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Posts Tagged ‘Biking’

  1. Mud, Mud, Mud

    March 11, 2015 by admin


    As Spring teases about its imminent arrival, we are reminded of some of our favorite “get ready!” posts and some “welcoming this new season” tips:

    • Spring cleaning! The want to open all the windows and clean everything strikes quickly. Don’t forget about that often neglected washing machine.
    • Tune up your bicycles. A season tucked away in your garage or chained up outside always leaves a bike needing some tlc. Check the tires and chains. Adjust the seat and handlebars for your growing kiddos. Make sure those helmets still fit properly!
    •  Mud. It’s everywhere. Embrace it and allow those kiddos to get messy.
    • Speaking of mud – your dog will get dirty.
    • There is so much joy in just being outside. Follow the hyperlink for some of our favorite springtime activities.
    • Unplug. Take the time to embrace the changing of the seasons. Turn off those phones and disconnect from technology for a bit. Breath.

    This is such a tremendous time of year and we hope you fully enjoy the arrival of warmer weather!

  2. Dream Bikes

    March 23, 2014 by admin

    Oh, those growing kids!  With her ever-increasing height, our Plum needed a new bicycle for this spring.

    So the search was on for the most affordable bike- something she’d be happy with, that would be reliable, and hopefully would allow her some room to grow.  We take a rather meticulous path to finding the best value for a major purpose, so we started checking out the stores that might have inexpensive models.  We also started looking about for any used bikes that were on the market.IMG_1600

    We stopped at a great local bicycle shop in our neighborhood- Revolution Cycles!  We love the crew at Revolution, and knew they would help us out.  They made a few recommendations about what size bike would work for our Plum.  But unfortunately, they were currently sold out of used bikes that would fit her.

    What to do?  We asked Revolution for ideas and they immediately suggested Dream Bikes.

    Dream Bikes is a non-profit that situates their stores in underserved neighborhoods.  They take in used bikes, fix them up and sell them to the public, using the profits from the sales to offer good jobs and training to local teens who make the repairs and run the bike shops.

    We headed over to Dream Bikes and were astounded by the great selection and service we found.  Our salesperson, David, was patient with our Plum, listening to her wants and showing her a number of bikes that he thought might fit the bill.  Her final choice- a vintage Schwinn Mirada (the same model TRDad rode for over a decade)- was decked out with a rear double basket and a horn, all for an amazingly low price.IMG_5237

    We can’t recommend Dream Bikes enough to anyone in the Madison or Milwaukee areas looking for a new bike.  We are thrilled to have found a place offering great bikes at fantastic prices that provides excellent service and contributes to the community.

  3. Winter Biking

    February 14, 2014 by admin

    It’s the middle of the afternoon on a recent, bitter-cold winter day.  Schools have been cancelled in our area due to the extreme weather.  What does Bluey want to do this afternoon?

    “Let’s go for a bike ride!”

    Our young rider doesn’t let snowy landscapes and subzero temps keep him off his bike.  And why should he?  We see people riding all winter in our town, so he knows it can be done.  And we spend our springs, summers, and falls biking all over- so he knows how much fun biking can be.IMG_1301

    He has heard our winter mantra many times (borrowed from the Norwegians): There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes.

    So we saddle up.  Bluey dons his snowsuit, finds his best mittens and a hat.  He wraps a scarf around his neck while I loosen his bike helmet straps enough to fit over his hooded, hatted head.

    We grab the dog and we’re off.

    The trip doesn’t last long- after all it is pretty chilly out.  But Bluey gets a chance to ride and to explore his neighborhood some more on a day when few people are out and about.

    There are some icy patches to remind us that there’s more to winter biking than dressing right—some sections of the sidewalk are a bit treacherous.  But we have a fun jaunt around the neighborhood, and head home for hot cocoa.

    Polar vortex, arctic blast- no matter.  We’re going on a bike ride.

  4. Liking Biking

    September 2, 2013 by admin

    IMG_1836Our family is very energetic.  We get outside and do things all day long, year-round.  We’re active and we’re tired at the end of the day.  But still TRMom and TRDad sometimes feel that we should be ‘exercising’ more.  We could be in better health, or drop a few pounds, if we could just get in a few targeted cardio-type workouts.

    In our childless years, it was all a lot simpler to fit in some serious exercise.  Both TRMom and TRDad were very active back then.  TRMom would go for long power walks, and used a stationary bike at home. TRDad picked up his fancy-pants road bike and entered various biking events, even a stray triathlon here and there.

    But now that there are children about, the exercise time has dwindled.  For one thing, we like to keepIMG_1030 the pack together.  We refuse to put our kids in daycare just so we can hit the gym.  It can be an expensive practice and just doesn’t fit the way we like to have our family function.  Plus, we’re pooped at the end of the day.  We spend all day working, running about with our kiddoes, and exploring the world.  The idea of hitting the gym once the kids are asleep doesn’t seem feasible.

    We have found that by waiting it out a bit, we solved this dilemma.  After trying various schemes that allowed one parent to get their exercise on, we discovered the best method was to exercise with our kids. We keep the pack together.  We ride to the store, to various restaurants, and just cruise around the neighborhood.  Now that Bluey has his own bike, he holds his own as the family sets forth on a bicycle adventure.

    You’ll see us out there, exercising together, exploring our world.

  5. Badger State Trail

    July 13, 2013 by admin


    Our readers know that this TR family loves getting out on our bicycles.  We enjoy urban biking as much as exploring the numerous State bike trails.  Recently, we enjoyed an exciting portion of the Badger State Trail (BST).

    It cost us $8 for a daily pass to access the BST.  For this particular trip, our goal was to experience at least one tunnel.  Bluey is still too little to handle much more than 5 miles of biking, so TR Dad mapped out the perfect place to join up with this extensive trail.

    Tip1:  Children 16 and under do NOT require a pass to explore the State trails.

    We parked our car off the side of the road and geared up!  Once on the BST, it took about 5 minutes of biking to approach the entry of a tunnel.  Bluey hesitated, but he was up for IMG_0282the adventure!

    Tip2:  A smart phone’s flashlight app is not sufficient light for the tunnel.  Be sure to bring one flashlight per bike.

    It was pitch black and very wet inside the tunnel.  We were expecting the darkness, but not the wetness.  It was quite an unique experience for us and we had a blast making our way through the tunnel.

    Once on the other side, we biked for about 10 more minutes until we found a nice little picnic bench in the shade.  A quick snack, a friendly chat with another biking family, and some water were all we needed to head out again.

    Tip3:  There wasn’t a single bathroom facility on the trip.

    We spent just over one hour exploring this portion of the BST and we can’t wait to return.  What bike trails do you recommend in your State?

  6. I Want To Ride My Bicycle!

    July 7, 2013 by admin

    Our Bluey loves to get out on the road.  For over two years he’s been piling mileage onto his Radio Flyer Tricycle.  He has run it into the ground, and was more than ready for a IMG_0088new two-wheeled bike.  Although we could have made that purchase last Fall, we decided to wait until this Spring.  What fun is a brand new bike when there are eighteen inches of snow in the driveway?

    This gave us time over the winter to shop.  It’s no small project to get a new bicycle at our house.  TRMom and TRDad started in with research.  We checked various blogs and product reviews for info about which bikes seemed like good choices.

    Armed with some knowledge of what to look for in a child’s bike, we headed out to our local stores.  This gave TRDad and Bluey some super-fun destinations to visit in the deepest winter, and it helped build anticipation for the new bike.

    In our area, we have many bike stores, each one of which seems to focus on one or two specific brands.  So if you want a Trek, you head to store A, but to see something from Specialized, head to Store B.  Checking out bikes involved a lot of leg-work.  If you are local, we IMG_1775highly recommend the folks at Williamson Bikes & Fitness on East Washington.

    After going back and forth between a few first choices, Amber at Willy Street Bikes helped our Bluey finally settle on a nifty green Schwinn Gremlin.  The kicker for Bluey—this one came with a water bottle!  And of course, we had to add a basket for treasures found and stuffies lucky enough to be invited along for the ride.

    While Bluey continues to log on the miles, we are happy to report that his choice has worked well for him so far.  He can zip along quite nicely!  And he is pleased with how much further his range is on two wheels, compared to three.

    This summer, you’ll see us all around town and on the bike paths.  If you hear a ringing bell, and a child’s on your left, you just might be getting passed by Bluey!

  7. Get On Your Bike and Ride!

    July 24, 2012 by admin

    It is incredibly important to us that our family stays physically active.  We’ve all seen the news on obesity issues in the USA.  And we know that physical education and recess are being dramatically reduced or eliminated in our public schools.

    We are fortunate to live in one of the most bike friendly States.  Wisconsin has far reaching bike paths that make commuting and general recreational bike rides quite pleasant and easy.  The USA is far behind the bike loving country of Denmark ( but perhaps we’ll get there one day!

    Our family begins every day with a walk/trike to our local Jenny Street Market.  When school is in session, our daughter walks the .7 miles to her elementary school and back home again.  When this school trip expands to 1.3 miles in middle school, the walk or bike mode of transportation will continue.  There isn’t much that interferes with these daily activities.  Despite the occasional protest from our kids, they actually enjoy these physical excursions.  There is so much to see and discover as you walk about a neighborhood.

    The benefit beyond the exercise that is often overlooked- time to connect as a family.  Some of our best family conversations occur on these outings!