Sunday, May 31, 2009

What's a Mile Among Friends?

This evening we had a graduation party to go to (Congratulations Kurt!!!) in Savoy. The party was next door to our old house in Savoy. We were debating about our eldest riding his own bike or not and how far the ride was going to be. When we first moved into our current house, we would ride our bikes back and forth between the Savoy house and the Champaign house quite a bit. Our ownership of the two houses overlapped by nine months so we would bring stuff from the house on our bikes a little bit at a time before we rented a moving truck for the big furniture. Now we rarely have a reason to head out to Savoy so it sounded like a long ride compared to what we do daily around town and my husband wasn't sure if our eldest would be up for it. He's nine and very comfortable on his bike and street savvy. He rides at least once or twice a week to the co-op/farmer's market which is close to 4 miles one way and I figured the house in Savoy was around the same mileage. In the end, we decided he would ride on my Xtracycle because we were in a hurry. I came home and checked the mileage and it is over 5 miles one way. What is an extra mile? Nothing! I'm sure he would have been fine, but I love having him on the bike with me so we can chat easier.

We had a great time at the party, but it reminded me how much farther I had bike when we lived in Savoy. I didn't think much about it at the time, but it is nice to be closer to the places we go on a regular basis. My husband's commute to work is about the same, but my daily errands are much easier living in Champaign. We also had to walk almost a mile to the bus stop when we lived there....not at all convenient. I will NEVER understand why Savoy is against the MTD. Craziness...I could call it more things, but I'll stop there today. I hope they come to their senses at some point.

We miss our neighbors and some things about our old house, but our place in Champaign is definitely home sweet home.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Keep the Light On

I went to a meeting this week maybe a mile away. I was late getting out of the house so I was in a little hurry. I grabbed my LeMond road bike since I was cycling sans kids. I love the feeling of being fast and light once in a while. I wish I had a chance to ride more by myself because it really is a great bike. However, I completely forgot that my LeMond has no light (front nor back) right now. I remembered about the time I arrived at my meeting. Too late to go back. I hoped the meeting would end quicker than normal and I could ride home while it was still light out, but no luck. It is dangerous to ride at night without a light. It is a pet peeve of mine to see cyclists without lights at night. I basically walked my bike home (I did cross the busiest street in the saddle because it was safer to get across quicker) which is no fun. When I did ride, I kept in mind that I was invisible and rode on the sidewalks which is not my favorite place to ride and has its own dangers, but it was night and slow traffic time on the side streets.

Note to self: Always, always, always be prepared and have a light on your bike.

Brave Bus Riders

We've been getting around town a lot lately and enjoying the beautiful weather (rain and shine, it is all better than the winter). Yesterday I was waiting for the bus a few blocks from our house and it started to rain a bit. The kids were enjoying the rain and we were spelling words and doing math problems to pass the time. We didn't have an umbrella, but a little rain never hurt anyone. A nice man (complete stranger) stopped his vehicle and offered us a ride. He said he only had his son in the car so he could fit all four of us. I thought this was funny since we were waiting for the bus in fine weather (except for a light rain) and were only a few blocks from our house. I smiled and thanked him, but said we were fine. We get offers for rides from time to time. It is nice to live in a town where people are so caring and thoughtful.

Another day this week, the four of us (me, my 9 year old, 5 year old, and 20 mo. old) boarded the bus and sat down. A young woman turned to me and said, "You are so brave!". "What do you mean?" I asked. "Getting on and off a bus with three children!". This also struck me as quite funny. I find it easier to get on and off a bus with my kids than getting them in and out of car seats all the time.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Happy Bike to Work Day!

My husband started biking to work eight years ago (you would think he would have arrived by now...teehee) and has never looked back. He bikes through thunderstorms, hot humid weather, sub-zero temps, and ice/snow. No, he is not a postal worker. He biked to work when his commute was around 6.2 miles one way and now when it is only around 3.4 miles one way. It is not always fun or easy, but most of the time, he really enjoys it. One reason we moved to this area and then closer to downtown was to make our lives more bikeable.

Here is a nice local article on the reasons people give for not biking to work and how to get past them.

Happy Bike to Work Day, honey!