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Doing the school run… by bike

Doing the school run… by bike

ebiking

This is not our route to school. I wish it was.

I’m in training.

Not a charity marathon, or half marathon, or triathlon, or any of that stuff. Oh no. I’m training so I can bike up the big hill to my son’s school.

He’s off to elementary school in the autumn, and through the unfortunate nature of school zone boundaries, we are at the bottom of the catchment area and the school is at the other end. Points A and B also manage to span a large hill.

In a perfect world, we would have an e-bike, or a cargo bike, or a cute bakfiet, or something along those lines. We would also live on the same level as the school with nothing but separated bike lanes on tree-lined streets, if we’re going to go all imaginary perfect world here. But nope, it’s 15 blocks of up hill, albeit on low traffic bike route streets.

My plan, right now, is to get to the point where I can cycle up this hill myself, on my own, by the beginning of the summer. I can just about do it now, but it feels like my heart is exiting my chest through my ribcage when I get to the top, and my quads are quivering like coatless chihuahuas in an air conditioned Starbucks. I’d like to do better than that.

The second step is getting my son up the hill with me. He weighs about 40 lbs now, and that’s without any contraption to attach him to my bike. We have a single MEC trailer, but it weighs a metric ton. The plus side with the trailer is there’s space for his bag, and it’s dry when it rains. Down sides are weight, plus the annoyance of having to head home to drop it off before I do anything else.

It would be great if he was comfortable with a trail-a-bike by the time we roll around to school time. I think it will be lighter, and I’ve heard there are ones where they can help with the pedalling. And not with the braking, which would be very, very bad. My favourite right now is this Weehoo I-Go, through the completely unrealistic method of reading reviews on the internet.

Why am I doing this? Well, several reasons. I want my son to think of cycling as a viable way to get places and do things. I don’t want us to become isolated in our car all the time, going from place to place in our little bubble. I don’t want to waste fuel going up and down this hill four times a day. I think cycling is such an important part of the transport mix, and I need to put my two wheels where my ideological principles are, as it were.

So, my friends who cycle places with the 5 year olds and older, what are your secrets? Am I crazy for trying this? Actually don’t tell me that. Only tell me good things.

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On Treehouse: Rice cooker apple oatmeal

On Treehouse: Rice cooker apple oatmeal

rice cooker apple oatmeal titled

I love oatmeal from the rice cooker. It is so easy, and doesn’t involve soaking the pot where I burnt a third of the porridge either. The other week I had the brainwave to dump apple chunks in with the oats and the water while it’s cooking. Even more brilliant!

The full instructions are over on Treehouse Parents.

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Lovely things: outer space edition

Lovely things: outer space edition

lovely things 11 June

 

I don’t know why, but we’re all about spaceships around here these days. I’m obsessing about trying out this tutorial for making your own outer space shirt/skirt/leggings.

1 // Cuisipro rocket ship pop moulds : these have an astronaut hiding inside, too cool.

2 // Crochet rocket ship pattern : I wish I could manage crocheting…

3 // A properly beautiful galaxy shirt : I’m pretty sure I couldn’t manage this one on my own.

4 // ‘Never date an astronaut’ shirt : oh Threadless, you are too funny.

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On Vancouver Mom: Museum of Vancouver’s Visible City

On Vancouver Mom: Museum of Vancouver’s Visible City

Screenshot_10_VisibleCity_Deviceshots

 

I like scavenger hunts, pub crawls, geocaching and house tours. I love the adventure of wandering around, trying to figure out where I’m supposed to go next. The Museum of Vancouver’s Visible City app is like that. Interesting stories play whilst you wander around, looking for old neon signs which may or may not be there anymore. The augmented reality part of the app overlays archive photos of what things used to look like. I love that this app is free, and that you can do these walking tours whenever you have time. Read about when I took part of a walking tour with the curator, over on Vancouver Mom.

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Covet Garden: the print version

Covet Garden: the print version

covetgarden

 

One of my favourite publications these days is lifestyle and interiors online-only magazine Covet Garden. I love that it’s Canadian, I love their quirky lived-in sense of style, I love the kinds of people they feature. I wish dearly for more West coast content (I think Jan of Poppytalk should be their correspondent… ahem) but it’s a small quibble. Quick, go sign up now to be notified when each issue comes out. It’s free. I’ll be here when you come back.

Ok?

Now you have had a chance to flip through and see how wonderful it is, wouldn’t you like a hybrid book/magazine version of by Christmas? I certainly would. Support their IndieGoGo campaign to make it happen. I would dearly love to be able to give them $1,000 to feature my decidedly less-than-picturesque space. You have to be in Toronto for that too, but it’s not the first hurdle, so I can dream.

Watching their video, I think I just want to be friends more than anything. Think there’s a funding level for that?

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gz_hlOpb0MI&feature=youtu.be

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