Mobi – Vancouver’s Bike Share

Mobi Bikes
Vancouver’s Mobi Bike Share has been slowly rolling out across the city. It looks like they are a month behind their original mid-June launch date, but progress is being made. I’ve seen partial bike share stations installed under the Cambie Bridge (south-side) and near the Creekside Community Centre.

Mobi Bike Station

In the next few weeks, 100 stations will be distributed throughout Vancouver’s core. The initial service area is east of Arbutus, west of Main, and north of 16th including Stanley Park (green area below).

Vancouver Bike Share Map

Here are the pricing options. First, you need to buy a membership (varying in length from 24 hours to 1 year). Most memberships come with free unlimited trips under 30 or 60 minutes. For longer trips, you pay an overage cost per half hour period. Currently, the only memberships for sale are the 1-year Founding Member ones.

Membership Length Signup Cost Free Trip Overage Cost
(per half hour)
Founder 1 1 year $99 30 min $2 (30-60 min)
$3 (>60 min)
Founder Plus 1 1 year $129 60 min $3
Monthly Basic 2 1 month $10 None $2
Monthly Standard 2 1 month $15 30 min $2 (30-60 min)
$3 (>60 min)
Monthly Plus 2 1 month $20 60 min $3
Day Pass 24 hours $7.50 30 min $3

1 – Founder prices only until June 30 (will likely be extended)
2 – 3 month minimum for monthly plans

Mobi Assembly Yard

From what I’ve been told from Mobi staff, bikes must be returned to a bike share station to end your trip. Each bike comes with a cable lock that extends from the right handlebar to the fork that can be used if you want to make a quick stop without ending your rental. As an extra security measure, the handlebars can’t be turned when the bike is locked (like an immobilizer). Helmets will be provided with each bike (left on the cable lock).

Mobi’s full Terms and Conditions (Doc).

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New Parent Adventures: Getting Ready for the Baby

Baby Shower Flowers

Emily is now 39 weeks pregnant and is officially on maternity leave, which means the baby could arrive any day, although I’m guessing we’ve got another week or two to wait. Just in case, we’re making sure we’re ready to go now.

We’ve started filling our freezer with leftovers and easy to heat up meals. Our friends from our prenatal class keep running into each other in the Wendy’s drive-thru, and we don’t want to fall into that trap (although I hear they have a good baked potato).
Frozen Meals

The baby room is all set up with a crib, bassinet, and changing table. We have a stack of cloth diapers provided by Saucy Bottoms (we’re going with a service because we don’t have in-suite laundry), plus a dresser full of hand-me down clothes.
Baby Room

We’ve added a few shelves to the baby room to hold all the books Emily got from her baby shower.
Kids Book Shelves

Now, we we’re ready to grab our hospital bags and head out the door when the time comes. (Hopefully it doesn’t look like this.)
Pretend Hospital Trip

We still haven’t figured out transportation. Depending on when labour starts, it will either be a car sharing vehicle from Evo or Modo, or a taxi. Emily has vetoed riding to the hospital in a bike trailer.

Best Guess

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Sunny Sunday in Vancouver

False Creek Smooth as Glass
The best way to enjoy the sunshine in Vancouver – an early morning run along the seawall and an afternoon picnic in Van Dusen Botanical Garden.

Seawall in Vanier Park

Rose Garden Selfie

It was also a great way to introduce the in-laws to Vancouver and celebrate Martha’s 75th birthday.
Martha and Mairy

Waterfall Break

Grrr...Flowers

More pictures on Flickr.

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New Parent Adventures: Strollers and Car Seats

Elephant
Baby preparations are well under way. We’ve been slowly acquiring baby stuff, mostly hand-me-downs from friends, family, and neighbours. Emily has put her sewing skills to work creating a stuffed elephant and a wrap to carry the baby in. For big ticket items, we bought an Ikea crib, but we’ve been struggling to find a stroller and a car seat.

Considering we’re a car-free family and plan on staying that way after the baby arrives, a car seat may seem like a weird purchase, but it’s the only mandatory item we need before the baby arrives. The hospital won’t let you leave unless you have a car seat to put the baby in. Plus, we’ll need it whenever we use car-sharing vehicles and rental cars.

Our main criteria for a car seat:

  • light and easy to transport
  • can be installed quickly and safely without a base (we found European belt routing while researching the options)
  • can be integrated with a stroller for those times when we need to walk a few blocks to get to a Car2Go or Modo vehicle
  • not ridiculously expensive (since it will hopefully be used infrequently)

A few weeks ago we bought a Baby Trend City Clicker LX Travel System from Babies R Us. It was on sale and we liked the minimalist stroller frame when the car seat was attached. After hauling it home (in an Evo car sharing vehicle), we set it up and were dismayed to find two problems -a defective wheel lock and a broken plastic clip. We contacted customer support at Baby Trend and after a several phone calls and emails that went nowhere, I gave up and returned it for a refund. The car seat seemed decent, but the stroller was flimsy and cheap, with crappy wheels.

Baby Trend City Clicker LX Travel System

After that disappointment, we did a bit more research and agreed to invest in a better system. We decided on getting a Peg Perego Primo Viaggio 4-35 car seat (which we’ll pick up soon). The car seat might be a bit more expensive than we wanted, but we’re convinced European belt routing is essential for a car-sharing family and there aren’t many car seats sold in North America with that feature. We found a used Peg Perego Book Plus stroller on Craigslist and picked that up last weekend. It’s really well designed and I think we’ll be happy with it. The real test comes when the baby arrives next month.
Stroller test drive

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Roomba vs Hoover

Roomba and Hoover

The Roomba I bought 2 years ago is one of the best luxury purchases I’ve ever made. It does such a great job keeping our floors clean and picking up cat hair. But I was concerned with how much power it uses, so I plugged it into a power meter for a week.

Turns out, it uses hardly any energy. After a week of daily cleaning, it only used 0.65 kWh (which works out to less than $3/year). I plugged in our old Hoover and did some vacuuming for comparison, and it uses a lot more power. One hour of vacuuming with the Hoover used more energy than the Roomba did in a week. Although there’s no way I would be vacuuming for an hour a week, especially since we only have carpet in the bedrooms. I guess sweeping is still the most energy efficient option, but I’m more than happy to pay a few dollars a year in energy bills for the robot to do the sweeping and vacuuming for me.

Roomba 770 Hoover S1361
0.65 kWh per week 0.78 kwh per hour
28 W max demand 857 W max demand
$2.81/year ¹ $1.68/year ²

1. Using BC Hydro’s residential rate of 8.3 cents / kWh (which is very cheap)
2. Assuming 30 minutes of vacuuming a week.

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Happy Earth Day

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Easter in Kamloops

A few pictures from our Easter weekend in Kamloops with my sister’s family.

We had fun making Ukrainian Easter Eggs (pysanky).

Pysanky 2016

And of course there was a hunt for eggs filled with chocolates, candies, and cryptogram clues.

Easter Cryptogram

My nephew was the big winner.

Easter Boy

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