Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Biking & Scootering & Walking-- Oh, My!

Biking these past days has not been easy. People are fascinated by the length of the bakfiets and always ask how hard it is to ride. "Not at all," I've confidently answered, "It's such an amazingly well-made bike-- it's actually quite easy and fun." I then go on to talk about P's 1968 three-speeder and how when he switches over to the baks, how smooth and easy he finds it as well. However, the wind has been kicking up quite a bit these past two days and suddenly 'easy' wasn't so easy. Coming home from school yesterday, pedaling into the wind, I definitely felt the resistance and was pushing hard and moving slowly. It didn't help that I hadn't covered the box that morning and there is tons of grit in the street, left over from lots of snow. Early in the commute home, C got some sand in his eye which prompted much unhappiness for the rest of the trip. He hunched down low in the box, complaining that it really wasn't that much fun-- I guess the honeymoon period is over.

Today, we pulled out the red weather tent and the boys were happily shielded from the wind and street dirt swirling around my head. I prepared myself for some hard leg pumping and pushed on our way. We were confronted with a new issue today-- how we deal with Tuesday's pick-up of F. Normally, P does pick-up and drop-off of our third fellow, but on Tuesdays and Thursdays, P has an inconveniently-timed class from 4:00-5:30PM and I need to rush over to get F before his school closes at 5PM. In the past, we were driving so I would rally S and C and we would drive over to F's school, unstrap from car seats, all climb out, get F, and then strap three boys back into car seats. Whew. Today, however, sans car, we needed to figure out how to pull this off.

One ginarmous obstacle in the pick-up of F is a hill, a very large hill, a hill that I struggled all last year to push a jog stroller up, and in no way could possibly think of conquering it by bakfiets. I thought of the practicality of riding until it got too steep and then pushing it the rest of the way, but with the weather tent, three boys in the box would be pretty squishy, and honestly, I wasn't even sure how well I could get up the hill walking and pushing. I felt committed to biking to the twins' and my school and figured that if we left early enough, we could ride the bakfiets home and then decide how to get F from there. When we reached home, the sun was shining, and I asked the boys how we should go get F-- I said we could walk, scooter, or go by car. I was feeling pretty tired, but when they voted to release their scooters from their long winter naps in the basement, I embraced the chance to remain carfree for the day and happily set off with a third scooter thrown over my shoulder and F's bike helmet in my hand. It turned out to be a wonderful end to the day. All three guys got solid outside time, soaking in some much-needed vitamin D, pumping their legs, and getting their ya-yas out. And as I walked behind them, I enjoyed the scene of these three helmet-clad heads and jeans-clad legs zipping along the sidewalk with joy.

5 comments:

Dottie said...

Bakfiets, kids, wind, hills - I am very impressed!!

Andrea said...

Ooohh, you're making me really wanty for a Bakfiets and a suburban/urban existance!

Trisha said...

Funny how sometimes when you're least looking forward to exercise you discover it's exactly what you need. I guess there's no way around this hill? I have a few that I'm willing to go a couple of blocks out of my way to avoid here in Nashville, and that's without three boys and a Bakfiets.

(also, love the pink shirt on your boy in the sidebar!)

sara said...

F's school is actually right on the hill so there is no getting around it there. I have been learning some wonderful new routes though to other places in town that lets me avoid some undoable-by-bakfiets hills.

MamaVee said...

I love that I relate to your posts so well. New to cargo bike, check, multi schol pick ups etc. check. Hills, check.

I sadly have way to many hills. My sorte is nice to ride but it def is tough on hills with both kids in it. although I swear my legs are getting stronger.

I think I am coming to CT mid april. I hope to run into you. I'd love to hop on the bike as I'm a little obsessed with riding every cargo kid carrying bike there is known to man. Yeah, I now want badly to ride a madsen just to see. I'd love to ride yours. you name it- I want to try it out. Like a car person and sports cars....