makes it easier to have a passenger sit either facing front or back.

Dutch Bakfietsen (Box bike)

I had the pleasure of tuning up a friend's Bakfietsen. In exchange, I get to keep it for a month. This bike is just over 7 feet long and approximately 90 pounds but it is built solid. It is very different from any cargo bike I have ever ridden but it is very useful.

More information about the Bakfiet online. Just search for BAKFIET.

First grocery and hardware store run. Luckily, Vista Village has a Multi-Use Paths connecting our neighborhood to Vista Village and other amenities.

These many books...
Fit in the Bakfiet just fine.

San Luis River Trail test ride.

Two trucks parked side by side

The front beanch seat is removable whereas the rear folds up. Both benches have a three point harness to secure small kids.

Bikes and Murals

Exploring a small town or neighborhood is that it enables you to see more and experience more of the surrounding. Slowing down to appreciate stunning murals around town makes me appreciate the beauty living near the beach.

Pooch carrier

I am glad that this worked out. Our dog fits perfectly on the Brompton basket. The carrying handles doubles as a four point harness that can be secured by  a carabiner. This prevents the dog from moving too much or from jumping off the basket.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Having a rideable wheel barrel is very handy

We went for a short ride to pick up plants and few things for our garden work this weekend. I must say I really enjoy this Dutch cargo bike.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

O honey, could you go to the store and pick up....

Do you automatically reach for the car keys just to get a few items from the market? There are several options to going to the market. Of course, you have control over your time, when, and how to do this: walk bike,etc.

If I choose to ride a bicycle then I get some exercise, fresh air, and sunshine. I get to experience and explore the neighborhood and perhaps meet people along the way. In the long term this saves me from gym memberships, fueling the car, and is more integrated with my active lifestyle. Again, this takes some adjustment and planning. Start with where you are. You could park at the nearby library then ride a couple of blocks, get some groceries, then ride back to your car.

Sometimes I see a neighbor driving to the market. Since I didn't have to look for parking we arrive at the market at the same time. Today, one of my neighbors drove his Jeep Wrangler to the market. He mentioned that the Box bike was too big to ride just to get a few things. Think about this; the Bakfietsen (box bike) is about 90 pounds while the Jeep is over 4000 pounds.

There are many alternatives to going to the market.I took this photo of a regular bicycle, the cargo bike, and a motorcycle. Of course, walking is also a healthy alternative.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Riding with Kids

We had an opportunity to join in the kids bike ride sans kid on a Sunday.

At Coronado Island Ferry waiting for the crew to arrive

One of the many stops to let the kids play. Frequent stops is a must have for a kids ride. It is not much the destination that counts but the sites and scenes experienced along the journey that makes the trip worth while.

These kids were on high octane this morning. I wonder that they had for breakfast.

Some kids were still too young to ride on their own. So parents had them on kiddie seats and tag-along-trailer or child trailer.

Isn't it nice to have this separated cyclepath in Coronado. All cities must have them. If not for the local residents and children build it for the European tourists. 

Several kids test riding the Brompton folding bikes.

Doggie harness using the Brompton shopping bag handles. It was a terrific day.

Friends biking

It was refreshing to see this group of young women ride their beach cruisers from Encinitas to Cardiff. I wonder if they are going out to lunch or heading back to their campsite or maybe just going out to the beach. Aside from the many spandex clad road cyclists along Highway 101, more and more people ride their bikes to get to a destination to shop, play, eat and visit local establishments.