Crazy And We Love It

Last night I had another one of those “my family is awesome” moments. 

Marin and I had cycled across the river to meet Seth as he got out of work and then we were going to check out the concert by the Weezers that Microsoft was putting on. 

The trip started with a delay by the princess, so Marin and I were a little tight pressed for time to stick to our prearranged schedule with Seth. That meant that I couldn’t take my time riding downtown, I had to push it. Do you know what it’s like to ride a slow, loaded three wheel cargo bike from 39th to Pioneer Square in 30 minutes? Your legs get a wicked burn just going up little inclines like the ramp from the esplanade up to Hawthorn bridge, and did you ever notice that most of the bridge itself is an uphill ride? 

I forget which road we turned up from the river side (maybe Taylor?), but the first light you hit is always a red. Once you get the green on that though, if you can keep your speed up it is a straight shot with constant green all the way up the hill to the square. I love that shot. It is a small adrenaline rush for me, surrounded by traffic, pushing the muscles hard to stay with the flow and not miss a light.

Breathing gets fast and heavy, calves yell with the effort and that’s when Seth called on my cell! Fortunately I keep my phone in a little pocket on the bike just below te handlebars, so I could access it without breaking rhythm. 

“Hey, I’m out of work.” Seth told me.

“Great! Sorry I’m late, but I’m almost there. On 5th and coming your way.” 

I think it was easy for him to figure out from my heavy breathing that the conversation had to end right about there, as I was too busy to focus on chatting about anything else, so he said bye and went out to the street corner to wait for me.

Huffing, puffing, smiling big and giggling, I found my man and we took some time to let me catch my breath before grabbing a bite to eat at Freshii and exploring around the concert area for a while then we both at the same time called it quits and said we were uninterested in the music they were playing. 

Somehow we almost always seem to be on the same page with stuff. We like similar styles of food, with each of us coming down to the same two dishes we want to try at restaurants, so we just get both and share them! Or like last night, we were both curious about the concert, but both lost interest at the same time. Then on the ride home we stopped to admire some live-aboard sailboats and we both liked the same one. Sometimes I think we must be a crazy couple, but then, it’s probably better to be crazy and love it, then sane and hate it!

Sunday’s Adventure (also happened to be Father’s Day)

Father’s Day. Yeah, everybody is writing about it aren’t they?

Well, I think Seth had a decent day. It started by chatting with the house guests that arrived almost unanounced the previous night (they turn out to be pretty cool people) and then off we went as a small cute little family to check out a Pedalpalooza group focused on riding bicycles with small children. We had thought that it was going to be everyone riding their bikes with kids, but we found it was more of a sit down talk session at one of the bike shops where a lady gave was explaining the diferent options for carying kids. So…. we continued on down to the weekend market instead. I’m sure we probably could have picked up a few tips or something, but Marin is fairly well set in her carseat on the trike, so we didn’t feel the need to stick around.

Downtown is a weekend market that consists of artsy-fartsy craft people of high caliber, so we always enjoy checking out what they have and grabing a bite from one of the food carts.

To add to the downtown atractions, there was also a Gay Pride Parade going on as well, so of course we had to stop and watch them for a little bit and marvel at the dress code. Or at least, marveled at the dress code or lack thereof.

Then it was off to work for Seth, so we said goodbye beside our bikes and parted ways, except that after wandering around the crowds for a little while longer, Marin and I went to visit him at Mountain Hardwear for a short bit. I like the staff there, as they are all very suportive of Seth and have no problem with me stopping by and taking advantage of their little sitting area to get off my feet and nurse Marin. I think Seth enjoyed having us there, being able to peek around the corner when he didn’t have a customer to talk to, and see Little Marin fascinated with her own reflection in a full length mirror. She was able to walk right up to it and touch it, not knowing what to think of the cold hard thing getting in her way of touching the other little girl that looked just like herself.

Seth and Marin being goof-balls
Seth and Marin being goof-balls

Yet again, we had another family adventure on bicycles in Portland!

No Cares On A Sunday

Another day spent outside with my little girl. Nothing too important to do. People watching, slow peddaling.

This morning while taking down the tent in the wind, the fly got a small puncture and a couple good scrapes in it. Wasn’t the best way to start the morning, that is for sure! It is lightweight silnylon made by Nemo. Beautiful tent and well structured! But that silnylon along with being ultra light for camping, is also surprisingly easy to tear and not so easy to fix.

While Seth headed off to work for the day, I did an internet search on how to fix silnylon. You can’t just sew on a patch and throw some goop on to waterproof it and call it good. One of the beauties of the fabric is that almost nothing ever sticks to it……….including adhesives. So my searching was also one to find where I might pick up a patch kit. Easiest place was REI, so off we went. Well, sort of.

There were delays getting to the sports store, as Andrew volunteered to make lunch and I was not about to say no to that! And then there was the issue of it being a highly breezy day and me only having one pair of shorts (whose reach just covers my knees) so Marin and I stopped at Goodwill to find a cooler pair of shorts for me. Okay, so I didn’t really find shorts, but a nice running skirt with built in boyshorts seemed to do the trick for keeping me cool the rest of the day.

Finaly we made it to REI and Marin started telling me she was hungry, so I found a quiet little corner amongst the sleeping bags (like anybody is gonna go shopping for a bag on a sweltering hot day like today!) where I could nurse her without any distractions. It worked so well though, that she fell asleep and refused to wake up! So I carried her all sprawled out in one arm while searching out the repair kit and I had to ask the cashier lady to bear with me as I had to do everything one handed. In fact, Marin was so sleepy that only opened her eyes for one second, not even two, when I put her back in her carseat on the bike. Zonked OUT!

When Marin woke up from her nap we watched all the little kids playing in the water fountain down by the river. I did some drawing while she watched the kids and played with her little maraca, becoming the center of attention for a couple other little tots who thought she was awefully cute (as always!).

One of the fun things about these longer nice days, is that Marin and I can meet Seth downtown when he gets off the train from work, and we can cycle home together, often stopping somewhere for a bite to eat first.

I love seeing Seth at the end of his work days! We have such fun together and it doesn’t take big activities to keep us entertained! Small little things like walk, bike rides or simply watching other people go by, is enough to keep us amused and happy.

All and all, I think it was a fantabulous Sunday! Yay!!!!


My Cycling Father

Dad trying out the fat tire and watching how it worked beneath him.
Dad trying out the fat tire and watching how it worked beneath him.

While my dad was here I found out that he enjoys riding bicycles. We always lived a little outside of town (sometimes right out in the country!) and so cycling had no interest as you were always stuck on the same road. Portland is different though. There’s bike lanes and so many alternate routes that it is impossible to get bored especially when you’re only in town for one week!

Seth picked up a Pugsley Fat Tire by Surly last year, but my dad didn’t get to see it last time he was through. This time though, he spotted it and his eyes lit up right away.

“Who’s is that?” he asked with excitement in his voice.

When I told him it was Seth’s, he asked if he might be able to take it for a spin. Of course!!! So he tried it out on the street just in front of the house, and since we were heading out on a ride and I was taking the trike (which is slow), he opted for the fat tire ride. It was great to see him on it. He loved it!

Most our rides this last week has been with him on the Surly. It is slow, but still a heck of a lot faster than our trike which Marin rides in.

Grandpa cycling around proud as punch with his little granddaughter sleeping content on front.
Grandpa cycling around proud as punch with his little granddaughter sleeping content on front.

When I would suggest walking anywhere after the first couple of rides, his face would drop just a tad, then he would mention the option of riding to our destination instead. So we rode almost every day that he was here, including the last day when he had to pick up a few things for the kids’ school.

For that last ride, Seth stayed home with Marin while I rode Chester and my dad rode one of Andrew’s bikes downtown. We rode fast because we could.

First stop was Voodoo Doughnuts where we picked up a full dozen doughnuts and of course ate a couple of them right away. Had to get some energy to make the last few blocks to REI where Dad picked up some gear for the kids’ GoPro camera.

Heading home I got us a little off track, but didn’t exactly get LOST. Just didn’t know where we were going per say. Didn’t take too long and we were back on a familiar route, then we hit a section of heavy traffic being directed by cops, so we got on another detour, ducking and weaving between traffic. As we spun onto Clinton Street, Dad figured out where we were and took off like a rocket! Those doughnuts must have really given him a boost, because it was all I could do to keep up with him!

One Way to Tucker Out Your Dog

Your dog greats you in the morning with so much enthusiasm that you know he needs a good long walk. You grab some breakfast and head out, walking for a couple of hours which leaves you exhausted for the rest of the day with the bonus of sore feet. Your dog? He is playing in the back yard as if he had never left.

I think all large-dog owners have experienced this little scenario at one point or other much to their chagrin. I know I certainly have and I don’t even own a dog!

As many of our friends, family and blog followers know, we are living in the full basement of Seth’s brother’s house in Portland, and Andrew has a dog. A beautiful well-behaved loving dog who lets the neighborhood children pull his tail, ears and climb on him. Despite how mellow he acts though, he is a bundle of energy that needs to vent every day. With other things on my to-do list I often have a hard time getting him out for as long as he really needs, especially as Andrew and the kids are still away on holidays and so there are fewer people to walk him through the day.

But I discovered a great fix to all that! We have a bicycle that attached to a special stroller similar to a Chariot, turning it into a trike with 2 wheels up front and one in the back. One of Marin’s car seats has been affixed into the stroller from which she has a great view of the passing scenery as we roll along. The whole contraption is quite sturdy, so I decided that with little effort I could take both the baby and the dog out for fresh air by making the dog trot along beside us.

For bike rides it certainly doesn’t get you anywhere very fast, but it gets the dog moving a lot faster than if we were all walking, which was the point behind it all. It worked so incredibly well that after cycling up to Mount Tabor, letting Lorax play with the other dogs at the park and then rolling back home, even with dog-piss breaks, he was well-worn out for at least the next 4 hours. But having a couple of hours of knowing the dog had gotten a good work out was wonderful!!

I know most people do not have trikes on which they can roll along slow enough for their dogs, but for those that do, it is worth a shot to try taking your dog out with it and see if you can’t outlast your canine friend!