Baby Transport

We tried something new this weekend for baby transport. Normally, we have this baby seat strapped onto the SnapDeck of the Xtracycle (pictured above). It works great, but I don't like keeping it attached to the bike all the time. It's really big and gets in the way of any cargo hauling on top. So I find myself spending a few minutes to take it off and put it on all the time.

Here's what we went with this time. We put the little guy in his old car carrier and strapped that into the trailer. We made the mistake of putting our older kids in the trailer when they were too young. They were safe, but the instability of it made them a lot more apprehensive about riding.

We were able to strap the baby carrier very securely inside with no wobbles, then use it's five point harness to strap him in. He wasn't going to budge. And he seemed to like it just fine. This may be our set-up from here on out. He seemed to think it was comfortable enough and it doesn't take any time to work into place.

Get out there.


Quite a Woman

This weekend my beautiful wife said, "Hey, when are we gonna head out on the bikes. I kinda miss it through the week." Let's be honest, boys. You're a little jealous, aren't you?

Despite the heat and her marathon training, she hopped on her bike and we headed straight to McDonalds for some ice cream. You can see in the pic above that it really wipes out our little ones, just being in the heat. But Angie loves it. She's really buying into this idea that one day we may not own a car. Dang, I love her.

Seriously, though, it makes me so thankful for the Xtracycle. I know I keep saying it but it really is what has made all this possible. I am able to pack on the kids which makes Angie able to start the cycling lifestyle. How awesome is that? She's such a keeper.

Get out there.


New Look

You may have noticed that family//bike//words took on a little makeover over the weekend. I don't often get to do it but I love to fiddle with Photoshop. I hope you enjoy the new look. And if you have any suggestions to make it better be sure to let me know!

Dark Horse

There aren't a whole lot of pictures of my Redline 925. Since I primarily only ride it in foul weather, my iPhone stays tucked away in my bag, unable to get pictures. Today was one of those days that called for 50% chance of rain, so the Redline got the call.

For about the first 4 miles, the skies were beautiful. That's when I pulled off to take this pic. I really like the simple dignity and classic look that this bike holds. Seeing it on screen here makes me realize how much I enjoy riding it. I think I often associate the bike with the weather it's in. So those cold sloppy rides get pinned on this guy, when in reality, it's a blast to ride.

It really is the dark horse of the group. Stable. Comfortable. Enjoyable. He doesn't get enough credit.

Get out there.


Good Night

Last night seven of us came together to work on about 20 bikes that were donated for greater purposes than sitting in a garage. It was cool to see that many people show up to give their night away to get dirty and greasy for the sake of someone else.

To catch you up to speed, we're trying to head up an initiative to take donated bikes, repair them, then send them out to people who are in need of transportation, exercise or an awesome birthday present for a kid in their family.

We worked hard. We sweat... a lot. But we got them all finished. We even had a little fun in the meantime...

Tiny Bike from Derrick Purvis on Vimeo.

In the end, we got 15 bikes in nearly perfect working order. I hope to be a part of some of the distribution. They say it's fun to watch people get their new bike.

I even got to do a nice summertime night ride home at around 10:30. I love riding in the dark. It's such an adventure.

Get out there.



I was at Target last night and saw this guy locked up to the bike rack out front. You don't see a lot of fixie culture here in Lexington, especially out in the more suburban area that this Target is found. But it was fun to see something a little unique.

I see bikes all the time. But they're usually of the supermarket variety that are purely for transportation. You can tell this person invests some energy into the aesthetics of their ride.

Good to see more bike culture in my own town.

Get out there.


Nitto North Road Bars

When I first built the Xtracycle, I was running regular straight mountain bike bars. I was noticing a lot of wrist pain after spending even a small amount of time on the bike. And living in a sprawled out area, I was spending up to 30 miles a day in the saddle. At one point, it hit me that these bars were different than anything I'd been running on my other bikes... and they were causing the problem.

After some research and thought, I decided to go with something that would put me a little more upright and turn my wrists in just the slightest bit. I came across enough literature in favor of the Nitto North Road bars that it was nearly a no-brainer. I did toss around the idea of the Nitto Albatross for a while, but went with the North Roads because they weren't as wide. At 5'7" tall, I don't have an incredibly large wingspan.

Since the install of the North Roads, I haven't had any wrist pain at all. It almost instantly made it go away. And I'm really enjoying the upright position they put me in. I've never sat in such a way on a bike before. It took a few days to get used to, but it's definitely comfortable now. I'd recommend these bars for anyone needing a new position for hauling cargo long distances.

Get out there.


Father's Day

My special treat for Father's Day was, of course, a nice family ride through our nice little town. We weaved in and out of neighborhoods, rode down Main Street to a park and circled back for a little playground time before heading home for dinner.

I say it all the time, but I really love my family. I can't think of four other people I'd rather spend my time with. It was definitely a good Father's Day.

And for what it's worth, I extend another word of gratitude to Xtracycle. Without this addition to my biking stable, none of this would be possible. There are often times that small kids can seem cumbersome when trying to maintain an active lifestyle. This simple invention allows Angie and I to spend time together and bring the kids along. We're not tethered to them... we're blessed to include them.

She said yesterday, "I think I could spend all day on a bike." She was never able to get that much time on her bike until we were able to bring all three kids on the Xtra. I love something that is broad enough to bring a family together, offer exercise and not even cause an environmental impact. There's some magic happening there.

Get out there.


Xtracycle Incident

Not an "accident." It was an "incident."

Yesterday I hauled a giant soft-sided cooler on top of the Snapdeck. My lovely wife serves food to some hungry people every other Wednesday night and she often has this type of thing to return to church the next day. Since I work there, it's easy for me to just throw it on the Xtracycle and bring it back when I'm headed to the office.

Well, this thing was easy to mount and carry (as most things are on the Xtracycle). But when I went to dismount, I swung my leg over the back of the bike while standing on the pedal with the other foot... all of this while still rolling, of course. When I went to fling my leg over the back my foot got caught in the straps of the cooler. I struggled for a few moments... then... went... down.

I bruised my hip and somehow removed some skin, but there was no real damage... other than looking like an idiot. This type of thing was bound to happen eventually. But I'll certainly dismount differently now that I've learned my lesson.

I'm still learning the nuances of carrying cargo on a bike. :)

Get out there.


Back on the Surly

I've been riding the Xtracycle so much recently that there's been quite a bit of neglect of the Cross Check. Yesterday morning I grabbed it for the first time in over a month for my commute. It felt great. It was just a wonderful a feeling as the first time I rode it. Some of that romance was back. I even beat my previous record time to work by two minutes. I think perhaps my cargo bike hauling legs have made a difference on cyclocross bike speed legs. It was fun to be back on. I really love my bikes.

Get out there.


Bike Maintenance Night

Last night Kyle, Dan and Justin came over for some bike maintenance. It was fun having four guys in the garage wrenching together. Dan was doing some custom work on his rack and we were installing brakes on Kyle's Masi.

Unfortunately, the calipers didn't have enough reach. This is the second pair he's purchased off the recommendation of the LBS. I guess he's looking for something more rare than we originally thought. He's riding fixie with a front brake now. But wanting to add rear.

After our bike work we all headed for a ride to the gas station for some soda. It felt a lot like being ten years old again. I've never even ridden with that many guys before. It was fun to get out.

Get out there.


The Call of Shame

Yesterday was a first for me on the bike commute... I called for help.

When I departed from work on the Xtra the skies were clear blue. The forecast said everything was hot and cloudy. Nothing was said about a storm. Well, about 6 miles into my 11 mile ride things changed.

Out of nowhere rain poured and lighting came. I love riding in rain. And I've ridden in bits of lightning storms on several occasions. But this was something that made me nervous for the first time ever. There were lightning strikes within a quarter mile on a couple of instances. It was incredible to watch but unnerving to be in.

I made the decision to call Angie and have her pick me up about 5 miles from the house. I think it was a better decision than riding with a lightning rod between my legs.

Does anyone know the true risk of riding in lightning? I wasn't sure, but yesterday sure did give me a startle.

Get out there.


Pictures From Camping

Last week all my posts were from the robot variety. I was actually on vacation with the family. We headed into the woods for a camping trip. This was our first trip into the woods with three kids in the flock. We had a great time. Here's a few pics of our experience...

This was a great little bike path that surrounds the entire lake. We were able to somewhat easily pedal our way around and take in the views all around

I was able to do a little singletrack on the Xtracycle. I was impressed with how it felt. I really liked descending with it's long wheelbase. It made for a totally different experience.

I would say that this is the perfect camping bike. We hauled everyone and everything from firewood, bags of ice, to kids and fishing gear. I'm glad we had it for this trip.

Get out


My Xtracycle Parking Spot

When the Xtracycle isn't riding on my commute to work, it's second chosen route is to our public library... usually locked right here. The kids love heading there for books and movies, and the Xtra is the best way to get there.

Our library is about two miles from the house through mostly neighborhoods. So it's the perfect distance and route to entertain the kids, but not even make me sweat. The Xtra has made our trips a lot more fun!

Get out there.



Here's a week's worth of bike donations that come through at Southland. I have the privilege of being a part of a program that fixes these bikes up and sends them out to people in need. Whether it's a kid's bike that's going for a birthday present or a bike going to a homeless man to get him to work, these bikes will see some meaningful action.

I love being a part of something bigger than me. Bonus that it's a bike thing, too.

Get out there.


Xtracycle Transport

Just the other day I threw the Xtracycle up on the roof of the Subaru for the first time. It is somewhat contradicting to put an incredibly well-rounded vehicle like the Xtra on top of another machine, but, hey, it was for a trip with my kids. And you've got to sometimes choose the safer route when the little tykes are involved.

I don't have a special extra-long rack for this bike. I've got two racks on top... a fork mounted rack and one that doesn't require removal of the front wheel.

I tried both. The fork mounted one for the ride in was a bit of a stretch. With the back wheel hanging off, the bike dropped enough to make the chainrings hit the rack tray. It was very sturdy. I just didn't like interference with something as crucial as the drivetrain.

On the way home, though, I locked it onto the rack that keeps the front wheel on (the pic above). This actually worked really well. I could secure the front wheel, frame, and the back wheel was just close enough to be snapped in. I then tossed a strap over the top and cinched the entire FreeRadical down to keep everything snug. Overall, I'm very pleased with this set-up. If I ever have to transport this bad boy again, I know it's quick and easy to do.

Get out there.


New @MerrellOutside Shoes

There's lots of companies throwing around give-aways on Twitter. A couple weeks ago I entered one with little expectation of winning. I was wrong.

Merrell tweeted, "How would you #GetOutside in a pair of Merrell Moab Ventilators? Best story wins a pair Today!!!"

My reply was simply, "I'm planning a loaded family bike tour. I've got a new #xtracycle to tote the kids. New shoes would be nice! #GetOutside."

Two days later I get an email letting me know I've won the contest and get a $110 credit to rock the Merrell website. How awesome is that? Well, of course I went for the nicest pair I could afford with my credit. It's nice to now have a couple nice pairs of Gore-Tex trail shoes. So thanks a ton, Merrell. You guys are awesome!

Get out there.


Path Plants

It looks like the bike path on my way to work is getting some beautification. It's nice just to have the path... this sure is going the extra mile to throw some foliage along the way!

Get out there.


2 Things I Like

1. I like having a wife that jumps on the Xtracycle unannounced and rides down the hall.
2. I like working in a place where my wife can jump on the Xtracycle unannounced and ride down the hall.

Get out there... or... in there, in this case.


I Bike KY

I had a great opportunity to meet with Nick, of Awesome Inc. and I Bike KY. He's got some really neat plans to pull together some resources to endorse cycling in the Bluegrass state. I was really impressed with his initiative to chase after resourcing those less fortunate than himself.

For now, though, his plan is to sell t-shirts and use the proceeds to benefit people who need bikes. This is why he contacted me. We share that common interest. The hope is that we can pull our brains and resources together to get more people on bikes in our community.

If you'd like to buy a t-shirt, go here. You'll be giving to the cause.

Get out there.


Awesome Wife

Last night my wife informed me of my father's day present for this year. She's booked a babysitter to watch the kids overnight while her and I head out for a bike camping trip. We'll pull out of our house and pedal towards Elkhorn Creek to spend the night fishing, eating and relaxing. I did this same trip solo last year and am super excited to do the first trip with Angie. This photo is of that trip. We'll probably take a stop here to snack at the famous Versailles castle.

This will, by far, be the longest she's ever been on a bicycle (26 miles). But she's a marathon runner... she'll probably do better than me. I think I'll put her on the Cross Check and I'll carry everything on the Xtracycle. It should put us at a similar pace and cut out any competition. :^)

I'm really excited. Not only about the trip, but that I've married such an incredible girl.

Get out there.


Xtracycle Plus Trailer Stretch

One thing that was rough about the Bike Lexington Family Fun Ride was the length of my rig. Lots of people commented on the extra weight with three kids. That wasn't the problem at all. With 2,500 cyclists in attendance, my problem was navigating this thing through the crowd.

I've never measured the xtracycle plus trailer length. As you can see, it's only a couple feet shy of the Subaru, though. I didn't have many options when weaving and dodging my way through the crowd. I had to stick to one side or the other. Overall, though, I'm blown away of how easily it is to transport them all. It's not bad.

Get out there.


Bike Lexington Family Fun Ride

Yesterday was an awesome Memorial Day with a Family Fun Bike Ride put on by Bike Lexington. Last year they closed down the streets for Second Sunday and it was nothing compared to this. Over 2,500 cyclists showed up to ride a closed ten mile course downtown.  It was an awesome day for cycling. They gave away helmets and blinkies to encourage safe cycling and there was plenty of free schwag and more than enough food.

I hauled my crew of three on the Xtracycle and Angie joined on her Kona.

It was neat to see that "family" cycling brought out so many people. As a guy who's got "family" and "bike" in his blog title, it's a fact that interests me a great deal. I think people love riding with their family. I just think they need to learn that it's a great way to transport little people, too. I did see three other Xtracycle FreeRads (plus one with no kids), two Surly Big Dummys, one Madsen and one Bakfiet, all with kiddos riding. People had lots of questions and were excited to see families riding on a bike together. I just don't think the general public knows about it.

Overall, it was a great day and a great ride. It was the longest ride for me with three kids so far. But it wasn't bad at all. The Xtracycle knows how to deal with the weight.

I count yesterday as a huge win for bikes in the Bluegrass.

Get out there.