Wednesday, April 2, 2014

LESS CAR MORE GO: a cargo bike documentary by Liz Canning

It's been three years in the making so I was most excited on Monday when Liz Canning made the Kickstarter campaign live to support her crowdsourced documentary LESS CAR MORE GO.

 Liz is the real deal, people. A documentary filmmaker, mama of twins, and cargo bike enthusiast, you can tell just how much vision and time it has taken for her to put this campaign together. Imagine the hours combing through all of our submitted video footage and coming up with an engaging, cohesive story about how cargo bikes make our lives better. She's got interesting history and interviews in there and a bunch of regular folks who just like riding their cargo bikes.

Liz has also been working on this project, all self-funded, for the past three years. It's time. It's time. $40,000 is an ambitious Kickstarter goal, however, it is quite modest when talking about a film budget. It's been exciting to see how the cargo bicycling community has rallied around to support this film but we needs others to help us out. Please consider giving. Also, consider sharing this campaign far and wide. 

Thanks so much and happy riding.

Monday, January 27, 2014

PechaKucha Presentation about Cargo Bikes

How do you express your deep love of cargo bikes with just 20 images that flash at 20 second intervals?

Late in August I made good on a promise to myself and presented at my city's PechaKucha night about my love of cargo bikes. A fellow happened to be filming it and he just posted it on video. There is a drop in the sound for two slides but it does pick up...

Shout-outs to Travis Wittwer, Elly Blue, and Emily Finch who are a part of my PechaKucha. Thank you so much!

Friday, July 26, 2013

New Haven Living article, "Cycling"

Not to totally self-promote but here is the recently published article in New Haven Living about cycling in New Haven that yes, does include my family.

Wondering about this, though-- Cargo bicyclists, do you agree with the author's description that cargo bikes are "an increasingly popular symbol of urban chic"?

I am all about utility (and comfort). Chic? Not so much....

While I am really thrilled that cycling is being featured in this magazine and that Elm City Cycling and Matt Feiner get the credit they so richly deserve for helping to make New Haven an ever-growing, bike-friendly city, it is hard for me to ignore the glaring editing error of misnaming The Devil's Gear Bike Shop early in the article.

The author mostly got my quotations correct. I can say with certainty that I've never actually uttered the words "Moreover" aloud in my everyday speech but we'll go with it. There is an incorrect preschool detail but it doesn't radically change the idea for anyone but me.  

Ultimately happy though that cycling gets more and more attention as folks figure out their transportation needs and desires. Hoping that more and more people see bicycling as a viable and do-able (even with kids!) option.

Forgive me for admitting that I wished they had used this photo instead in the article, but it is nice it's up on the web slideshow...

Credit: Kathleen Cei from "Cycling" in New Haven Living

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rock to Rock 2013 -- Year Five

A much overdue post about the annual Rock to Rock ride in New Haven. It's the biggest local group ride and it's been fun to watch its growth over the past years.

You can see posts about our participation in past years herehere, and here.  I must admit that I am surprised to discover that I never blogged about last year's event even though we had friends from Brooklyn come up and join us.

This year was momentous because all three boys rode their own bikes for the entire ride. In the couple of years, we had hauled F on one of our cargo bikes, as well as his bike so he could ride the end himself, but he was ready to take on the whole route this go-around.

I must admit that I can find big group rides pretty nerve-wracking.  With my children, I seem to be on them constantly about riding smartly and predictably so that other riders know what to expect from them. However, I wonder if some of my nagging is simply because there are tons of other riders out there riding unpredictably, making less-than-smart choices, but it's only my own kids I can actually say something to! Unfair, I know...

Bicycling friends, who recently moved to Maine from New Haven, came down for the weekend to hang and participate.  I didn't end up making t-shirts this year but thought we should have some unifying theme going on for our crew.  Without any rhyme or reason, I end up settling on making fake mustaches. I merely mentioned it at one point, perhaps inspired by this bicyclist, and F latched on to the idea and wouldn't let it go.  So the night before the ride, we sat at the table making fake mustaches.

The result was pretty amusing.

No mustaches here, but had to include this snap of some of the cutest cargo around!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

City Cycling-- Fun, Instructional Video

Just saw this video today from GristTV. It is simple and captures the spirit of "Hey-- This is do-able and fun!"

No need to get into any helmet debates here.

Donut break, though? We'll go for that.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Pizza Pick-Up by Bike

Why am I always such a sucker for photos of
1. bikes on bikes? 
2. beer on bikes?
3. pizza on bikes?

Here's my Yuba Bread Basket on my Boda Boda hooking me up when I picked up pizza at Kitchen ZINC last night.  The "Getting Figgy with It" pie is out-of-control:  roasted figs, sliced speck, goat cheese, caramelized onions, balsamic reduction and arugula. Yum.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ernest & DIY Cargo Trailer

Yesterday, Bikeyface posted yet-another awesome piece, this one about how bikes simplify your life in the midst of technology and how bike commuting lends itself to real face-to-face contact with all sorts of people.

I've written before about the people whom I meet while bicycling. There are one-time chance encounters and there are people we see daily whom we may have missed when driving. We certainly would have not interacted and chatted with them like we do now.

This spring I have been wondering about Ms. Essie. She lives/d in an apartment building on the corner of a busy-ish intersection where I stop often to wait out the red light. Ms. Essie and I would  greet each other as she sat outside on a folding chair watching the happenings on the street. I saw Ms. Essie for multiple years. She would often say something kind about my boys when they were out riding with me and ask after them when they were not.  These past months when I pass her building now, without her chair and her presence out front, I wonder if she moved or perhaps she's experienced a health issue that's kept her inside....

This morning, I was feeling a bit down. I decided to stop at my favorite coffee place for an iced latte-- so excited to have my mounted coffee ring back on my handlebars! Just when I was unlocking my Yuba Boda Boda, this fellow rode by and suddenly stopped to ask about my bicycle.

We ended up bonding over our bikes and cargo-carrying capabilities. His name is Ernest and he took a kid's bike trailer and turned it into a cargo trailer using heavy-duty plastic bins. He keeps his tools in the bins and anything else he needs throughout the day. He also mounted slim bags, including a neoprene laptop case to the sides of the bins so he can stash smaller stuff more securely.

He loved my Boda Boda and thought that not only could I carry a kid on the back tail but stick one up front in the big Bread Basket. He suggested that I paint my helmet apple green to match my bike.  I shared that my sons would love his Jolly Roger flag.  

After asking permission to take his photo, we shook hands and headed off our separate ways.  I pedaled through downtown feeling far lighter than when I started my commute this morning. An iced latte and a chance encounter making my legs pedal with a bit more zing and my mood lifted.