Winning the Haul-a-Day



In Bicycle Times, we recently gave away a Haul-a-Day. Although chosen at random, the winners couldn’t have been more perfect.

From Kristen & Thomas:


My husband, Thomas, and I are full time commuter cyclists. We do not own cars, nor do we wish to. Both of us have always had a hatred towards cars, they’re loud, they’re gross, they take all your money and give you nothing in return.A couple of years ago we were gluttons and had two crappy old cars. My car died and instead of fixing it, I donated it to our local NPR station. I ended up driving Thomas’ car while he bike commuted to work everyday. The day we had to drive to Southern California to go to my nephew’s first birthday party, Thomas’ car finally went kaput. We ended up having to rent a car to get to the party, but when we got back, it was going to be full time cycling. I had previously done some riding to work, but not everyday. I have a 70s Raleigh Sprite that is entirely too big for me and is just a freaking nightmare when it comes to issues. It has an internal hub shifter and everything is connected by nuts and bolts, so if anything ever goes wrong with it, I am screwed. First day back to work, first day riding the Raleigh, Thomas wakes up extra early lubes the chain, pumps the tires, trues the wheels and takes off for work. I leave later and I get about 2 miles (maybe) into my 10 mile commute and I realize he’s trued my wheel INTO my frame. I call out of work because I’m thinking I have to get this bike fixed TODAY or I won’t be able to get to work for the rest of the week. I call Thomas and he convinces me to instead just go to REI after he gets home and buy a new bike. We take the bus out to REI and I buy a Randonee touring bike, which completely changed my life. We still had Thomas’ car rotting away in the back of our apartment for another year, but that went to our local NPR station too.

I am currently pregnant with our first child and before we even had the should we have kids conversation, we did research to find out if you can in fact ride while your pregnant. Then when we finally did decide we wanted to have kids, we started talking about moving to be closer to family, but I objected to everything because it would impede my ability to keep us as a cyclist family. So then we finally started talking about what I was going to ride when I get too big to ride my bike. We will need a step through, we should probably get an e-assist, etc. We had been talking about getting cargo bikes for a couple of years, just in general and it seemed like that was the bike we were gonna get. The mom long back cargo for me, the dad front bucket for Thomas. After I got pregnant, we both started having silent anxiety about this bike we had to get for me. We both knew it was possible to swing a bike OR the e-assist, but there is no way we could do both at once.

I found the contest by scrolling through Facebook. I actually blame John Boyer for all of this. He liked Bicycle Times and so the contest came up in my feed because of that. I though well that would be the best mom bike and what’s it going to hurt to enter, so I did. I know that according to the rules it was a random numerical selection, but I like to think I won because of what I wrote. I wrote something about being pregnant with our first child and that this bike would keep us in the full-time cycling commuter lifestyle. About 2 minutes after entering, I completely forgot I had entered.

When I found out, it was the BEST TGIF EVER. I was walking into work, into the bathroom specifically, to change out of my riding clothes into my work clothes. I noticed I had a voicemail and I listened to it. It was a call letting me know I actually won the Haul-a-day. I needed to respond to an email that was sent to me the day before and I remembered that I cleared out my email and was PRAYING I hadn’t emptied my trash. I found the email thankfully, responded and then I FREAKED OUT! My first thought was this is a scam, this is a lie, they didn’t mean to call me even if it is legit. I started texting Thomas in all caps and many expletives that I won. He was already starting work and doesn’t answer his phone and I called him anyways because this was CLEARLY an emergency. I am standing in the bathroom stall not changing just staring at my phone in disbelief. I finally realize I need to get changed so I can get to work on time and I put my phone down. While I was eating breakfast, I went to the rules page on the Bicycle Times website and when I found the rules, the first thing listed was my name. I FREAKED OUT AGAIN! Finally Thomas texted me back, a lot of caps, a lot of expletives, a lot of excitement. He apparently ran around the building telling everyone that we had won this bike and much like my co-workers, no one really cared besides the “congratulations!”  I spent most of my work day not actually working, but on the Bike Friday website picking out all the upgrades I wanted for the bike. On our ride home that night, and really for the rest of the weekend, all I could say to him was “Can you believe I won a Haul-a-day!?” That actually went on for a really long time after that weekend too. We were and are both so incredibly excited! We spent the weekend making a list of all the things we wanted for the bike!

This bike is mostly going to be my bike, but really it’s the first family bike we’re going to have. Thomas is 6’2 and I am 5’5 so this will be the first bike we will ever get to share, which is also really exciting. My tiny pregnant belly is getting to be a teeny bit annoying on my current bike and I am becoming increasingly exhausted going up tiny hills. Once the bike gets delivered, it’s going to be the bike I ride until I give birth. Then after that, it’s going to be my sweet mom minivan! When we were setting up our baby registry, the easiest items for us to pick out were all the bike accessories we’re going to need. The first baby gift we got was the Baby Nutty Nutcase helmet that has outer space on it. I really cannot wait to strap our kid on to this bike and ride all over town. Hopefully, this kid will like cycling too.

There’s this thing that Sacramento does during the month of May called ‘May as Bike Month.’ It’s put on by the Air Resources Board or something like that to promote alternative transportation to cars, namely bikes, to stop ruining air quality here. There’s a website, you log your hours, you get ‘badges’ for different things you do (like riding on a rainy day or riding the most on your team for the week), you can win prizes, but mostly it’s a legit competitive game for Thomas and I. First, to have the most badges between each other, and second to have the most miles and finally to beat our pledge. The first year we participated, I was a full time rider for about 2 months, so I cleared 560 miles for the month, Thomas I think got close to 700. The next year (last year), I was a full time rider for over a year and we were planning our first bike tour in June, so I had to go all out for MIBM. We both pledged 750 miles with the full intention to get 1,000 miles each. We both exceed the 1,000 miles and again, Thomas beat me in miles. I have been worrying about what I am going to do for this MIBM because maybe I shouldn’t ride as much, maybe I shouldn’t pledge to high, etc. After winning this bike, I feel like I don’t really have to worry about taking it easy this year. I am going to pledge the 750 again, with full intentions on riding 1,000 miles. We’ve talked about going bike camping with this bike. We have an almost 40 mile ride from our house to Folsom Lake on a bike path that ends right at the campsite, which we’ve done at least once for the past few years. Thomas has brought up touring with this bike, but I am hoping he doesn’t intend to do that this year!

I think the same week I found out I won was the same week we found out that we lost the Powerball. Thomas had told me that while we lost the Powerball and that sucked, it was better winning the Haul-a-day because that’s exactly what we would have spent the winnings on anyway and it’s way better to win a bike!

Stay tuned for a follow up with Kristen and Thomas!



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