This Week: Commuting Basics Members Class, Volunteer with Mobile Fix-it & Be a Bike Advocate!

Shop Updates & Member Highlights

Members Class

Friday 9/1 | 6:30-8pm | BBP Shop

Lecture & Ride: Commuting Basics

bike lane 1.jpg

Curious about commuting and inspired to make your daily trips more environmentally friendly? Using a bike as transportation is good for the earth, great for your health and happiness, and an excellent way to stay connected to your community. Friday’s Members Night Class will introduce essential commuting gear, ideal bike set-ups, and the tips and tools needed to keep you and your bike safely rolling on commutes long and short.

This class begins in the BBP’s classroom and covers safe riding techniques, traffic law, and basic commuting skills. We will then go on a short ride to practice riding through the city. Come with your bicycle and helmet, ready to ride. This program is for folks aged 14 and over only. Anyone under 18 years old need to be accompanied by an adult.

Volunteer Opportunities

August’s Mobile Fix-Its have been a huge success thanks to several of our awesome volunteer mechanics! We’ll be doing another this Thursday, August 31st at Whitney Elementary School as part of the Whitney Neighborhood Block Party. We’re looking for a few volunteers to assist with kid’s bike repairs, you can click here to sign-up and get more details.  Make sure to swing by and say hello if you’re in the area!


Also, BBP’s 10th Anniversary Party is just around the corner on October 14th! There will be an Events Committee meeting on Tuesday, September 5th from 6:15 to 7pm and we’d like to encourage anybody that’d like to be involved in the planning process to join us for that. This is gonna be a whole lot of fun and we’d love to have your input on how to make it the biggest and best yet! Email with any questions about the Events Committee.

See ya soon!

Roll with BBP

Human Protected Bike Lane

Wednesday, August 30 | 5-6pm | 8th Street & Main


One of BBP's awesome volunteers is trying to bring awareness to a crucial issue many cyclists continually face: cars illegally parked in the bike lane. Join us and other bike advocates in creating a human protected bike lane on 8th between Main and Idaho. Wear something BRIGHT! Check out the Facebook event for more details.


ACHD Open House

Thursday, August 31 | 5:30-7pm | Meridian Library District, 1326 W Cherry Ln, Meridian, 83642

Updates for Linder St. between Ustick & McMillan including potential improved bike & ped infrastructure. Be sure to attend to voice your support of bike lanes & sidewalks!



Biking with the Brinkleys: The Week it All Went Wrong (but not really)

The Brinkley Family is going car free for a full year and sharing their journey with us!

Brinkley Mileage to Date: 93.1

I find myself saying to people “You know, it’s just not that much different.” or “It just really doesn’t take much longer.” Because, you guys, it’s not and it doesn’t.


While I would not say that the transition to bikes has been seamless, we have been able to operate as usual. Taylor still gets to work on time, I take the baby to the doctor and Maddie to the salon for her first day of 4th grade haircut, etc. I even did my first big grocery shop since my previous post, yes, I did. Not just to re-stock perishables, either, to get everything for 2 weeks of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks…and toilet paper. Now, since I never go anywhere without at least 2 children in tow, we hatched a plan for these big shops where I go to the store with my posse, do the shopping, load what I can into all of my cargo space, have them hold the rest of our groceries and Taylor will pick-up the rest with our other (not as awesome) bike trailer. It was going to work perfectly, and the timing was such that it was going to be a tag-team and we wouldn’t even need the store to hold the groceries for us…was…the other trailer had a flat tire that could not be re-inflated and I had already taken ALL of the groceries out of the store, loaded what I could onto my bike AND buckled the kids in before I found out.

It seems all of our “perfectly” coordinated plans went like that this week…I’m not bitter.

There were flat tires, first-thing-in-the-morning doctor visits (pre-cautionary, everyone is just fine), and a crash that resulted in a whole new wheel for me, all in the first full week without our car. Nothing like testing your meddle right off the bat though.

Even though this week seems to have been fraught with snafus, the advanced planning has really been SO necessary that the hitches in those plans haven’t made any of us regret our decision to make this pivot in our life-style. Because, right before the trailer hit a snag and sent me careening into the fencing of a restaurant’s patio seating, Maddie was navigating perfectly through downtown Boise and saying “Weeeee!” And anytime we’re at a cross-walk with other people walking to their destinations, Everett says “Hi! Hi, kids.” and my sweet, sweet baby who always hated car rides and being buckled in, just contentedly watches the world around us and falls asleep on nearly every outing we’ve been on so far.


So, actually, maybe it IS that much different.


All of my children are already much more in-tune with the world around them…and I never got any bruises from driving a mini-van.

So, real-talk time, the biggest adjustment so far, more than the physicality of pedaling everywhere, has truly been having to plan in advance for every day time trip…it’s just not my forte. But space is limited now, so I have to really make sure I have all the necessities/baby supplies with room to spare and that I know how to get where I’m going before I start my trek because the best way to drive somewhere is often not the best way to bike somewhere.

Taylor, quite poignantly stated and I whole-hardheartedly agreed, that it’s wonderful to travel and navigate together as a family instead of chauffeuring.

So, if any of you are after a bit of peace right now or the need to be in-tune with the world around you (or just a better night’s sleep), ride your bike to your next dinner out with friends (but as I’ve learned about best-laid plans, make sure you have a patching kit, and wear a helmet).

Stay Tuned!

BBP will be sharing many of their updates on the FreeSpirit Blog, but to be sure you don't miss a post, check out their blog site (with more pictures!).

Biking with the Brinkleys: How to go Carless/Make Everyone Say “Huh”

The Brinkley Family is BBP's 2017 Car 4 Bike Trader. They've been car free for just over two weeks, and they're sharing every step (pedal stroke?) of their journey with us. Check out their first blog post!


We have gone carless.


You read that right; our family, the one with 3 children, one of whom has yet to support her own weight, donated our only car (minivan) to the BBP in exchange for a Surly Crosscheck and the resources to transport our whole family via bike for 365 days.

So…let the adventure begin.

Actually, the idea of going carless was an idea that Taylor and I had been mulling over and discussing the logistics of for about a year before this opportunity through the BBP wound up in Taylor’s e-mail. We talked about bikes being our main transportation mainly as a way to get ourselves healthier but the more we discussed all of the possibilities, think box-bikes and Weehoos and Yubas (oh my!), our seemingly hair-brained idea started to seem like the best way to make the world our oyster. I mean, what better way to teach our children resourcefulness, independence, and respect for the earth and pride in our community than to encourage them to explore all the places we can get to on a bicycle?? Then our idealism really kicked in “It’ll be such an excellent way to grow up”, “I mean, it’s something they’ll always talk about to their friends”, “We’ll just be the people who bike” and so on. But guys, there’s kind of a lot to it when you’re just starting out. Here’s the list we made of all the places we have to go, errands we run and things we like to do:

  • School
  • Work
  • Grocery store
  • Gymnastics
  • Grandma & Grandpa’s
  • Doctor’s office
  • Movie theater
  • Restaurants
  • Pool
  • Beach
  • Playground

Here’s the list of questions and concerns that we had:

  • How soon can we get Maddie road worthy?
  • If it takes too long, how will we get her to and from school?
  • How will we transport an infant?
  • How will we get groceries? Household supplies? In the winter?
  • How will we do all of that while hauling a toddler AND an infant?

Okay, that list got long so I’ll spare you the exhaustive list, but that gives you a decent idea of some of the details we had to iron out before we really started to feel confident that this is something we could pull off. The conversation was on and off for months until about a month ago when the Car 4 Bike Trader contest was e-mailed to Taylor, who had become a member of the BBP approximately 1 week prior (talk about Kismet).

When he told me about the e-mail, he was fully expecting a blow-off, he did not get it. I said we should go for it. We wrote our statement (an inspirational tale of two pleasantly plump parents who want to change their family’s life for the better) and showed up to the NeuroLux to hopefully woo the crowd more than any other contestants would.

We were the only ones who showed, you guys. We won by default (yet another instance of Kismet), and that’s why you have to show up for stuff, you guys, you might win by default. Anywhoo…


Cue the mad-scramble to get the 9-year-old riding on 2 wheels, procuring me a bike and a way to haul the 2-year-old and the 3-month-old, making sure we all have appropriate footwear, protective gear, mirrors, lights, racks, panniers, air pumps, allen wrenches…yet another long list that I will not include in its entirety. But we did, we got everything we needed, said good riddance to our minivan (and its insurance payment and its gasoline expense and its list of needed repairs).

Taylor got his Crosscheck and (quite anti-climatically) it wasn’t a great fit for him. Off the bat, he made some modifications with assistance from Charles at the BBP and got it suiting his needs much better. I ended up with a Bianchi Torino, which I love and scored a Chariot Cougar 2 second hand for cheap to haul my littles. I had done some extensive research into options to take the baby along (something not very commonly done in North America, so a lot of the research was from locations abroad [read: Europe]) and felt most comfortable using the infant sling made specifically for Chariot strollers/trailers, and again, found one for a massive bargain online from someone who turned out to be one of my neighbors (have I mentioned Kismet yet?) Within the 2.5 weeks (1 spent at her mom’s house without practicing) between winning the contest and our official send-off into bike commuting at Tour de Fat, Maddie put the pedal to the metal…pavement? and got herself riding like a pro. She has taken to it like a fish to water and rides every chance she gets (and first thing in the morning).


If it hasn’t been made quite clear enough, the stars aligned in making this change. We are just getting started but are already smitten with being a full-time, rain or shine, day or night biking family.

The Brinkley's plan is to do a weekly update to share their journey with you all, document the process, track their miles and hopefully inspire any or all of you to make the changes that can make your life all you could want it to be.

Stay Tuned!

BBP will be sharing many of their updates on the FreeSpirit Blog, but to be sure you don't miss a post, check out their blog site (with more pictures!).