Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday cruising

Always look out for a convert-- their (my) zealousness is often far more ardent than others'. I get this and I am trying not to be overly annoying about my absolute love for my bakfiets and running errands by bike. There are other folks who have lived a biking existence for far longer than the week in which we have owned this beautiful cargo bike. However, after two weekends of enjoying our new vehicle, I cannot help but crow about how excited I am about the new-found freedom and FUN this bakfiets has introduced to our lives.

For over four weeks, we were plagued as the fellows struggled with fevers and ear infections, then vomity stomachs and weakness brought on by days with no food intake. When the sun came out, the temperature rose, and the snow melted yesterday-- it was such a profound gift, but S was still too lethargic to get out of the apartment. So when P returned from bakfietsing with C to violin lessons and the bookstore, F and I took a long, meandering bike ride together with Big Bear, his beloved stuffed animal, strapped in beside him on the seat. We stopped at some public greenhouses to check out the plants, made some loops around a park, explored some streets we hadn't ridden on before, and finally hit the playground. One huge advantage to having the box where the boys (and bear) sit in front of me is that F and I could chat the entire time. He pointed out things he noticed and I could--safely-- see what he was pointing to and make my own comments about our passing surroundings.

Then today-- a momentous occasion! As S seemed to have more energy this morning and the sun beckoning, I got out fleece jackets and bike helmets and into the bakfiets all three climbed. This was the first time in eight days that S could leave the house, and this was the first time we got to test the bakfietsen sellers' claims that the box could hold three kids. It did and beautifully! F and S settled on the seat and C, cushioned by a blanket, settled in the front with a new drawing book, pad, and pencil. I pulled up the kickstand, pushed off with my leg, and on to the seat I jumped and truthfully, riding with the three was as smooth as riding with just F.

I decided to head for the bike path--- however, we needed to ride some busy roads to get there. I've found that each time I am out on the baks, my confidence has grown and today, I felt completely comfortable on this route. After some time on the path, we decided to push the adventure and hit the downtown. Again, if you had asked me a few weeks ago if I would ride there the first time taking all the boys on the bakfiets, I would have definitely told you that I wouldn't be ready for that. But I was. And it was good fun. We stopped in to see P at his work and then hit a shop for water and chips (right now the boys are allowed to eat anything they want at anytime; after dropping so much weight from their skinny selves, their dad and I just want to fatten them up). A lovely man strolling with his daughters stopped to ask about the bike as we were gearing up again outside the shop. After asking permission, he took a picture of the boys strapped into the bakfiets since it was the first he had seen. I am hoping that it won't be his last....


MamaVee said...

I LOVE it. I love that we are on this road together at the same time kind of. I also love that I know the area of which you speak. I have such fond memories on your city and that playground that I get really excited to think of you riding up to the playground. Yeah!

And I too have had the bike love for quite a while. I am so sickening that I only want to talk or write about my biking travels.

I can't wait to see tons of pictures from you all as well.


Andrea said...

Oh this is SOOO cool...I wish I was more of a bad-ass biker so I could get one to ride to work (13 miles of uphill both ways would be much easier on a bakfiets, wouldn't it??)...I'm totally excited for you guys and can't wait to visit you and your bike...Oh yeah, and very glad you've passed (knock, knock) through this round of illness.

Jennifer said...

More photos! Glad to hear that S is on the mend and impressed that all three can fit in the front space and you can cruise around town with them.

Terra said...

Every time I come back one of those bike trips I went on, I would swear to adopt a biking lifestyle, but gradually it would fade bc i'm so high maitenance and my work wardrobe is too much effort to take back and forth and to fancy for a bike (with serious paniers and stuff). the bike is simply the BEST means of transportation in the world and it is a shape we don't make better use of it. it is amazingly effiecient, smooth, and fast. and you really can SEE things and the wind in your hair feels great (under bike helmet of course). PICTURES PLEASE OF ALL OF YOU ON IT!