Thursday, August 8, 2013

Portland Weekend and Fiets of Parenthood!

This past weekend I had the pleasure of attending the 2013 Fiets of Parenthood event. It's a super fun, lighthearted obstacle course/race/cargo bike get together in Portland. Madi of Family Ride convinced me I should go since I was going to be going through Portland that weekend anyway. So I  made arrangements to stay with our good friends, the Carreras and it was a go!
Photo by Madi/stranger we asked to take a picture
Photo by Andy Schmidt
The day before I met up with Madi who was also down from Seattle and had invited me to ride with her and some of her Portland friends.
Photo by Andy Schmidt
I was surprised to find myself going so many more miles than I thought I could because it's so flat in Portland compared to Seattle!
We got lunch at a food truck pod (totally new concept to me!) and I parked by a gigantic tank labeled "Organic Lager". I think I love Portland.
Then we went on a train ride and all the boys thought it was super loud except Zeke who just wanted to eat the whole time.
We went back to the Carerras to rest up for tomorrow. Their youngest son, Beniah, taught Gideon to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.
We met up with a whole bunch of cycle families at Clever Cycles in the next morning. 
Gideon and Zeke were thrilled to check out Chele's  bakfiets while we waited for everyone to arrive. I also bought Gideon a bike bell for his bike seat because it turns out many of the families have a bell for each child to ring at other bikes and Gideon thought this was super cool! Plus, I was happy to have purchased something at Clever Cycles ;)
We were a chorus of bells and laughter as the gigantic group of us rode through Portland.
We posed in front of the bike counter on the Hawthorn bridge while we waited for the rest of the group to catch up.
Madi was the "sweep" which means she rides in the back and makes sure no one gets left behind. If we see her we know we're all there!
When we arrived at the art museum Gideon immediately started checking out all the bikes.
  Gideon enjoyed watching the kid's races but I was nervous because I was mentally prepping for the adult cargo race. For the adult race you have to pick up two bags of groceries, navigate cones, pick up a dropped toy and a whole bunch of other cool stuff - with children on board! Basically it's everything a biking family encounters on a daily basis.
Photo by Kristi
Almost as soon as it was my turn to go Zeke fell asleep. Which was pretty funny because it's just like our usual rides because he ALWAYS falls asleep on the bike.
Photo by WITTCO
The teeter-totter ramp was super fun and Gideon loved it.
Photo by Andy
And then there was the bike jousting. I was sure I was going to screw it up but I surprised myself! Not only did I ride one handed while holding the pole, but I got all three rings! When we finished I felt so happy to have finished without tipping over or missing any obstacles!
Then we got to watch other people do the course on their amazing bikes. This is the "picking up a dropped toy" obstacle.
 There was one big bike dump. Everyone rushed to help her right her bike and all three kids inside where fine and hopped back on.
Meanwhile Gideon was truly enamored with another child's balance bike. Good thing we were planning to get him one for his birthday anyway!
Madi was so amazingly fierce! She had the fastest mom time and she completed the course in heels.
And then there's Julie who is due to have her third baby in about three weeks.
This was Gideon's favorite bike. This awesome daddy built a Thomas the Tank engine box for his son to ride in. How cool is that!?!
When the races were finished Gideon stuck a giant sticker to his butt and laughed hysterically.
And then indulged in some parkour. 
And he loved this Bullitt. Good thing, because this is the bike I love too :)

I was awarded flowers for completing the course with Zeke completely asleep the whole time.  You can see them sticking out of my pannier. I think I had the youngest baby of everyone competing, but not the youngest baby there because there were many tiny babies in their car seats that were attached to bakfietsen!

We had such a wonderful time and I am so grateful to the Portland parents for being so gracious and welcoming. And to the organizers of the event - it was lovely and a great inspiration to me!

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