28 March 2011

Head Cases

(UVEX Urban Bicycle Helmet)

(Giro Me2 Infant Bike Helmet)

First things first: The Giro Me2 Infant Bike Helmet is AAA (adorable, adjustable, & affordable).

Sounds good, right? Well, it sucks! It pulls clumps of the baby's hair out.

I had bought her one last year when we got the buggy trailer. I loved the way it looked and it actually fit because there is an adjustable dial thingy in the back. It was love at first sight. The love faded after wearing the helmet the second or third time. The baby hated it and would scream, I don't blame her, the hook and loop inside holding the cool adjustable dial thingy (YES! The only thing hold the shell to the case is Vel-Cro!) was pulling her hair out in clumps!!
Of course, I returned it to the sporting goods mega store I had purchased it from, without my receipt and reluctantly they exchanged it. Everybody's reasoning, including myself, was this was just a bad seed Giro Me2 Helmet and the company is supposed to have a quality product. ( I read some reviews).
This spring we broke out the replacement helmet and guess what? SAME THING! Yes, second or third time, clumps of hair, baby hates it, etc.

It's really unfortunate, because $29.99 for a helmet that can not be worn is not affordable.

UVEX Urban Bicycle Helmet

I picked this helmet up on the REI outlet website. The option to ship to our local store and pick up for free was very appealing to me. It is comfortable, and was affordable at it's discounted price.
A little piece of cushioned fabric is between the strap and my chin for a little extra bit of comfort. And the simple shape fits my always growing dreaded head.

My biggest complaint thus far is that while checking out at the store the cashier suckered me into buying a membership for 20 bucks, therefore bringing the price of the helmet up to full price.

19 March 2011

To Market, To Market

We just took our first trip to market (and hopefully the last with our current rig). I had one baby-kid on board. The ride over was pleasant and took about 20 mins. The ride back was a little more difficult. I don't know if it was the load was bigger with all the milk, and frozen meats, etc. Or maybe it was mostly up hill. Could have been because it was the second leg of the trip. I am guessing it's all of the above.
Beatrix really wants to be up on the bike, so I held her on the seat of the bike and we pretended she was riding the bike. Later on while the bike was against a chain-linked fence she climbed her way up to the seat and sat there all by herself. I think she would prefer a rear seat instead of the trailer, I almost think I would too.

My saddle was pretty comfortable during the ride. I didn't have any of the pain in my taint
I normally get, however my tailbone is hurting as I write this blogpost.

My biggest complaint is that my right pant leg was ripped after getting caught in the chain. I must find a solution for that soon.

15 March 2011


(photo credits: cafemama)

This has been an excellent week for the MoB Boss. . .

After many hours of shopping the Xtracycle website; several back/forth emails with no less than 3 dudes from Xtracycle; and months of trolling the interwebs for pictures, reviews, anything Xtracycle, my very own Xtracycle is being shipped as of yesterday!! Can you tell how xcited I am?

And kind of like a little initiation into the crew, I also received the stickers I had ordered from cafemama over at One Less Minivan/ Mamabikeorama along with a personal note with words of encouragement.
Cafemama is the ultimate MoBster and you should definitely check out her story (READ: buy some stickers, too). To give you a little insight I will leave you with this wonderful quote...

"I have coined the word "mamabikeorama," and as I write here it is not meant to describe just my own bike with my three boys, the configuration I described. A mamabikeorama is any bicycle that transports parent and child in a manner that is at once liberation and salvation, that gives riders both joy and strength, that will turn heads, give rise to smiles and waves and the occasional shaking fist. Carnival ride and lorry. A magical bike." -cafemama

28 February 2011

Shameless Attempt to Win the Prize

This post has nothing to do with bicycles...

I am a food renegade.
I buy illegal milk. I do workshare on an organic farm for our produce. I visit the farmers market for our meat. I buy groceries at the Coop in the bulk bin. And I love fermenting.

We have a little crock of magic sitting on the counter any given day.

This morning I woke up to a favorite website, foodrenegade.com, having a give away of three starters from www.culturesforhealth.com. Both websites are lovely and chock full of information about fermentation.

Check them out for the chance to win three starter cultures:
choice of yogurt starter
choice of sourdough starter
kefir starter

Good luck! Don't forget about me when you've got some delish fermented foods to share.

25 February 2011

Maiden Voyage

This morning I took the rig (Specialized Hard Rock Pro and Columbia Bike Buggy) for a spin with two two year old tots in tow.

It was pretty exciting to wear our new helmets and hit the road. We stayed in the neighborhood, visiting the excellent panaderia on S 1st Street and shared some delicious cupcakes. It was very difficult to find a place to lock the bike and buggy in this busy shopping center. I may need to take a solo mission and scope it out for the future. Instead of locking the bike up I did something very careless and left the rig in the parking spot in front of the bakery. This was a really bad idea because: A) a car could have pulled in and crushed it, B) anybody who wanted to could have got on and rode off.
Next stop: we headed east to S Congress to pay a visit to our friendly neighborhood coffee roaster to pick up chaff for our chicken coop. It was a lot easier to "park" this go. So now I had two bags of chaff to haul along with the babies in the buggy. I put the bags at their feet. They were okay with this for about half the trip home (read: 5 mins) when I started to hear yells of protest behind me.

I am really curious about a couple of things:
1. Tricks that other MoBsters use to haul precious cargo along with their not so precious cargo.
2. Streamlining the lock up and unload with kids on board in a busy area.

Tips always welcome - utilize the comment box.

Locked & Loaded

Pinhead Component Locking System
4Pack Lock Set

  • Front and rear wheel locking skewers.
  • Seat lock.
  • Headset lock.
  • Unique multi combination key.
Austin has high bike crime. We are averaging about one bike per year being stolen at our place. That said, I want to deter a thief the best I can.

Per Rick's suggestion I bought the Pinhead 4 pack to lock up my bike's components (seat post, headset, and front/rear wheels).

Installation was a piece of cake... I did all of it with a 2 year old crawling on me and the bike. The most difficult part was attaching the buggy. The Pinhead rear rod was just long enough to fit the buggy as long as I didn't use the washer that came with the skewer.

The manufacture recommends "a professional bicycle dealer trim off excess Rod length". They did come with a little rubber piece to put over the excess; however, I have a pretty gnarly bruise on my leg from the seat post lock's excess and want it removed ASAP.

I ordered the 4 pack because by doing so all the component locks use one universal key. The key double as a niffty bottle opener, too!

24 February 2011

Tool Time

Park Tool Co. MT-1 Rescue Wrench/ Multi-tool

I picked this little guy up last night at REI while picking up my safety helmet (don't worry, you'll hear about that later). It was between the MT-1 and a couple of the bigger multi-tools, but with me being the thrifter that I am I opted for the cheap.

It's Park Tool Co.'s crudest option as far as multis go- packing a punch with:
  • 3mm, 4mm, 5mm, 6mm, and 8mm hex wrenches
  • 8mm, 9mm, and 10mm socket wrenches
  • straight blade screwdriver
My biggest complaint thus far (I got a good bit of use out of this guy last night), while using the 6mm hex to replace my saddle, the 3mm scratched my seat post.

" uncomplicated, easy to use, and effective", parktool.com
Biking with a toddler in tow? Uncomplicated is the way to go. It's small enough to slip into my back pocket making my load a little lighter.