Sunday, December 9, 2012

Tree Haulin' By Bike 2012

One of the things about not having a smart phone is that we do not get cool bicycling photos when we are out and about. Today, I would have liked to been able to document our adventures pictorially.  It was one of those great New Haven days: church, coffee and biscotti, tree picking out and hauling, Shake Shack, and the Nutcracker at the Shubert-- all by bike.

These year, I got to ride the tree for the first time. Wild to think that we started this four years ago.  It amazes me to see those photos because the boys are so young! For our past Christmas tree hauling adventures, we used our bakfiets. Since that bike is now living semi-permanently with friends, this year we used the Xtracycle Radish.

It didn't take much to load the tree. Our tree place does not wrap trees so we used a few pieces of twine to pull in some of the branches and then the amazing Freeloader straps did the rest.  The stem of the tree sat far enough away from my left pedal that I didn't bump up against it at all.

It was fun riding along, the five of us, with me bringing up the rear with tree-- getting looks from other folks out on a Sunday morning. We got some great smiles and nods as we made our way downtown.  We had about an hour before the Nutcracker show so P took the fellows off to the Shake Shack for burgers while I zipped home and dropped off the tree, turned around, and met up with them again.

I would have loved to get some family Christmas tree bicycle pictures but alas, here are the lone shots of the Xtra loaded with the tree. Ho Ho Ho.

What We Look Like When We Ride Now....

This is what we look like most weekends nowadays...

We have almost fully gone to the boys riding themselves.  We ride to music lessons, birthday parties, church, whatever comes our way on weekends.  The guys are mostly on the sidewalk while P and I ride the street, doing a lot of communicating and blocking, particularly at street crossings and intersections.

The boys have become great city cyclists. They are pretty steady and hearty and mileage does not seem to be much of an issue.  They are good at sharing the sidewalk with pedestrians, taking turns, slowing down near others, and kindly announcing, "Bike left" when coming through. 

Sidewalk bicycling, of course, is not ideal and watching the boys get around by their own pedal power highlights how different life would be if we had real bicycling infrastructure 'round these parts with things like protected bike lanes. The fellows, and others, would so easily be be getting around by bicycle.  For instance, right now we have no ideal bicycling route to school. My older guys are very dedicated bus riders. My youngest is not a fan of the AM bus so while I am headed to school too (I work there), F acts mostly as a passenger on my bike, and despite the years I've been doing this, I can still feel uncomfortable at times riding through downtown with anxious morning commuters.

Due to the change in our riding, we did make another bicycle change.

Oh yes, we did.

We got a Yuba Boda Boda. We'll have tons more stories to tell about that but we're downsizing-- the Yuba Mundo is for sale. Know any families on the East Coast looking to haul two kiddos or significant cargo that you can point our way?

The Boda Boda is tons of fun because it feels like a 'single bike' but I still have the ability to haul one kid when needed. I feel so quick and zippy on the Boda Boda! I had become so accustomed to hauling tons o' kid cargo weight these past four years, it was just the way it felt to bicycle. Now-- now's a whole 'nother story.

UPDATE 1/22/13
We did find a new home for our Yuba Mundo. It's close by and will be well-used by a family with two younger children.