Tuesday, December 30, 2008

ooooh snow!

We didn't die! We are just hibernating a little more now that ol' Jack Frost decided to dump a LOAD on Provo.  When we do get out it takes about a 1/2 hour to get the 3 of us properly bundled up.  Mittens, earwarmers, coats, thermals, tights, wool socks, long sleeves, jacket, boots, fleece blanket and lovey blanket must all be assembled and then placed upon each dutiful rider.  Let me tell you, it is a sight to behold. One that unfortunately I do not have a picture of :(.  We are still enjoying our time that we can ride.  Neither of us has taken a spill yet, thankfully. We also have to avoid tons of ice.  No biggy right? Right.  

The greatest thing about riding in the winter is how quiet it is when the snow falls.  It's like standing all alone in a tunnel with dandy lion seeds fluttering in the wind.  It's like a warm blanket full of cotton balls.  It's like...wonderful.  sigh.  I love the snowfall.  It especially makes those noisy cars a little less noisy and threatening.  It's amazing how the snow can make the worries slip away, how it can make the roughest day, not so rough.  It can warm your heart.  Huh, snow warms your heart. 

Hope these warm your heart also!   Happy Holidays! from Bike Nuts!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

yes it worked

Makes you think.

 This is a very interesting report not meant to depress or make afraid just some interesting information I thought to pass on. Everything after this paragraph is thiers. I remember reading some where that more pollutants are put out by making a new car (even hybrids) than any old car will put out the rest of its driving life. Originaly posted over at copenhaganize.com.

Here's an interesting list of 28 reasons to ride your bicycle, as compiled by the University of Central Florida. It is based on Orlando but the sources are broad and thorough.

In addition, I just watched this interesting PBS show about commuting and petrol prices. I couldn't embed it, so click on through to see it.

28 Reasons To Ride your Bicycle
1. Increase in local property values.
2. Correlation with Overall Wealth.

The notion that more cars equals more wealth is really more myth than reality. In fact, some new research shows that high and increasing levels of car dependence actually harms an economy. In a report to the World Bank, researchers from the Institute for Science and Technology Policy (ISTP) in Perth, Australia showed that there are "diseconomies" associated with car use. Auto dependence can drain an economy of its wealth….

It found that, among cities in the developed world, regional wealth (as measured by per capita gross regional product - or GRP) actually goes down as car use go up. In other words, the more we drive, the poorer we get....

The global comparison is ... illuminating. Cities such as Zurich,
Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Stockholm, Tokyo and Paris all have a much higher use of public transport than any American, Canadian or Australian city. Yet they build fewer roads and own fewer cars. They have much higher bike use. They have roughly half the transportation deaths. They spend less on getting to work. They emit a fraction of the CO2.

And, oh yes, they're richer.

Europe's 11 principal cities average 390 cars per 1000 people and have an average GRP of US$32,000 per capita. Meanwhile, the USA's 10 principal cities average 600 cars per 1000 people with a GRP of only $27,000. Tokyo's average car ownership is a paltry 225 while its GRP soars at $37,000.

More spending on cars does not create wealth. It just transfers money
elsewhere. Often that elsewhere is outside your local economy. Last time I checked, my home town didn't have an oil or car industry. And buying Ford and GM seems isn't making Detroit, MotorCity USA, any richer. Excessive spending on cars and their infrastructure merely means less money in your pocket and your economy that can be used for productive things.
3. Less Public Money Is Needed To Create a High Quality Transportation System.
4. High-Tech Business Is Attracted by a Perceived Better Quality of Life
5. Improved Personal Finances
6. Better Physical Health
7. Better Mental and Emotional Health
8. Fewer Overweight and Obese Citizens
9. More Free Time
10. More Beauty
11. Greater Mobility
12. Inclusion of Senior Citizens
13. More Equitable Living for Low Income Earners
14. Increased Sense of Community
15. Individual Opportunities for Safer Travel
16. Less Congested Roads
17. Safer, Quieter Neighborhoods
18. More Resources for Public Use
19. Enhanced and More Credible Metropolitan Image
20. Better Air Quality
21. Visually More Appealing Metropolitan Area
22. Cleaner Surface and Ground Water
23. Quieter City
24. Slowed Pace of Global Warming
25. More Sustainable Lifestyle
Paths will help not only by reducing the need for the vast infrastructure needed to support automobile travel and by reducing emissions, but also by saving on the manufacture and disposal of autos. The Environment and Forecasting Institute in Heidelburg, Germany lists the following environmental costs of one car:

Extracting raw material:
26.5 tons of waste
922 million cubic meters of polluted air

Transporting raw material:
12 liters of crude oil in the ocean for each car
425 million cubic meters of polluted air

Producing the car:
1.5 tons of waste
75 million cubic meters of polluted air

Driving the car:
18.4 kilos of abrasive waste
1000 cubic meters of polluted air

Disposing of the car:
102 cubic meters of polluted air
26. Recognition for Leadership in Sound Environmental Policy
27. Readiness for Other Environmental Initiatives
28. Enhanced Quality of Life for Women

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Adventure Dump

So my buddy Brad over at bikeuv.org made a really nice post about me and Krysta. Then gave me a guilt trip on how I never write on my blog so this is in response to his request since i have a spare minute from school thanks to Turkey Day. This blog has always been dedicated to the bicycle and all of its simple and supple pleasures so what follows is a photo representation of our little adventures around Provo that are only possible because of our bikes.

This above photo is one of our newest purchases even though the picture is kind of sad these are two pristine, matching, boys and girls, Schwinn Collegiates. Some nights me and Krysta just geek out on bicycle stuff and search through the Internet for new information or new bikes/bike makers this also is followed by searches on Craigslist and KSL, on one of these geeky nights we found these two babies for $40 total that's right $40 I was       skeptical becausethese bikes are worth way more but, I called the guy and went to his house the next morning, he opened the garage and I fell in love. He said him and his wife were the original owners they bought them back in 74 and he just wanted to make sure they would be ridden I gave him my word that they would be. Then I proceeded to amaze him when I hooked them up to the Xtracycle. When I came home it was to a very excited wife.
To get the story on the tandem see below. This is our Schwinn tandem (we are not Schwinn freaks it just happens that we have gotten these bikes in the last little while). This bike is great because it helped us go on an awesome ride with our friends Todd and Pam. Pam was a little nervous to ride bikes so I told her we would set her up on the tandem and she would not have to worry about anything. After some close to home riding she was convinced and we went out on an awesome ride which led to an awesome Halloween ride using the same bike.
This is our other wonderful friend (we are blessed to have so many), Pippi. Pippi and Karl wanted to go for sushi and, who are we to argue half off sushi, but instead of drive we rode, and as can be seen it was a blast. Karl and Pippi rode our Electra cruisers. This ride also led to another ride to the lake then to Del Taco and home it was a pretty epic ride and these two kept up and had fun the whole way. Yeah for the converting power of bicycles.
Here is our wonderful tandem that I bought for my beautiful wife Krysta, for our one year anniversary. It was stored at a friends house for like a year while we were in Idaho and we just went up there to claim it a little while ago. As you can see there is no limit to the Xtracycle I rode it like this for over two miles with no problems and allot of looks. The tandem needs some work but since coming home it is getting ridden allot and turns out it is a great ambassador for the non bicycle inclined.
This is one of my favorite pictures not because I am in it, but because this is me moving my house by bike!!!!!! I was so stoked to do this, we had allot of help from my buddy Todd and his car but, i ended up moving a third by bike so i was really happy. In other places they move every thing by bicycle. But, i only know one other cargo bike and that is Brad and his awesome Bakfiets, and since I did not want to bother him I had all the fun to myself. 

I guess what I am trying to say with all these pictures and words is, bicycles are awesome, and riding all the time or just going on a cruise with friends and family is a fun and rewarding way to have some simple adventures. There is so much to do in our backyards if we can look at it with that same type of imagination we used to have before we could drive, before we got so busy with getting here or there. So, get out and ride, even if you need to dust off the saddle to that bike that has been sitting in the garage, take it for a spin, you will not be disappointed.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Thanks for all the fish.

Just wanted to thank everyone for their comments.  I'm much calmer now ;) In a perfect world we wouldn't have to worry, then again would it be so perfect.  Someday though it may be much safer.  Zac and I totally want to move to Europe. Zac keeps talking about how we should move to Amsterdam.  I couldn't agree more!  I bet it is so quiet there.  Hopefully with what he has chosen for school we will get the opportunity to live abroad and experience different bike cultures.  Check out this website for the zen that is Copenhagen  and I 'll end this with some lovely bike pics.

Provo River Trail on the tandem
Lovely European bike (sorry it's like 100 years old) PS those bikes still look the same. That is the genius of their engineering.

Bikes and their death machine equivalents

Happy Riding

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I can only handle so many people with their heads up their butts!!

You know everyday I ride my bike.  Sometimes long rides sometimes short, but NEVER EVER since the day we gave up that stupid car have I had a day like today!  I really just want to sit down and cry.  I feel so blessed that I am able to even type this letter and hold my little girl.  
I try so hard to follow all traffic rules.  I stop at stop lights and at stop signs.  I do a lot of things that most cyclists feel does not apply to them.  I don't care, I am safe because I HAVE to be safe.  I not only have to care for my life but the life of my baby.  PEOPLE OPEN YOUR EYES! I wish this blog reached more people so that they can pass this on! So those who do read this PASS IT ON.
 I was not almost hit not just once today or even twice.  I was hit almost 11 TIMES. And mind you this is in less than a one hour period.  I don't exaggerate, this is 2 human lives I am talking about.  Everyday you get in your car do you think to yourself,  "Hey I am driving a vehicle that weighs 1/4 ton, it has a steal frame and could drive thru a brick wall." No you don't, Every time I get on my bike I have to think about this.  I don't worry about one vehicle I have to worry about all vehicles. Ones that are parked, ones that don't stop at the stop line when making a right turn, ones that obey rules and ones that don't.  I do hope that you drive safe for the safety of your children.  I hope you remember that you not only have their lives to worry about but you have EVERYONE else's to worry about when you are on the road.  They gave you a license because they thought you could handle that responsibility.  It's just like having a license to carry a weapon.  You choose what you will do with it.  Accidents happen but it is still your responsibility!
 I am not a car hater, someday I may own a car again. I am one who values life. If I can cut out unnecessary risks than that is what I will do. I will help to promote bicycle advocacy and pedestrian advocacy if needs be. And I will yell at you if you are in your car and not driving safe, and I will give ugly looks.  I hate being angry but I have yet to find a solution to help people realize they are endangering peoples lives. No one is in that big of a hurry that they can't be safe. Life is more important! 
Anyway in the meantime I will work to improve my imperfections.  I will try harder to be patient and work on my anger.  It is a poison and it only makes me feel less of a person.  I ask you all just to remember as you get in the car how important it is to drive safely.  Not just for your sake or bicyclists sake, but for the sake of other people who are driving as well.  


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

8 Bicycling Things (I couldn't pass this up 8 is my favorite number)

8 Bicycling Things...

Eight T.V. shows I love to watch that have great bicycling scenes:

1- The Office  Season 3 Benihana Christmas
2- Flight of the Concords  Season 1  Episode 7 "to many mother *%^7uckers
3- 30 Rock  Season 1   I'm pretty sure it's episode 1 or 2 Kenneth ride his bike
4- Gilmore Girls   Season 7 Loralie's Jeep goes kaput and she rides her cruiser to work! Right on!

5- That is the extent of my TV viewing because we don't have TV we just get shows from our friends



Favorite Places to Eat that we ride our bike to!
1- Demae Sushi
2- Joe Veras Mexican Restaurant
3- Gandolfo's
4- Rice King
5- Dell Taco
6- Deigo's Taco stand
7- Sensuous Sandwich
8- Sammy's

(basically every restaurant on this list is off of Center Street in Provo. (They just happen to have the most amazing variety and we still haven't tried Korean, Peruvian, and Indian yet!)

Eight Bicycling Things that happened yesterday:
1- Went to Residential Manager training
2- Fixed Ren's Chariot to be safer for her
3- Road to Sushi
4- Then to Gelato (so yummy!)
5- Road to old house with friends
6- Showed off our cool blinking tail lights and did a dance
7- Zac fixed our neighbors bikes
8- We road home and it was 9:00 AND freezing!  and Yes of course I was in a skirt!

Eight Bike Things I look forward to:
1- Having more Bikes!!
2- Having more kids riding on our bikes
3- People voting against off shore drilling and instead using alternative forms of transportation and fueling!
4- More People riding bikes!!
5- Having bikes be our main form of decoration!  oh wait it is ;)
6- REN RIDING A BIKE   It Will be a great day in the Whitmore home!
7- Zac having every bike he ever wanted
8- People not thinking we are crazy for not having a car  (look around the world peeps! millions of us do it every day!)

Eight Bike Things I love about Fall:
1- Crunching leaves with my tires!!!
2- The smell of damp leaves in the gutter.
3- The Provo River Trail canopied by the fall leaves falling down (this the most magical thing I know!)
5- Weather (I don't nearly sweat as much)
6- Warm biking sweaters
7- Zac riding his bike in a scarf with bonus facial hair!
8- EVERYTHING of course! It's the FALL the most wonderful time of the year!

Eight bicycles on my wish list:
1- Gary Fisher Simple City 8
2- Dutch Bike
3- My very own xtracycle
4- Zac every Vanilla Cycle he wants
5- Ren a trike
6- Zac an original Schwinn stingray
7- That we could do an epic bike trip like highway one or across the US
8- That all our bikes would be fixed

Monday, September 29, 2008

Part Uno ( a little bit later)

So I was totally going to let Zac finish this wonderful amazing post up....but he is always super busy with school these days and when he gets a chance to get on the computer he would much rather check out other bicycling websites.  ( I don't blame him, it's fun!)  Anyway, on to the delicious fun we have been having on the Bicycles .   

So as most of you know Zac and I no longer have a car.  *gasp* ;)   So any way we have to take alternative forms of transportation if we go on trips or anywhere that is over 30 miles.  Dum dum duuum! The beginning of a wonderful adventure!   

Anyway we lived in Idaho and we had a room-mate from Peru for a few months.  He was wonderful, kind and generous.  He was later baptized and is a very dear friend.  He was to come down from Idaho last weekend and meet us in Salt Lake.  Double Yea!!  We were so excited to see him and sooo excited to get to ride TRAX. Our trip started out with a little bus ride to Zac's campus.  Which of course Ren loved.  Not sure if I mentioned previously how much Ren enjoys the bus.  Well she thinks it's the bomb.com.  We met Zac at school and we loaded the xtracycle on the front of the bus and headed for Salt Lake.  The bus was super packed! ( I did a Happy Dance in my heart!)  When we got off the bus I was expecting to board another bus. Nope-r we got to ride Trax!  Which is the shuttle train between Sandy and Salt Lake, and I believe it goes north to Ogden(?). 

We loaded the bike on with us this time!

We got off at the Gateway Mall in Down town Salt Lake.  It was a really fun ride.  Quick and not to jerky.  Our friend unfortunatly was not able to meet us so we headed back to Sandy and hit up 5 Guy Burgers  and then headed to the R.E.I. and rock gym.  A little shout out to 5 Guys.  If you ever get the chance to eat there DO IT.  So wonderful.  They have the best fries with malt vinegar.  So delicious.  It's like the east coast In n Out.  (but I think it's better than In n Out,  shhh don't tell 'em.)

We totally rocked the xtracycle around Sandy inbetween bus stops!  It was so much fun.  As far as we know Zac and I and one other person in Salt Lake have an xtracycle in this area, so you can imagine peoples faces when they see us riding by with little Ren. Classics! 
All in all we had a really great time.  Our trip didn't take any longer than riding in a car and we didn't have to worry about down town SLC parking or yucky Friday night traffic jams! It was a really great afternoon spent together.

~Happy Riding~

Sunday, September 21, 2008

For the Love of Bikes 2 (1 to come shortly)

Most of you know just how much Zac and ILOVE bikes.  We especially love collecting them.  If you went to Zac's parents home in Nevada and walked into their mesquite trees all you would find is bikes.  Tons and hundreds of bikes.  I am amazed each time we go home. Well anyway the other day I was coming home from an activity and we stopped at a members house. They were giving away things because they were moving. I role up with my friend and the First thing I spot is a bicycle.  I kindly ask the older gentleman if they are giving it away and BAMM-O  I score myself a rocking bike.  The man then says "check out the bike we got in the garage" and score-a-roony!  We land ourselves another bike!!!  I ran home and grabbed Zac and he brought them home on the xtracycle.  Happy Dances then commenced and my new project for the week is cleaning them bikes up.  Now we have enough bikes for our friends and family to ride when they come to visit!  

The 2 new bikes we scored!!

Zac's folding Bianci (pure awesomeness!)

This is our posse of bicycles! (9 total at our house though only 4 are in working order)

This is one of Ren because I just love her little face!!!

~Happy Riding~

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


So the title may sound a little aggravated or aggressive, and it is meant to. In the last 48hrs i have almost been hit about 6 times and i don't mean the car did not see me and i just cruised by i mean swerving to avoid collision, and yesterday being run off the road by a white truck. Yesterday i am riding down 500w minding my own business and hugging the shoulder as any one who has ridden 5th knows you must because there is no bike lane and for about a half a mile there is barely even a shoulder. As i am coming out of the no shoulder part of the road and looking at the mecca that is the emergency lane in front of me this white truck decides to cut me off and make a right turn trapping me between him and the curb thanks to the bicycle gods i was sparred. I can however assure you that i made that weird war cry when you are really angry and confused so you cant make out intelligible sound you just yell something like AHHHMAKEDOFG!!!!!. I am sure that taught him a lesson even though i highly doubt he heard it. I do know that he heard me hit the side of his truck like the hammer of Thor. Now i do not condone violence it really does not get us anywhere but it was that or get run over, i chose the first. All of these incidents especially the almost death one remind me of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy the book not the movie. In the book there is a part where an alien space ship lands on earth but nobody sees it, we find out that it is not invisible because that is  impossible, but it dose have a SEP (somebody elses problem) field and because the idea of a space ship landing on earth is so outlandish with the field on nobody sees it. So along with every bicycle purchase i decided they must just throw one of these babies on because it is so outlandish to so many drivers that a bike would be on the road we are allot of times invisible, or at the very least somebody elses problem. So ride smart ride alert and if you drive keep your eyes open bicyclist are out there and if the current trend is anything to go by, there will only be more and more, so lets try to all get along. 
Although all of this is scary and crazy i am realy lucky to not be this guy we should keep him in our thoughts and prayers.

Monday, August 25, 2008

5 Random (bicycle) Facts about me.

1. I LOVE riding my bike in a skirt! I just feel so empowered. Like I can do anything!
2. I will Never  own enough bikes.  ( I have 4 now!)
3. I want to ride BMX when I grow up.  Everytime we are in a bike shop I ask Zac to buy me a BMX bike. He of course never does but says 'someday'.  So I know there is hope!
4. My 2 favorite bicycling movie moments are:
      'The Muppet Movie' when Kermit jumps off his Schwinn out of the way of an oncoming paver and says  "If Frogs couldn't leap I'd be gone with the Schwinn". Classic line.
     'Monster House'. That cute little blonde girl with her red tricycle.  She says 'hello tree, hello fence, hello leaves!' Darling darling.
5.  My 2 best bicycle moments 
            1. The other night we rode home from a friends house and it started to rain.  Zac stopped the bikes and we kissed in the rain.  I know totally mushy but I am allowed to be a silly romantic sometimes!
            2.  Zac rides us to church every Sunday on the xtracycle.  Ren loves to have the wind blow in her hair and she leans over so she can see past Zac. It makes me feel that even though sometimes things can get tough I can still be Happy and can still have peace.

~Happy Riding~

Friday, August 1, 2008

Bikes verses Bugs

Oh the bane of my simple existence: Being attacked by bugs while I ride.  I mean come on it's bad enough when you are in your car and they come in thru the open windows, at least they usually fly to the back of the car and you have time to pull yourself together and get the car to the side of the road and do a crazy dance trying to get the bug out, right? 
This is definitely not so when you ride.  First off-bug to bike speed ratio is pretty close to the same.  Sometimes those suckers can even school me. But once they get a good sniff of my perspiration or whatever, they think it is open season! They pull up right in front of you and Keep your pace.  What is that!?! They just mozy on in like "Hello can I do you for a sting or maybe a bite? I ain't picky."   BAHH   I inevitably start freaking out waving my arms and swerving which is not so safe on a bike (well even a car for that matter). I also have this other trick I use.  I usually start blowing air at them.  Weird I know but sometimes that extra gush sends them on their way.  Really I must look like a lunatic.  Like those people who from far away look like they are having a seizure but if you were in there shoes you would know that it was just a bug chasing them.  Ya that would be me!
I have tried to stop this habit but to no avail.  I am plagued with being some insects next snack. My husband thinks I am hilarious.  He used to get really frustrated with me because I would usually let out a little shriek.  He would look back quickly thinking I had just wrecked or something.  Then he would get really mad at me for scaring him.  I wish he had more faith in my bicycle skills, but I don't blame him. When we first got married I wrecked on my bike but instead of catching myself with my hands palm down. Somehow they got turned around and they have scrapes on the upside.  And then there was my face.  Yea I totally had road rash on one side of my face!! Seriously people.  I felt like the biggest dork! Come on, WHO lands on their face???? Apparently me.  So you can see why his faith in me is a little shaken, anyway I digress. 
Back to the bugs.  Yesterday I went thru a spider web and that little spider was just fling along on my side hanging on for dear life.  Good thing he was little.  I tried the blow trick but no luck so I had to let him land on my skirt and then gave him a quick little flick and he was on his merry little way.  I wish it was that easy with bees! Luckily though I have yet to be stung, bitten, protrubed or any such other thing, knock on wood.  

 Maybe those bugs just wanna be my friends?  maybe

One of said bug days but totally worth the family funness!

Happy Riding

Friday, July 18, 2008


I miss Idaho! 
Can you ever have to many bikes? 
Seriously everytime I see a cool one I just want to get it!
I already have 3 bikes!
Ha but they cost less than your car! Thats not mean is it?


  Happy Riding

 If I were a color I'd be sea green.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

The Chub has returned!!!!!!!!!

Que the music, roll out the carpet, the Chub has returned. This hub embodies my initial love of track bikes and I was devastated when I could no longer find them. Thanks to the Hive my dreams of owning this masterpiece have come true. Now don't get me wrong I was riding track bikes before I discovered the chub hub in 2002(?) however after I discovered it I had my perfect track bike built in my mind. Schwinn Le tour frame with standard crank and stem, chub hub in the rear what ever in the front, brooks saddle and handle bar tape with reversed nitto mustache bars, I know not very specific or fancy but hey it was my dream, don't like it make your own.These hubs used to be hand made in a garage in Boston, if I remember they ran about 200 dollars, at the time they might as well have been 2,000 i was broke living on couches and in parks dreaming of affording Taco Bell let alone a new hub. Once I got back on my feet and was able to finally buy one they disappeared along with my hopes of ever owning one. When I say disappear I mean disappeared the website was gone with no post no any thing I couldn't even find anyone saying "goodbye chub" or "this is what happened". I still do not know the whole story I just know that they are back. What makes the hubs so great, one might ask. Well, they are designed to take peak spoke tension down 70 percent which transfers the energy of your pedal stroke more evenly through the whole wheel instead of being one sided like a lot of hubs are. Basically this makes for one of the most efficient transfers of pedal to power meaning less waisted energy and more riding. As soon as i saw the add in Urbanvelo I gave the guys over at the Hive a call they told me it would be a week or two until the first shipment was in and that no I could not preorder so I will sit and wait patiently for the time that I can claim my little piece of bicycle nirvana. I would suggest any one who loves there track bike or who is just learning, to check these guys out these hubs are way awesome, not to mention sexy. Good luck and make it a good ride.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Taking the steps

So I said we met a wonderful lady who enjoys riding her bike like 4 weeks ago and I got to thinking about some things she had asked us.  One of the questions we get from other like minded people who have apparently thought about this much more than I is 'Did you practice or just go cold turkey?' The answer is we Practiced!  Zac and I spent a year trying not to use our vehicle.  We were blessed enough to have Zac work close to home in March of '07. He was so excited to ride his bike to work.  You should have seen him.  It was like the first day your mom says you can ride to school on your own, and you feel like you own the world. It was great.  Of course we had to outfit his bike with the proper equipment.  We had to buy a back rack and some bungees to hold his lunch box and proper pedals so he could wear his boots.  Minimal costs in comparison to driving.  At the time we were living with this wonderful older woman named Afton.  I was prego and was basically helping her full time, so I didn't need to drive hardly at all.  Zac and I fixed up an old bike trailer to be our grocery cart and it worked great.  All the people in our old neighborhood asked us if we were going to take Afton in it.  We never did.  But she would always smile when she saw us get our bikes out.  The only time we used the car for 3 months was to take Afton to church.  We went 3 months on less than a tank of gas.  Zac was so proud of me. I did have to use the car a couple of times though.  I was so sick when I was prego and Zac and I would have lunch together on Friday's so sometimes I cheated and went to Wendy's and drove to give him lunch.  Bahh I was so sick! Any way we practiced alot.  When we moved to Idaho we were very blessed, the town we lived in had a great bus system so we would ride it into town for anything we needed, laundry, groceries, movies, dinner.  We did still use the car quite often because I had a babysitting job that was quite far and the bus didn't go that far. Before we moved back to Provo we knew how close things were we felt we had practiced enough.  We also prayed about the decision to get rid of the car.  It was kinda scary. We had a small daughter and making sure she is safe is a BIG  deal. But in the end we felt we made the right decision and we haven't looked back since!
So these are the steps we took.  
 1.  Try to have a job close to home.  5 miles on a bike is Not  that far.  It usually takes about 30 min. if you don't have to many hills (and are in better shape than me ;)
 2.Try a trip to the closest market. Take your kids or whatever and just go get a popsicle! Get two and you can have one as a reward when you get home!
3. Get the proper gear.  Being car dependant means your bike is your car. Packing your bike for trips means lighter, smaller and more efficient. Take only what you need and make sure you have proper equipment in case of flats!
4.Bike paths and wide shoulders are our friends.  Riding the road is important.  You obey the law and it is safer in intersections.  Take proper precautions and wear a helmet and safety gear! 
5. You don't have to be car-less to be car free! 
6. Public transportation is our friend.  It does not make you 2nd class and if the buses look sketchy rally for better upkeep!
7. The best advice I can give is really to set goals and to reach them.  Just a little at a time.  Also try to find someone to do it with.  I always find that more enjoyable!

Happy Riding!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Oil prices?


Wow so I can't help but follow articles that talk about rising oil prices.  I know I really have no need because we don't have a car.  But I feel we still need to stay informed.  Oil prices have a significant effect on many things in our economy and I feel that sometimes many of us forget that our groceries and milk come from other places besides the shelf of a grocery store or even behind the grocery store.  You know they don't milk cows out back!  I was recently in a grocery store and a woman was protesting very loudly about the rising price of milk.  Remember that now Deisel trucks are paying 2x the amount they paid last summer! That is a huge increase.  Last year they paid $300 dollars per tank of gas now what is it at least $600! No wonder our food costs have gone up. Not to mention produce and other things.  I think it makes a person step back and really evaluate there part in a community. 
One thing that I have noticed recently is an abundance of gardens! I love seeing people just take a small plot of land in their yard and start a garden. Many of these gardens are no more than 10x15 or so.  But they are combating those high prices by becoming self sufficiant.  Kudos to all of you who have heeded the counsel of your leaders or who just plain love to garden!  
Anyway back to oil prices.  I found  a little blurg the other day about how many people were looking to find alternative ways to work. Even if you have a long/hot/dangerous commute, you can still car pool! Fun you get to have a conversation with someone besides the disc jockey.  Car pooling to the store is just as fun! Any who I recently saw some articiles that mention how many fewer miles America is driving this year (here).  It is an overwhelming number! Well to me anyway.  I know my husband and I cut our miles down considerably from last year.  We put 18,000 miles on our vehicle in a year! and that was without driving for 5 months! Needless to say we haven't seen our family much this year :( But you do what you can. Hopefully you all are thinking twice when taking a quick trip in the car. Let's all contribute to the lowering of Americas highway miles by buying local and supporting our friends.  
You scratch my back and I'll scratch yours.



Friday, June 13, 2008

Hauling stuff with bikes

Zac and I really have come to love our bikes so much.  I am amazed everyday with what we can do.  I am very grateful for the wonders that have been built to make our bicycling lifestyle easier. Namely 2 items the xtracycle and the chariot.  I am not saying that you have to have these things specifically but the wonders that they have done for us are very numerous.  

Zac and the xtra and our bike trailer carrying Rens new book case.  ($10 yard sale find! Ya)
Laundry, grocery, Dale and Ren carrier.

Headboard and carseat carrier.

This was meant for tech stuff but that didn't pan out.  Still great set up for hauling small stuff.
 Plus bikes have opened up a lot of opportunities for us to meet new people. Saturday we hit up the Provo farmers market.  Which is wonderful and we get to meet like minded people. We met a really great lady and hopefully talked her into riding her bike more! She is already great about it, but still looking into going bike dependant.  It is always neat to meet other people who choose alternative methods other than cars.  It's fun to learn new things and share stories and ideas. We really have noticed a change in our attitudes I guess you could say.  We no longer are in a hurry.  I definitely don't have road rage anymore.  We get to enjoy not only one anothers company but we meet new people and we see new things everyday.  It's fabulous! I like having a sense of community, understanding and knowing your neighbors. It always opens opportunities to serve people and often times to share the gospel. Big bonuses in my book.  Sunday of course was Father's day.  A very wonderful day.  We rode the xtracycle to church with 2 paniers full of Father's day cookies.  It was so much fun.  Ren gets a kick out of having the wind blow on her face, and I love the reactions on peoples faces when they see me riding on the back of the bike.  Priceless! Anyway think about riding a bike! Try it you might like it, plus you can just do it for fun or excersize.  Just do it cuz it feels soooo good!


Monday, June 9, 2008

It's easy! Just try it once!

We have some really wonderful friends. These 2 other couples only have one vehicle between each couple.  I am pleased to say that they are both using alternative transportation and only minimally using their cars.  This brings a smile to my face.  Every chance my husband and I have we try to get them on bikes.  The other day we needed some things from the store (only 3 blocks away) so I took my friend and the xtracycle to the store.  She was super nervous to ride because she hadn't been on a bike for years. She did fabulous! We hadn't even gone even a block and she turned to me and said "This is absolutely wonderful! I need to get a bike!". Chalk one up for another bicycle conversion.  Conversion isn't even the correct word because we were all in love with bikes when we were younger right?  Who didn't love the first time that there dad took their training wheels off! Think back.  A little bit farther. There it is. That wonderful moment.  Freeze and keep it right there in the front. Don't let it go. Now imagine having that feeling everyday, or even once a week! Oh absolutely wonderful.   Just makes me smile.  

Take the time.  Ride a bike.  Remember how good it feels! Just around the block or around the driveway! Take the kids along.  Share a smile!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008

For my sisters (otherwise I wouldn't normally do this)

1. What is his name? Zachary Aaron Whitmore
2. Who eats more? I think it's about the same (though you couldn't tell by our sizes).
3. Who said I love you first? I think I did but I can't remember.  Something about a Weezer song, 'El scorcho' I believe.
4. Who is taller? Zac by the perfect 'head tilt kiss' amount of inches.
5. Who is smarter? Zac has the most amazing memory so I think he has the leg up.  I once knew a lot but I have forgetting problems.
6. Who is more sensitive? Probably me. But he does his fair share.
7. Who does the laundry? Me and I don't mind.  He helps by reminding me to put the clean clothes away ;) once again forgetful problems.
8. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? He does but it switches to whichever side is closest to Ren.
9. Who pays the bills? Me but there aren't many and most are direct deposits.
10. Who cooks more? I do but I hate it.  I am a boring cook.  If it tastes good I got the tips from Zac who is amazing but likes me to dote on him.
11. There was no 11....So I'll make it up.   Who can blow more bubble in their milk? Me cuz I'm an airhead. hehehe Amber cuz she put her mouth up to the air conditioning in the car. (member that kiddo) good times.
12. Who is more stubborn? (had to look up stubborn in the dictionary) Honestly I don't think we are stubborn. We talk a lot and plus it just causes unwanted contention.
13. Who is first to admit they are wrong? Probably me. I am horrible at staying mad.
14. Who is more clean? Me but only because he motivates me.
15. Who has more siblings? Me 4 sisters, Him 2 sisters 1 brother.
16. Who wears the pants in the relationship? We share them, Thats what a 'help-meet' means! We never do anything, and I mean anything without talking to each other. ie buy stuff, go to the bathroom, change our underwear, rent a movie, you get the picture.
17. What do you like to do together? EVERYTHING, seriously I really enjoy his company, plus I married him because he is adventurous meaning everything we do together is always meaningful and rewarding.
18. Who eats more sweets? He would never admit it, but we tie.  He can always go for a 'treaters' well except when he is 'detoxing'
19. Guilty pleasures? Um bikes, bikes, tech stuff, bikes, Wii, bikes,  um did I mention Bikes?
20. How did you meet? Longboarding. A kid from the singles ward told Zac I kept my longboard in my truck and Zac got my number.  (I was dating 2 other people at the time) Dating not 'Going out.' Dating: the ancient art of getting to know a person while enjoying a fun, wholesome and entertaining activity no affection required.
22. Who proposed? He did. It was so cute with his broken arm and his bicycle gear.  He put the ring in with the hardware for my new front basket on my bike and told me to put it on my bike and I found the ring. It was so wonderful.  Still have the basket. 
23. His best feature? I'm gonna go with heart, butt, smile, jaw, facial hair and eyes. In no particular order.
24. What is his greatest quality? His desire to be better.  It is really motivating and inspiring.
I tag your mom and don't forget the new number 11.

Missin' Idaho

So the big moved happened.  We have once again relocated to Provo Utah.  Somehow it isn't the same magical place it was when we first moved here over a year and a half ago. I can't say I have lived in many places but Idaho was definitely one of the best ones so far.  Plus a lot of magical things happened/are there.  
1. Karen was born
2. We sold (got rid of) our car
3. Amazing bike paths (Some clear all winter)
4. Amazing amazing beautiful scenery.  I mean it is not everyday you wake up and see elk less than a football field from your window or ride on the bike path to the ski lodge, or ride your bike and see 2 moose in the river only 30 ft from you (don't worry I was super careful around them), or have mountains on all sides of you less than a mile away.
5.  Have your husband work across the street so you get to see him for lunch and break (sigh).

You know this list could go on and on, but it doesn't mean I don't love Provo too.  It is a great place to live.  My husband and I really love college towns and enjoy the 'culture' that comes with them too.  One thing I do have to say about being back in the city is that it sure is loud.  I miss my bike paths that were far from the road, meaning less noise, dust and traffic danger.  I am still getting used to riding on the roads, and having to watch all directions of traffic, as well as watching all four points in an intersection (especially the right hand turning lane, those guys always miss the stop line.) But it is all good.  At least I can ride my bike around and there is minimal traffic in our neighborhood.  I think the whole 'no car' thing hasn't really set in yet.  I don't know if it ever will.  I mean my bike can get me anywhere I want to go, the mall (not that I really shop though), the grocery store, the hardware store, the craft store, the pet store, you catch my drift.  For short-long trips there is a great bus system and for family trip, car rentals are $40 bucks a day, you really can't beat that. In the month of April we rented 3 times and it still cost less than our monthly car payment and monthly gas bill.
We like our lifestyle more and more everyday. (Especially when we balance our checkbook)

Monday, April 28, 2008

Today is the greatest day I've ever had!

So Zachary my darling husband took off a half day of work to have lunch at the park with me. What a beautiful day it has been. The weather has finally turned around.  Yea! (We are not holding our breath though) It is so beautiful to get out as a family and to be with one another. We went to the post office and saw people we knew. We got to talk about the xtracycle(always a pleasure) and watch Ren enjoy the river and the birds.  

We also got to use the xtracycle for a picnic table as well!

So much fun. We figured that last week I rode about 90 miles including my work commute and a trip 30 mile trip this weekend.  What a great weekend. Saturday morning we loaded the laundry on the xtracycle and headed out to the laundry mat. As we were traveling down the hill we saw what we thought was some water on the path. It was 8 in the morning so we didn't think it was ice.  Well it was.  Dale took a spill first. Then Zac turned and yelled "ICE" to me.  He went down sliding for about 7 ft. While I was watching him I realized I was going down.  We both got up and checked first, the baby.  She was perfectly alright sleeping great and hadn't even been jarred.  Thank you Chariot!
We checked Dale and the bikes and the laundry (didn't budge either) and all was well. We said a quick prayer of gratitude and headed right back down the mountain.

Me reenacting Zacs fall. Notice the gash in the ice. That is from the bike skidding on it's side. Nice. Other than this crash the rest of the day went pretty uneventful.  We did enjoy some beautiful weather on our Saturday. Today though was so beautiful. I love my family and being out in God's creations.  I will miss this beautiful place that we have been so fortunate to live. Maybe someday we will find a place like this again.  

Dale, the laundry and Ren. 

Me and Zac first day on the xtra.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Dont like the weather wait 10 min

Yesterday my wife commented on her morning commute and how awesome it is. As of today i will have to agree as I accompanied her and karen this morning. Being from Las Vegas originallythis whole snow thing is still new to me, but still snow at the end of April is just a little ridiculous. However we awoke to snow and slush and enough of it that i wanted to go with them and make sure they made it alright to there destination. Krysta is an excellent bike rider and Karen is an excellent passenger but being a dad and a husband I could not help but be concerned not only for them but for the smack i would get from my boss who can not comprehend why we would willingly give up our car for bicycles. So I decided to be the escort i would ride the xtra and pull Karen and Krysta would ride my wobbly wheeled cruiser. This made for an interesting ride since i had the better bike even with the weight difference i was cruising along while my poor wife had to hobble along on the cruiser fighting hard to keep up. We got her to where she babysits and all was well i gave her a kiss changed my wet shoes for the dry pair I brought along ( the xtracycle still does not have fenders, my bad) and off i went it did not take me long to realize two things. 1. my wife is superwoman my cruisers rear wheel was way out of tune not to mention the p.s.i was way down. 2. i love to ride no matter the circumstances. It was so nice to get out and ride that my wet pants and feet really did not mean a thing we saw some amazing views of the clouds hugging the mountains, and river and streams trying hard to keep the momentum they have gained the last two weeks, it was just down right beautiful. I am very jealous Krysta gets to ride this route every day when I only have to walk across the street to my work not nearly as inspiring. Starting the day off with this ride was great i felt awake alert and ready for work 10 miles was a perfect distance. I can not wait for our move to Provo when this will be a common distance for me to ride.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

My morning commute

So I've been babysitting for this really great lady for about a month and a half and I used to ride the bus to her house.  But because we live in a ski resort town the bus comes less frequently and later because it's slack season. So I ride my bike which has become really nice to be out so early in the morning. I couldn't ask for a better commute.  I can ride the bike path the whole way without crossing any major roads! (Big bonus of our mountian town :)It's a really gradual decline with a few little hills.  Zac and I got on google to see how far it is and it's 5 miles! Right on. I know it doesn't seem like much but after a long snowy winter and a baby, I am really proud to be able to take the carrier with Ren on the back.  It takes me about a half an hour to complete the whole trip and 40 min. home ( the huge hill way). I love the ride because it is just enough challenge to get me going plus it felt great today of all days this year cuz its Earth Day!! So I gave the earth a great present by enjoying all the beauties it has to offer.  Plus I get to see everything wake up in the morning; the birds, the flowers, the trees, the sun, and all the cute kids going to school. Ren has done well on the rides as well.  She sleeps so well in the trailer.  I do have to say that I did have a mishap the other day.  We got about halfway to our destination and Ren decided she hadn't had enough breakfast so I had to stop under a bridge and feed her. Not that fun but part of being a mom, right!?(plus Zac got a kick out of it when I told him later) Really that early in the morning I was not worrying about being modest. Just feed the kid and get going. It worked out well.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Living it up car free! Baby

As avid bicycle riders we have been really contemplating all this hype we've been hearing about going car free. So we did just that.  We got rid of the car, bought some rocking bicycle gear including an Xtracycle and Chariot trailer (for the little one) and hit the road.  We want to inspire people to get out once in awhile, park the car and take some time to ride a bike. We want to help people realize that going without a car isn't that difficult and is very rewarding not just environmentally or monetarily speaking. Do you remember that great feeling you had when you first learned to ride a bike.  That feeling never goes away.  It just gets more rewarding as you find yourself becoming more accomplished as well as realizing anything is possible with those 2 wheels and a chain! So park that car for a day take a trip to the market, jump on your bikes and ride your kids to school. Just get out and ride, cuz if can't enjoy whats out your backdoor how can you learn to really enjoy what is out in the rest of this great big world.