Monday, July 22, 2013

Southside Sprint

As I mentioned earlier, we've been doing a lot of biking lately. Maisie wakes up and wants to go for a bike ride almost immediately. It's fun for both of us.

Yesterday we all biked up to the Kingfield farmers market - me with Maisie on the tag-along, and Aaron with Ella in the Burley. Unfortunately, Aaron got a flat on the ride home! So I ran up to the nearest open bike shop/art gallery, Bikes and Pieces, to pick him up a new tube and tire.

Much to my surprise, there was a whole bike race going on! It was the Southside Sprint, which I'd never heard of before. They closed off streets to make a 3/4-mile track, and there was a whole festival atmosphere - local bike shops and other businesses had set up booths, and people were having fun and watching the races.

Given Maisie's newfound love of biking, I figured this'd be a lot of fun for her, so the two of us headed up there. We saw the tail end of the kids' race (which was SO cute!) and then watched the whole men's race. I didn't think she'd be that interested, but I was completely wrong. We pulled up a shady section of curb and sat there for an hour, watching the race.

We were really impressed by how fast they went (it was hot out!), and how close they rode to each other. I have no idea how they managed to avoid crashing into each other, at those speeds and with those small distances separating them. Lots of practice, I suppose.
When the race wasn't in front of us, we spent our time taking pictures of ourselves...

 And of each other!

My face looks SO red! It was hot out, what can I say.
We also ate popcorn from the Parkway (as you can probably see in our pics), had snow cones, tried to answer trivia questions that we knew nothing about (how many times did Greg LeMond win the Tour de France? Which American had the highest finish in the Tour de France this year? Which nation has the most wins in the Tour de France? I have no idea.), and just enjoyed being outside together on a sunny summer day.

Maisie's thinking about entering the kids' race next year. Or rather, I'm encouraging her to think about it - she's still not sure. But whether she races or not, I think this is going to become one of our regular summer activities.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Como Town

Yesterday, it was hot. Well, not just yesterday - we've had a heat wave this whole week, and yesterday was no exception. The temperature got up to a steamy 98 degrees, from a low of 79. It was humid out, too. Gross!

But despite the tropical weather, Gramma Liisa took Maisie, Ella, and Dylan to Como Town for the day!

They all had a blast - they rode tons of rides, and played on the splash pad to cool off.

And no Gramma Liisa-led trip to Como Town is complete without face painting...

Not sure why Maisie looks so serious...
Ella's turn in the makeup chair
Check out the finished product!

A tiger, a blue kitty, and a red puppy with yellow spots.

I wasn't home from work yet when they got back, but apparently they were completely wiped right out! (Unsurprising, given the heat.) Ella fell asleep on the floor while Maisie and Dylan played Minecraft. By the time bedtime rolled around, both girls were completely exhausted. They stayed awake long enough to complain bitterly about getting their faces washed, and were practically asleep before their heads hit their pillows.

Thanks for a fun day, Gramma Liisa!!

Monday, July 15, 2013


Last year, we got a trail-a-bike from a neighbor whose kids had outgrown it. We never got around to hooking it up, though. Maisie was enjoying riding her bike with training wheels, and her balance didn't seem to be quite steady enough for a trail-a-bike. I didn't want her to pull us both over!

This year, however, we hadn't yet gotten out on our bikes. First we had a long, chilly spring that was not great biking weather. Then it rained every day for weeks. Then when we finally had good biking weather, Maisie's bike had a flat tire! We tried to pump it up but it needs a new tube.

Enter the trail-a-bike! I found installation instructions online and on Saturday morning, Aaron and I got it hooked up to my bike. Maisie and I started out slow, going up and down the alley. She was pretty wobbly and first and kind of uncertain... but before long, she really got the hang of it!

On Saturday, we went to the Midtown farmer's market (4.5 miles RT), accompanied by Aaron with Ella in our Burley trailer. Then in the afternoon, during Aaron's and Ella's naptime, Maisie and I went up to the 48th & Chicago shopping area twice (2.2 miles RT), for a total on Saturday of about 13.5 miles. On Sunday, she woke up and immediately started clamoring for another bike ride! We went to the Kingfield farmer's market (2.5. miles RT) in the morning. We saw neighbors there, hit up a craft fair across the street, and Maisie was impressed by how many bikes were on the rack. There's something about biking to the farmer's market that just feels like the most south Minneapolis thing ever! Then in the afternoon, after the weather had cooled down, we all biked up to Walgreen's (just 1.5 miles RT).

Today, my legs and lower back are pretty sore! With my own solo rides, I probably only went about 20 miles over both days. But that's a lot for me, after a whole winter of not biking! And I know that when I get home Maisie's going to want to go for another bike ride. :) It's well worth it. It feels much safer on city streets than having her bike alone - since I'm in control, more or less, I know she's not going to go shooting out into traffic or something.

But mostly, I like that we're really spending time together and enjoying our mutual love of biking!