Review: Coobie Women’s Comfort Bra

More biking while female problems.

Normally when I ride my bike I do so in my normal bra under my normal clothes and all is good and well. But recently my boobs have grown and have been very sore (thanks pregnancy hormones) so I looked into purchasing a bra without underwire to wear around the house.

I was lead to the Coobie – a softcup bra (there are cups & there are 2 distinct & removable pads) but had some reservations. My major fear was that it wouldn’t work. As a 32G I’ve accepted that I need underwire in order to be supported and comfortable, and to take the pressure off of my back.

Good news! It works! This bra was surprisingly supportive for wearing around the house & I was able to sleep in it to relieve some soreness.

Bad news! It’s not great for bumps. I wore it while riding on the Burke Gilman Trail in Fremont (SO MANY TREE ROOTS) and it was quite painful to go bumpbumpbumpbump.

Overall my review is positive but I would recommend bustier women stick with the underwire while riding if your route involves poorly paved areas.

You can buy it on Amazon or local maternity stores. I got mine at Village Maternity (in U Village) for the same price as Amazon (although not as many color choices).

Critical Lass to Candy Cane Lane

Yay holiday lights! Yay women centered bike rides! Yay combining the two!

I love holiday lights so so very much. They’re just so bright and happy! ‘Tis the season!

We met up at Fix Coffehouse in Greenlake & took the protected lanes up Ravenna. Then we turned left at the big intersection with all of the weirdly configured stop signs & headed right onto a contra flow lane. This led us to the bike/ped bridge & we headed up a rather steep & narrow hill, back down a steep & narrow hill (alley) & then up another hill to Candy Cane Lane. 

They do put on a great show here with all of the homes lit up & a giant display in the center island. We made 2 loops before dropping off food donations & retracing our route back to Greenlake. 

I won the unofficial costume competition!

After the ride we got tacos & warmed up our frozen toes. 

I should’ve worn my big fuzzy socks & winter mittens but I went with my festive elf socks & my toes froze! It was good in a way that I couldn’t feel them, because we did a lot of stopping & broken toe was not pleased about it. I’m left footed so I always stop with my right foot on the ground, which is currently not awesome. 

I must’ve forgotten to charge my light because it died halfway through. Mike met me at the taco place with my extra battery pack so I wouldn’t have to ride home in the dark (although it’s mostly well lit). He pointed out that I do ride at night almost everyday but I guess I figure it’s such a short ride that I never think to charge it. 

I got closed passed by 4 cars on the way to ride (in just 6 short blocks) so yay! One driver called me obnoxious. But don’t worry he got his parking spot right out front (there were 6 spots, but HURRY). This stretch of University Way is due for repaving in 2017 & I believe there are plans for a road diet & protected bike lanes. It can’t come soon enough. 

The ride was big – 25 or more people. But the biggest issue I had with it was that it wasn’t a women’s ride. I’ve shown up for these community rides before where 90% of participants are men even though it’s “open to all” & it’s such a different (and quite frankly unpleasant) ride. In this case there were only about 5 men but I seemed to get stuck riding near them & it was just a bummer. 

I don’t ride fast or go on training rides so maybe women there yell too, but on social rides my experience is that women often ride side by side & chat with the people around them. Not so with men. They yell. Constantly. CAR! STICK! POLE! GRATE! BIKE! PASSING! Bro. I see the bollard in the middle of the trail. It’s got reflective stickers & we’re going 8 miles an hour. Also the passing. The damn passing. It’s a social ride. Not a race. 

Men get to go everywhere & feel comfortable. The world is their oyster. It has been their legal domain forever. Like actually forever. So when women organize a women centric event you should stay home. I get not turning people away. We want to be friendly & welcoming (we are women after all). Women are constantly expected to alter their behavior to please men or adapt to men’s spaces – give us ONE ride of our own. 

Broken Toes and Biking Woes

I broke my 4th toe yesterday. I was carrying a hot bowl of soup & stubbed it against the coffee table. I knew it was broken right away because toes should not go in that direction.

It hurts way more than one might think for an injury so small. The bad news is: there’s nothing they can do. The good news is: there’s nothing they can do so don’t bother going to the doctor.

I straightened it out & taped it to the pinky toe. It’s like wearing toe socks. Horrible.

But the good news is I will have to bike more! Toes take forever to heal because they don’t get a ton of blood flow and you’re always using them, so biking will help keep weight off the injury site.

I guess that’s not a biking “woe” but the title rhymed so I’m sticking with it. SO HA!

Here’s a photo of creme in front of our holiday lights! Sound Transit does a nice job of changing up the artwork around the site & they added lights for some sparkle. Riding Creme this week has reminded me why she’s my “me” bike. COASTER BRAKES FTW!


Bike Workouts

I don’t bike for exercise. But it is a nice perk that my main mode of transportation is active (actually they’re all pretty active since we don’t drive).

I also don’t go to the gym. Because the gym is lame & I’d rather be doing pretty much anything other than standing an elliptical watching bad TV. Mike occasionally goes to the gym – but less to workout and more to give me some quiet time in the apartment to study.

But on Sunday we biked to the gym. Why you ask? We want a home/birth center birth & the number one reason women are transferred to the hospital: exhaustion. Labor is long & hard.

The other goal of going to the gym was to work on strengthening our (really mine – but Mike’s fun to look at while he works out) core. Pregnancy is hard on your core muscles – causing a split in your abdominal muscles as your belly grows. Strengthening these will hopefully make it easier to recover postpartum.

We biked to the far gym because the close one (only TWO BLOCKS AWAY) is just for residential students. I might be able to sneak in on the weekday but Mike has a special spouse pass that makes it obvious he’s not a student. The far gym is 1.5 miles away, all downhill on the way there & all uphill on the way back. Don’t do too many squats or you’ll never make it back alive.

There are plenty of covered bike racks but they’re the too-close-together staples UW loves, so I can only lock up on the outside edge of the rack. The front page of the IMA website is entirely dedicated to car parking & they even have an attendant directing traffic. So much for promoting a walkable & bikeable community. Also -riding up & down the LINK bridge is way easier because it’s ADA accessible unlike the bridge off the BGT closer to the IMA building. That bridge is partially closed for re-grading at the moment.

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It’s comfortable to take Steven’s Lane (accessed by the law library) on the way downhill – then over the bridge at LINK
We spent about an hour exercising & then checked out the pool for possible future swimming workouts. Towels & daily locks are free so that’s a nice perk that increases my chance of swimming here. I weighed myself in the locker room & found out that I’ve LOST 7 pounds! I’m positive it’s broken & think I’m closer to having GAINED 2-3 pounds recently.

Then we headed upstairs for the REAL reason I wanted to head to the gym today – the smoothie bar. Turns out it wasn’t that great. It’s a Freshens – a chain that uses sherbet instead of yogurt for a truly sugar packed beverage. They also as a “booster” of unknown origin that makes it grainy. Save your money & make something at home.

And then we rode uphill on our return so I could take a delightful nap.

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On the way back we ride through campus to avoid steep grades but it’s longer & more circuitous – plus it’s hard to do if it’s busy so avoid during class changes

Bike Portland pt.1

We visited Portland the weekend after Thanksgiving. We took the early train on Friday morning & made it to Portland before by noon.

I always think I have plenty of time to get to the train station but I’m always cutting it close. We left home at 6:15 & biked over to the Link station at UW. We missed the train by 30 seconds (ELEVATOR PROBLEMS) & had to wait 10 minutes for the next train to leave.

Let me just acknowledge that while Link has better (aka ANY) bike accommodations than Metro, they still SUCK. I can’t hang my bike because I have a basket on the front so it doesn’t fit on the hook. Also I can’t lift my bike over my head like that. Plus my bag doesn’t have a zipper so I would need to take it off my rack before hanging. LAME LAME LAME.

So we made it to the train station at 7:10 for our 7:25 departure & ended up with backwards facing seats. Of course. The woman in baggage asked me to take off my front basket but it doesn’t come off. There wasn’t any damage so I don’t know what she was worried about. We were the only 2 bikes on the train.

Once we got to Portland we biked over to the hotel to drop off our bags. We stayed at the Marriott Downtown Waterfront. They were able to get us a room at 12:30 & an upgrade so we could face the river. Awesome! They let us take the bikes up to the room but also mentioned a secure bike room was available if we wanted to use it. Many of their double rooms have bike hooks but we had a king & had plenty of room to store them on the floor. Our room had bike themed art which was really cool!

The hotel is across the street from the Waterfront Park Trail so we took advantage of the location & rode along the water front to grab lunch. We headed to Mothers for brunch. We ate at a similar place in Amsterdam (Moeders) so it was fun to keep up the tradition. After eating we were both exhausted so we headed back to the hotel for a nap.

We headed down to the tree lighting ceremony around 5 & then walked over to Lardos afterward to grab sandwiches for dinner. After eating we hopped on the train to get to the zoo. It was quick & easy to buy tickets & the ride was pleasant. I don’t like biking new places after dark if I can avoid it, plus the zoo had a discount if you took the train.

I LOVE HOLIDAY LIGHTS. This was the best zoo lights I’ve ever been to! There were so many different animals & they were organized in very cool ways. It was the opening night so there were still some kinks to be worked out, but 95% of the lights seemed to be working. We even opted for the zoo train & got to see some super cool displays that were hidden from the walkable section.

The TriMet station for the zoo was really interesting! It had displays throughout & even had core soil samples to look at. This was much appreciated, especially since our train had a 15 minute delay WOMP WOMP.

By this point we were both exhausted & ready for bed.

Stay tuned for pt.2 coming soon!

Holiday Tree by Bike

This week we biked over to pick up our holiday tree!

We usually get a tree from Whole Foods because they sell tabletop trees that come with stands. We only have 8 ornaments so a tabletop tree is pretty much all we can decorate.

Unfortunately our local Whole Foods here only had full-sized trees for sale.

Lisa recommended we head to Fred Myer so Mike called them up & they said they had plenty of trees!

Before we rode over I HAD to decorate Bikey by adding tinsel, and jingle bells from the dollar store. I also picked up some new battery powered lights to replace the dead ones I had on the basket. These lights are part solid/part blinky which gives it a nice effect. I wanted to add a giant glittery bow to the front of the basket but it hung down too low & bumped into the front tire so I tacked it up at home instead.

The closest Fed Myer is right off the Burke Gilman Trail which made for a very nice ride over. Upon arrival we didn’t see a great selection of tabletop trees but there was a 4′ tree that caught our eye! It was pretty full & we thought we could make enough space for it.

After choosing the tree we headed inside to find a tree stand and some extra tinsel to fill out our tree. Fred Myer is such a strange place! I thought it was a grocery store but it’s actually more like a Target.

When we headed back out after paying for the tree the guy seemed concerned about us putting it on the back of my bike. We strapped it down with 2 cargo nets & it seemed stable. We chose to put it sideways this year and it worked pretty well!

I bumped into a few bollards & fence posts along the way so we ended up stopping for an adjustment in front of Solsticio. When we got home it was still balanced perfectly so the adjustment must’ve done the trick!

We’ve got a few more cinnamon ornaments to bake before we’re done decorating the tree but we’re excited for our very first floor-sized tree!

Also here’s Tug as an elf!

When did it get so hard?

When did it get so hard to bike uphill from class?

It started out hard after being off the bike (or any physical activity) for 2 months but I thought it was getting easier. I thought I was making progress.

But lately I’ve struggled to ride those four blocks home. It’s only 4 blocks. It SHOULD be easy. But when I get to my building I’m out of breath & my chest is burning. Sometimes I feel nauseous or lightheaded.

How did it get so hard to ride home?

Well, my friends, it got so hard when I started riding for two. I didn’t think it would be so hard at the beginning. I thought I had a few months before it would be difficult to go about my daily routine but I’m learning to accept that growing a tiny human is a lot of work & I should appreciate everything my body is doing for me right now.

So yay! Exciting changes are afoot!

I’ll probably be taking Bikey out more than Creme in the near future in order to take the edge off some of those hills so if you see us out there – wave & say hi!