Who Needs Padded Pants?!

It was day 3 of our first (& totally over zealous) bike camping adventure. We had worn our normal, cotton shorts (because who needs those special padded pants?) and were setting off on our longest day yet (each day was the longest day we had ever ridden before). It was a balmy 85 at 8 am and the humidity was already oppressive. The air was heavy and the sun was already high in the sky.

Our route took us along a relatively flat, paved trail but we didn’t anticipate the extreme lack of shade. Because it was a converted rail road line that was currently being used by a power company, there were virtually no trees along the trail. My shorts were soaked through in minutes. A bit after noon we stopped off at a bar for burgers and fries and I downed 2 beers to go with it. The air conditioning was like heaven.

We hurried out of the bar after checking the weather report & seeing that we could potentially beat the approaching storm. Not 30 minutes later I began to regret the beer. My ass was already sore from riding, but after using port-a-potty toilet paper for my beer induced diarrhea I couldn’t sit on my bike seat without crying in pain. Hemorrhoids are real my friends.

We made it home minutes before the storm began & vowed never to go bike camping again. Don’t worry though – we went again a few weeks later (but only for 1 night).

Why the flashback moment? Pregnancy hemorrhoids, obviously! 

I’ve taken to riding Creme because that seat is more comfortable. I can ride for upwards of 10 miles on Creme without any irritation, but I can barely make it 3 miles on Yuba without serious discomfort.

So how did I manage to ride 16 miles with minimal discomfort the other day? Witch hazel pads! I was nervous about the length of my ride so I decided to soak an overnight pad in witch hazel in an attempt to prevent irritation. It worked great! I’ll be sure to repeat this method for the remainder of my pregnancy, and to employ it for future camping trips.


If you’re still feeling soreness and irritation I’d recommend a sitz bath (you can find these at any drug store) with diluted apple cider vinegar for 20 minutes. Tuck’s also makes some nice witch hazel wipes if you don’t want to commit to wearing a pad while riding.

Happy hemorrhoid prevention!

Bike Camping at Fay Bainbridge pt. 2

Yay for part two! Here’s part one.

Okay so we’ve arrived at the campsite! It’s a small place with most of the sites backing the parking lot on one side & the water on the other side. There’s official hiker/biker camping but it’s really close to the parking lot side & it was full when we arrived.

We bumped into the host after paying ($7/person) & he suggested that we camp next to the kayaker campsite. This was further from the parking lot but still had a picnic table, adirondack chairs, and a fire pit. Our site was 200 yds from the bathrooms which was far in the middle of the night, but still doable.



I love open fire cooking so we made black beans (remember to bring a can opener if you bring canned beans!), sweet potatoes, and onions for dinner & polished it off with a growler of icy cold beer from Fremont Brewery (in our Miir growler) and skittles from the ferry.


We sat around the fire for a while & played some music before heading to bed around 10. Tug wasn’t amused that we were camping again & both dogs reminded us that despite the purchase of the 3 person tent (upgraded from 2 person), there would be no additional personal space gains because they need to sleep right ON TOP of us. YAY!


In the morning we took the same route back to the ferry & the crossing was beautiful! The ferry was crowded & a woman at the campsite was worried that we would have to wait for a long time because of the Seahawks game but Mike reminded her that bikes board first.


We were pretty tired in the morning & I didn’t charge my battery overnight so I wanted to conserve energy & so we ended up taking quite a few breaks along the way. A guy on the ferry said we were “fast” but he also assumed that it should’ve taken us more than an hour to ride 4 miles (he passed us as we turned onto 305). We bought chocolate from some girls selling it at the terminal & chatted with their moms about cargo bikes. One of them assumed we were going to put the bikes in our waiting car at the terminal & then seemed very worried when we told her that no, we don’t have a car & yes, we are going to ride through Seattle to get home.


We opted for a longer, less direct, but more off-street & more flat route than on the way there. This is the same route I rode with Madi the other day. There are really only 2 uphill portions outside of the approach to our building.

Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 10.51.53 AM.png

We were exhausted by the time we got home & Mike ended up walking the last 3 blocks with the dogs. Kunu tried to chew his way out but didn’t make too much headway although he did manage to add some new teeth holes to the carrier.

If we were going to do it again we’d leave them at home to relax with a sitter & spend the weekend by ourselves.

Bike Camping at Fay Bainbridge pt. 1

Woo! Bike Camping!

We did a quick overnight last Saturday out to Fay Bainbridge with the dogs. Yes, that’s right, I rode around on the worst tour ever & then immediately switched bikes to go camping because I am insane!

Also I packed too much! I really love cooking over a fire pit while camping & we camped at several locations that didn’t sell wood this summer. I didn’t want to be out of luck when we arrived so we brought our own. We now know this is unnecessary but at least we had it when we needed it.


I rode the newly decorated Yuba and was tempted to rip off the spiderwebs because they kept getting caught in my leg stubble & pulling with each & every pedal stroke. But I did not because apparently I have the patience of a saint.

Mike had Tug & Kunu in the trailer as well as my ridiculously giant (and yet oh so comfy) overkill 32 degree sleeping bag. It’s the antithesis of backpacking gear but I like both how squishy & soft it is and how much room there is in the hips. My much more practical lightweight bag is tighter through the hips & I don’t sleep as well in it. I didn’t get a picture, but it packs down (in a compression bag) to about the size of a toddler, so Mike had it bungeed to his rear rack.


We ordered more bungee cargo nets but they hadn’t come in yet so I used the strap from the yuba bag to keep the wood attached. It leaned somewhat precariously but didn’t fall off so yay me!


On the way to the ferry we took the route I knew, even though it wasn’t the flatest or most direct. But as someone who gets lost very easily (& can’t take directions) I wanted to prevent any arguments so lead us on a familiar route that I had taken with Madi the week before.

Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 9.23.25 AM.png

We rode the BGT to the cycle track on 34th, over the Fremont Bridge, along the Ship Canal Trail to the new Westlake lanes (thankfully we didn’t run into any tacks) then rode up the sidewalk on Mercer to get to the bike lane here, turned onto 5th, through Seattle Center to W Harrison, down to 3rd and up over the railroad tracks to the Elliot Bay Trail. From here we rode through Olympic Sculpture Park & along Alaskan Way to get to the ferry terminal.

We paid with our Orca Cards & arrived just in time to ride onto the next ferry! I was worried about the bikes tipping (because of the precariously placed wood) but everything went well! I tied the bikes up with the rope provided, but I don’t actually think it did anything.

Once on board we brought the dogs up to the sun deck & bought a much needed cheeseburger to share (not with the dogs). Luckily they were pretty patient during the unloading process. I’d guess we had them in the trailer for about 5 minutes not moving which is 3 minutes longer than it usually takes for Kunu to try and escape.

Upon arrival we huffed & we puffed up the hills along 305. This was not a pleasant ride. But I did like the sidepath & bike bridge where the shoulder disappeared. Alas, it ended & we were back riding next to cars going 65 mph. Yay!

Screen Shot 2016-10-02 at 9.25.37 AM.png

I did NOT like the “bike lane” at lights that asked people riding bikes to merge over car traffic (LOLZ 65 mph) and ride in between two lanes of moving traffic (straight & right turning). They were barely 4 ft wide & felt far too dangerous so we stuck to the shoulder & checked carefully for potential right hooks. It took us a long time to get there mostly because we were tired & we didn’t want to get lost & have to backtrack up any hills so we checked the directions a lot.

After the final slog up a GIANT MOUNTAIN followed immediately by a descent down said GIANT MOUNTAIN we arrived!

See pt. 2 (coming soon) for more about our camping adventure!

How to save $8,200 per year

I sold my car a year ago & I saved boat loads of money.

Do you want to save money and live a healthier life? It's easy to save thousands by making one small change! The real story of how we saved $8,200 a year!
Do you want to save money and live a healthier life? It’s easy to save thousands by making one small change! The real story of how we saved $8,200 a year!

The average person spend more than $9,000 per year on each car they own, insure, and drive. That is insane. INSANE.

I decided to sell my car after it spent 6 months dead, sitting in the parking lot at my apartment. I left the light on the day I moved in and didn’t feel like getting someone to come out and jump it.

I was taking Metro 2-3 times per week depending on the weather and if my derailleur wanted to work or not. Some weeks I rode more than others, and then I might go 2-3 weeks without riding at all due to these mechanical difficulties.

When I sold the car I committed to riding every day in an effort to save even more money.

Savings breakdown:

  • $1,100 ($110/per 10 monthly payments/year) for car insurance
  • $400 for gas throughout the year (previously spending $2,400)
  • $250 for registration, taxes, and fees
  • $150 for parking and tolls (previously spending $3,000)
  • $800 for repairs
  • $650 ($2.15 average one-way trip/3 per week for 50 weeks) for metro

That’s $2,700 just on car costs when I wasn’t even driving! If you think that I spent $7,550 or more in 2013 that’s just CRAZY. Add in $650 in metro costs and that’s an ever larger share of my salary. That means I spent $3,350 on car/metro costs in 2014.

Costs breakdown:

  • $70 new tires
  • $30 new break cables
  • $140 tune up & new break pads
  • $20 valet bike parking
  • $85 Capital Bikeshare membership

Not counting my bike, which I won’t since I didn’t add in any car payments above, switching to full-time bike commuting cost $345 for the year.

That’s a savings of more than $3,000 over my 2015 spending.

Granted, getting rid of my car means I might spend more money at local stores as I don’t drive out to megastores anymore, but I highly doubt that outweighs the benefits I’ve experienced this past year.

In addition to the cost savings, I’ve also gained physical strength and stamina. I’ve spent some amazing time biking through our city and the surrounding parks with my husband and friends (and dogs). We’ve gone bike camping and discovered new parks. I’ve found some lovely new shops and restaurants. I’ve been able to find new strength in myself and conquered goals I didn’t even know I had.