Today marks the end of our third week commuting by bike. It's amazing how quickly and easily we have fallen into the bike pattern-- leaving home a bit earlier each morning than when we were driving the car and always first checking the weather reports to see if we'll need the rain tent or ear coverings under our helmets. Last night, it stormed and we had forgotten to put the bakfiets under its tarp. I panicked about midnight but didn't rush out to cover it up. I know it is incredibly sturdy and could handle the rainstorm (I've ridden it in the rain before), but I still felt a bit guilty leaving it out unprotected. I think I finally understand those fellows who love their sport cars so much they spend hours waxing them and take endless pictures of themselves standing in front of them, arms crossed over puffed-up chests, proud smirks crossing their faces.
It was a gray morning when we headed out. I was cheered, however, by the bright red of our rain tent and the warmer temperature, wearing a fleece instead of a parka. Riding along, I greeted the various school crossing guards we meet along our way (four), wishing them each a good weekend, and receiving good wishes in return. At one point, I spotted a fellow walking along the sidewalk with a bright pink toddler push bike swung over his shoulder-- the pinkness leaping out against the dank and drear. He spotted me and we did a quick, "Hey, cool bike" interchange that made me smile. The next block, one filled with cars parked one after the other, I enjoyed seeing our funny bakfiets and rider shadow dance up against the car sides as the sun hit us just right.
Each time I ride our bakfiets, especially when I think of how I would have likely driven in the past, I feel-- well, virtuous. It's the same feeling I get when I use the library instead of buying new books or when I bring along our reusable water bottles and shopping bags. It just feels good.