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A Simple Six: Our LGRAB Summer Games Entry

Friday, August 5, 2011

Our LGRAB Summer Games Entry

The LGRAB Summer Games are not over quite yet, but I didn't want to run out of time to submit my entry. You can check out the full contest deals here. Below is what I emailed as our submission. I still have time to fill in the gaps. I am actually working on a letter to a couple of businesses, schools, and the paper. I just don't know if it will be ready by the August 8th deadline.  It's been a lot of fun so far, but the weather and the children have been very cooperative.

Did you participate? If not, there is still time, or there is always next year, or really why do you need an excuse, you could do these things anyway!

Dear LGRAB bloggers,

Thank you for this fun opportunity to push our boundaries on bikes. The summary story is below for each category and the album can be found here. Please let me know if you have any trouble accessing photos.

  1. on vacation? rent a bike and go for a ride!
    1. No out of town vacations here, sorry. It was summer break for the children and we have ridden almost everywhere all over town. You can read more about it below.
  2. write a letter advocating for bicycling infrastructure (bike lanes, bike rack, etc) to your alderman/council representative, mayor, or a local business.
    1. My husband Brent and daughter London biked to the orthodontist and had to lock up their bikes on his sign. The Dr actually said he has been meaning to get a bike rack. The conversation was short.
    2. Brent and I have been sharing articles about bike commuting and car-free living on FB, G+ and with other families via email. We have been talking about choices with other people and began a blog about our transition to a car-lite life with four children in Huntington WV. (the blog is not ready for public consumption quite yet)
  3. take a picture of something along your commute that says “summer” to you, and explain why
    1. Please see all our photos in our Picasa LGRAB album. I think they all say summer. What other time of the year could we all get out and sweat so much, so often?
  4. commute to work by bike or bike/transit if you don’t already
    1. Brent is our income provider. Summer is his flex season, where he can work from home more often. Yet, anytime he has needed to go into work, he has taken the bike. He even had a day where he had to carry a lot of video equipment, laptops, lunch and three shares from our CSA. Before, he would have just taken the car. Since July 22, he has taken the bike with the Yakima trailer loaded.
  5. perform a maintenance task on your bike
    1. We are very new to biking. Before April it had been 10 years since I had been on a bike. I bought a bottle of chain oil and asked the shop owner for instructions. We are now oiling our own chains weekly. It's small maintenance, but important.
    2. We purchased an iBert front toddler seat for our 19m old. on July 28. We installed it ourselves. Again, it was small, but important.
  6. explore a greenway or bike path in your city that you haven’t previously visited
    1. We rode PATH often. The whole family covered a new distance on July 23. We rode stretches of it for errands that we had never done before. We went to the grocery by bike for the first time on July 29. I rode to the farmer's market on Saturday July 30, also a first. It's the only bike path in Huntington, and we got to know it a bit better together.
  7. test ride a different type of bike than you normally ride (road bike, mountain bike, etc.)
    1. When I went to the farmer's market I rode with a friend. She borrowed my bike and I rode her husband's. I don't know what it was, but it was amazingly light and fabulous to ride. My bike is a basement salvage from the neighbor. Heavy and simple and now it "needs" replaced :)
    2. Brent's bike chain has been skipping. He went down to the bike shop and test rode a Cannondale 5 and a couple other commuters. He's seriously considering an investment soon. Maybe today?
  8. read a book about cycling
    1. I taught a toddler art class last week and read Duck on a Bike to everyone the first day. David Shannon's illustrations are a wonderful and powerful message of "you can do it" reinforced through cleaver farm animal characterizations.
  9. ride your bike somewhere new in your city
    1. Everywhere we went was new for us, at least by bike. We rode our children (four children, ages 9, 7, 4, and 19m) to get our eggs. We rode with them all downtown to the comic shop, out to dinner, to a festival, to a play date, to a rain barrel workshop, to the river park for community service work. Brent and I rode downtown for a date night.
  10. go on a group ride
    1. Our Critical Mass ride was just before the start of the Summer Games. I was concerned we couldn't complete this category, then we found a Buns on Bike ride just for children and families. Our family rode the three mile charity event on July 30 with nearly thirty other people. We covered more than 8 miles together that day.

Again, thank you,

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