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March 16, 2013

We’re almost at the end of our Alaska adventure, and I think it’s been an almost complete success.  A few highlights:

Who says you can't bike commute in the snow?

Who says you can’t bike commute in the snow?

1. Winter training, Alaska style.  Our friends in Anchorage tracked down a fat bike for Peter’s long legs and on our first full day in the far north we all enjoyed riding through fresh, falling snow.  Probably about 5 inches came down over the course of the day, making the conditions especially forgiving for us outsiders.  How’s that for keeping up with my training routine while on the go?

Fat biking was just becoming a thing 5 years ago when we last visited and now it’s become a critical component of winter happiness.  We can’t imagine getting sick of skiing, but I guess if you live in Alaska, it can happen.  (Arctic first world torture??) Read more…

The Daily Ride: Base Training

March 7, 2013
Daily Bike Commute

Point A: Home. Point B: Childcare. Point C: Work. The point: we’re crazy!

I live 3 miles from my office, but my commute is about 14 miles round-trip.  Say what?

You see, back when we were seeking childcare for little A, I had a ridiculous dream.  What if, instead of a big institutional day care like we were considering, we could find a nanny-share with someone who spoke German?  We didn’t think we could actually afford a nanny-share, much less with someone from the global north, but I decided to put it out there and see if the universe would prove me wrong. Read more…

The Ride Is On! Climate Ride 2013

March 3, 2013

I just signed up for the California Climate Ride, a 5-day, 320-mile bike ride from Humboldt County to San Francisco this May 19-23.

Oh. My. God.

My biking baby

My biking baby on our fat ride

I am super excited – and also super amped about the challenge.  Let’s start with the challenge part.

So I already ride about 80 miles a week, averaging between 14 and 20 miles per day – slowly, through city traffic, largely on the flat.  Lots of this riding is our ridiculous commute to day care (which I will describe in another post) which involves riding a super heavy cargo bike while repeatedly singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider.  Sort of good training for 60 miles per day on California’s coast range, but…really not.  Today I did my first official training ride (since I signed up yesterday), and 25 miles all at once kind of kicked my butt.  So working up to more than twice that distance, 5 days straight, is going to take significant amounts of time.  And with an almost two-year-old, time is not plentiful.  (Especially since the father of said almost two-year-old is training for his own cycling event at the beginning of May.) Read more…

Transit Baby Photo Contest

June 15, 2012
Anneliese's first S-Bahn ride, Berlin 2012

Anneliese’s first S-Bahn ride, Berlin 2012

UPDATE: Okay, so I posted this right before Congress started going crazy with the transportation bill, which was at the time my job to follow/influence, and got one great submission that I may post at some point but clearly didn’t continue publicizing enough to make this happen.  But I’m filing this idea away for the future…

I just shared some of my geeky transportation-themed vacation photos with work, and suddenly felt inspired to have a photo contest of babies on transit. Who else out there takes their peanut on the bus, train, ferry, or subway and has photographic evidence? And more importantly, whose transit baby photos are the cutest?

Well, it’s time to find out!  You and your baby are invited to submit a photo by June 30th for consideration in the first ever Transit Baby Photo Contest.  I will enlist the help of my expert judges (TBD, I just thought of this five minutes ago) and evaluate all submissions based on the following categories and contest rules (after the break). Read more…

Against White Supremacy

June 17, 2011

A few weeks before Anneliese was born, I finally started reading my copy of “Race Course Against White Supremacy” by Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dorhn.  (Like so many books I buy – I got it signed by them at the 2009 Green Festival and then put it in the large “to-read” pile in my bedroom, for later.)

The book begins with the story of how the authors named their children.  As Peter and I struggled with the responsibility of finding a proper name for our unborn Fruitbat, I learned of Ayers’ and Dorhn’s deliberate effort to address a question posed by Malcolm X:

…Malcolm X famously noted that while Black people had an abundance of Washingtons and Jeffersons and Lincolns in their families, white people didn’t seem inclined to call their kids Nat Turner or Cinque or Frederick Douglass or Harriet Tubman.  Why?

Read more…

Birth Story Part One: Batgirl

June 6, 2011

The baby formerly known as the fruitbat has arrived! The vital statistics:

Anneliese Napping

Click photo to go to more pics of Anneliese

Anneliese Mary Jarausch
Born at home in Oakland, CA
Tuesday, May 24 at 3:14am

7 lbs 1 oz, 19.5 inches

Here’s the story of how it happened.

Sunday, May 22

Daytime: Very pregnant (39 weeks + 1 day).  Organized a few files, hung out at home, in the evening Peter and I bicycled a few blocks to purchase a used balance bike that will just take up space for a while but makes us happy to have.

9:00 p.m.: Peter and I prepare for bed.  I am a bit restless, tidying up random stuff, and finally lay down for sleeping around 10:00 p.m.  Alarm clock is set for swim practice (5:00 a.m).

11:30 p.m.: I wake up and feel crampy.  I wonder if I’m going to make it to swimming in the morning.  Visit the bathroom and fall back asleep. Read more…


April 28, 2011

TransFormers making onesiesMy office is super cool.  When a baby is a’comin, they pull out the puffy paints and have a onesie-making party.  Today, my colleagues decorated newborn garments in the Fruitbat’s honor.

Read more…

DC with Fruitbat

April 23, 2011

My last journey across state lines was across the country a week ago, to participate in the T4 America national convening and advocacy days in Washington, DC.  I prepped for the possibility of wary gate agents by bringing a doctor’s note and printing out the United Airlines rules about flying while pregnant (at 33.5 weeks, I should have been all clear, but you never know).

On the plus side, no one bugged me at all about my belly and the flights were remarkable comfortable.  On the minus side, United canceled my return flight and was really unfriendly and unsympathetic at every point of contact as I tried to get myself home at a reasonable hour.  Even the gate agent who managed to find me an aisle seat delivered the news with a snide comment about how lucky I was.  Ahem?  Lucky that your plane had mechanical difficulties and I had to drop everything and come to the airport two hours early, missing half my staff retreat, to be treated rudely by everyone associated with your airline?  Surprisingly, I am having trouble feeling grateful for my “luck.”  Oh well.  At least, as my cousin Tim pointed out, they didn’t break my guitar.

Read more…

These People Are My New Heroes

March 16, 2011
tags: ,

Diaper change whilst bike touring. Sign us up for an Xtracycle please!

Check out Pedal Powered Family.  I only wish that I will someday be as cool as they are.

The link takes you to a posting about diapering while on their upcoming, yearlong bike tour with their children, ages not-quite-two and four.  An excerpt:

While planning our Big Adventure we faced the reality of 12+ months on our bikes with a diapered toddler in tow. During that time period, Harper would be using five or six diapers a day, or almost 2,000 diapers in total. The idea of producing that much landfill waste was too much for us, so we began to consider using cloth once again. After a little research, we discovered a cloth diaper system that would potentially weigh less and be less bulky than the pocket diapers we already have. We had found Little Beetle diapers made by Better for Babies.

There are several amazing things about this post: Read more…

The Madness Is Coming

March 10, 2011
Muir Madness Logo

Our motto: "To explore, enjoy, and protect the earth as college hoops fans."

Muir Madness, that is!

Yes, for the 11th straight year in a row, my friend Ilysia and I are ringleading Muir Madness, an NCAA basketball tournament pool in honor of our former employer, the Sierra Club.  Email me to get the sign-up info and join the fun!

I will admit that I watch much less college b-ball these days, compared to when I was fresh out of college myself – but having spent a few days in Connecticut now and seen my team upset two teams in the Big East tournament, I am getting excited.  And I realize I will have to find a new place to watch the tourney now that (a) we’ve moved, and no longer live within a block of two sports bars, and (b) I am not drinking beer on account of the Fruitbat.  “Hey Mr. Bartender, UConn’s up by 10 – can I have another Shirley Temple?”  Really cool.

Please note: I will bring food to your home in exchange for television privileges during the tournament. Read more…