Guess Who’s Back….

Back again!

 

I took a hiatus for the summer. With the move, summer weather and Fart, we’ve been very busy!

 

What’s Fart, you ask?

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Cruising on Fart

 

Fart is our new cargo bike! He’s a big part of our days. We’ve been clocking over 100 kilometres each week for the past two months. It’s been amazing and exciting. We’ve had plenty of big adventures and an abundance of faster-run errands or local trips.

 

 

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Diapers? No problem!

 

The boys love riding around town on the bike that my oldest has affectionately named Fart. We can use it on the skytrain so that’s expanded our reach for biking. It’s been wonderful and I’m  looking forward to using it for commuting to and from Nature Preschool starting next month.

 

Summer has been busy.

We’ve been busy.

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Moving Day

The move has gone well. We are in the new house and are feeling at home these past six weeks. The kids have a playroom and the living room and their bedrooms filled with toys – why wouldn’t they love it?! We’re still in the process of unpacking the “junk boxes” of things we don’t know where to put yet. We have a small room off the laundry room (aka our future gym) that is full of stuff and our dining room is stacked chest height with boxes of things for sale and of my in-laws things for them to go through and decide to keep / sell / donate etc. Once the dining room is cleared out, we have to figure out what to do with that room.

 

We’ve been on many outings with our gorgeous weather we *were* having. It’s since turned cloudy and wet but in the past two months we’ve rarely had rain!

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Summer fun!

 

Our summer has been full of parks, play dates, Science World, Aquarium, bike rides (so, so many), water parks, swimming, PNE and playing in the backyard. We didn’t get to do too much hiking or geocaching. And we didn’t get to Granville Island or water slides as I hoped but that’s not surprising with our other activities. That’s okay, there’s next year! And the next!

 

 

I’m looking forward to Fall. Cooler weather and calmer days. We’ll be bringing out more crafts (once I can find the box of supplies…) and we’ll be looking at more local activities that are close by. Strong Start, Family Place, Nature Preschool, recreation centre lessons, lots of fun to be had! It will be nice to slow down.

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A rare moment with both relaxing for a moment

 

 

I’ll be blogging more now that things aren’t as busy.

Be sure to check back! I’ll be posting more about our summer fun, a recent diagnosis from my doctor, a fiery Sunday and much more. ❤

Mommy’s Got A [re]New[ed] Hobby

As moms, we tend to put aside our hobbies when baby comes along. More important things come along to fill up those empty moments of our day… Like coffee, showering and the occasional Netflix binge.

One of the things I missed the most (next to sleeping, anyways) was biking.

I was riding 15km to work every morning before I got pregnant. It was glorious and an amazing workout. Then, after a ten hour workday, I would ride the 15km route home… And occasionally, Jason and I would then ride from our home in Burnaby to Stanley Park or Yaletown.

 

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S taking the Strider for a stroll through the yard at 19 months old

Then I got pregnant. I’m clumsy enough without the added change in body shape and size so I decided to retire my bike, in what was meant to be temporarily but ended up being a bit longer.

And I’ll be honest. It never occurred to me that I could get back on the bike with the boys in tow. I didn’t think about bike seats or trailers…. until recently.

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Out for a ride!

I’ve fallen head over heels for biking again.

A couple of months ago, I talked my poor, poor husband into yet another stroller. This one doubles as a bike trailer and it’s been a terrific addition to our family.

I love being able to pull the boys along on a bike ride. Sammy laughs when we go over speed bumps and Dean is a great backseat driver (“STOP SIGN!” “MOMMY, GREEN LIGHT!” “USE YOUR BRAKES!”) Dean has been learning all sorts of road rules and about the different signs he sees as we ride along the bike paths. He knows how to find the bike paths and has fun trying to tell me of the turns before we make them.

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D riding by the water on his strider bike, two years old

I love the new freedom of being able to hop on and off the bike and get us places without having to rely on the bus or trains, without having to pay for transit and with getting some exercise. The bike trailer has given us the ability to have new adventures.

However, we are still limited.

 

We’re not able to take the bike with the trailer onto transit. I can’t take the boys around Stanley Park, False Creek or along the Quay with our current set up. It’s a bit sad because we don’t have many places right by home that we can do on the bike, other than malls, library and a few parks. There are too many hills and I also don’t want to venture too far from home in case everyone gets too tired or uncooperative and we aren’t able to hop on transit to get back home in a timely fashion.

And that’s where I discovered cargo bikes.

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Yuba Mundo – Dean with Lisa’s daughter, B, on board and ready to roll!

Did you know there’s a bike that is just a bit bigger than a regular sized bike but can carry children, too?! No trailer needed.

I’ve been researching them for a week now. And I’m so excited about the idea! We have to number crunch and make sure it’s possible but with Vancity’s “Clean Air Vehicle Loan” it could be made into a monthly payment rather than an upfront cost.

There are various brands and models and price ranges. The two I am eyeing are compact enough that they would even fit onto the bike racks on the bus and I can take them on board the skytrain but still has enough room to fit two kids! Sounds pretty spiffy, right?!

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Bike Friday’s Haul-A-Day bike with room for two!

Last Wednesday I got to test ride a Yuba Mundo (it’s larger than the Boda Boda and fits three kids vs two) and became even more obsessed. They handle great – I had no problem loading up the two boys on the back and giving it a whirl!

Spokesmama, aka Lisa, who met with me at Science World to let me take her bike for a spin, also runs the Facebook group “Vancouver Family Biking“. I’ve learned so much from her website, from her and from other riders in the group.

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Yuba’s Boda Boda – perfect for two kids but still compact!

If you are looking at getting on a bike with your young children, check out the workshop she is leading! You can find the link on her website, in the group or from the Crushed Cheerios Facebook page. There are more dates being added as others fill up – the June dates are full but July has a couple openings and there is also one scheduled for October so far. The course is free and there will be childcare available for free, as well. I’m looking forward to learning more about biking with the kids and how we can get more out of our time together on the road.

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I’ve been bitten by the biking bug. A swarm of them.

 

I’m looking forward to all the kilometres I am going to log this summer with the boys!

 

 

 

[Product Review] Stroller : Thule/Chariot Cheetah 2

Guys.

I’m in love. Again.

 

So a couple of months ago, I realized that when we move, preschool will be a bit more work to get to. It will be a 45 minute walk, 45 minutes on transit or a 15 minute bike ride.

Insert a lightbulb emoticon here.

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My big boys comfortably fit side by side!

After convincing my husband that yes, I DOOOOO need another stroller, I started the search for a bike trailer.

I found various trailers but nothing that really stuck out as a stroller that would be great for unhitching from the bike and using in the mall or out and about.

I bit the bullet and bought a Chariot. It was more than I (husband, let’s be real here) wanted to pay for a bike trailer but I have been in love from day 1! It was worth every penny.

I’ve decided to sell my single jogging stroller and use the Chariot as my every day stroller. It’s a bit wide, as a double, but I’ve only found one door that I can’t fit through – this is after many adventures! (And hey, so long as I can fit into Starbucks, life is good!!)

 

 

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Thumbs up from my coach for a good run today!

Not only is this stroller fabulous for cruising around the city, but this is great as a jogging stroller! I’ve just started running last week, but in the five times I’ve gone running, I find myself enjoying the jogging set up more and more.

I may only be 5’2″ tall and a slow pace, but I apparently have a long stride. I’ve tried various jogging strollers and have found myself kicking the wheels or the bottom bar. I haven’t had any issues with this one.

 

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Enjoying a snack after drop in before we head home (all downhill – booya!)

As a bike trailer, it is equally impressive.

While I was towing the trailer with 65lbs of child, I was so happy that it is a lightweight bike trailer! The trailer feels stable while going down ramps or off curbs. The kids are happy and secure in their five point harnesses and, thanks to the bright green colour, I know we are easy for cars to spot.

The axel mount ezHitch is easy to put on (or so my husband says – he’s the one that has been changing it back and forth between our bikes) and I love that it’s flexible enough that if the bike falls over, it leaves the stroller with precious cargo, untouched. The stroller is very stable in bike trailer mode.

I learned the hard way that the cover that goes over the stroller isn’t just for rain – my kids can attest, it’s meant to be used when used as a bike trailer. We went for a 35 minute bike ride last weekend and when I went to get the kids out of the stroller, I found them covered in dirt! #momfail at it’s finest! Whoops!

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Photo from Thule

I love that the stroller folds flat – we took it on a trip to Vancouver Island a few weeks ago, along with two carry on suit cases for me and the boys, a suitcase for my SIL and my MIL’s bag. It was a three day trip in a Nissan Rouge and it worked terrific for us.

The pockets inside the sitting area are perfect for the kids water bottles, snack and some toy cars. I love how the kids can reach their pockets – even Sammy, while buckled in.

The back wheels are BIG. They provide a smooth ride while in stroller, jogging and bike mode. They tackle cement, pressed dirt paths, bumpy paths, rocks and sand with ease.

While the stroller is wide (needed for helping with stability in bike mode), it still fits onto transit. I have been taking this on our local skytrain. Due to the pole in the middle of the area by the doors, we don’t block any more width than with a single stroller (even moved to the side, people can’t slide between the stroller and the pole anyways) And it’s not as long as some singles, or at least the ones I’ve been using in the past couple years, so I actually take up less room from front to back. I haven’t taken it on the bus as of yet, but I have been told by someone that it does fit on board. I’ll hopefully try this out soon – I’m actually surprised that we haven’t taken the bus in THAT long!

 

I am loving my Chariot! it’s the jack of all trades but is also, truly, a master them all, too.

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Photo from Thule

Now, for the nitty gritty details :
(Information taken from Thule.com)

Children : option for one or two children
Weight Capacity : 45kg
Stroller Weight : 12kg
Shoulder Width : 59cm
Sitting Height : 68cm
Dimensions : 115cm(L) X 80cm(W) X 107cm(H)
Folded Dimensions : 107cm(L) X 80cm(W) X 27cm(H)
Seat Belt : five point padded harness
Dual position handlebars
Mesh upper seatbacks and side vents for airflow
Front wheels store upside down on the VersaWing while in jogging or bike mode
Storage compartments : two small pockets inside by the seats, large pocket and small pocket on rear
EzFold Technology make it fast and easy to fold for strage

 

If you’ve ever considered getting a bike trailer, I highly recommend this one.
It’s been a fabulous family addition. It takes us everywhere we need to go and has been great motivation to get back into running and biking!

 

The views in this post are entirely mine. I have not received any product from them in order to do this review.