So once upon a time I was a super major avid cyclist. I was super femme about it, and wanted more women to ride. I rode with some great people, I learned a lot, and had a fabulous time. I counted my yearly miles by the thousands (my top year being over 9,000 miles.) I did things, like this for three years to help promote cycling with the ladies, which was super fun, and it helped grow me as a person and as a cyclist. I learned a lot about the community, how LBS* are pretty much the only community there is. At the time, I didn’t have a child nor did I have a plan for one. So I didn’t think about families riding together. I saw them on trails and streets. I made room for the extracycles and trailers and trail a bikes. I waved to them as I passed them, not thinking about how hard it would be to bike with a child.**
Now, three years later, married and living in a town house suburb of Seattle with a 17 month old, I don’t bike nearly enough. I think about it, but I don’t make time for it like I want too. I live in a place that is out of the way, with very steep hills to the main biking trail. There is the interurban, but it is 8 miles away from a fun play area for my kid to run around in. To correct this, my hubs and I are moving this Spring closer to the city where cycling is easier with a child.
There are many great blogs*** and resources out there for cycling. This blog is more about sewing, probably because I am embarrassed about my lack of wheels. I have many personal reasons for not biking as much. I typed them up, then deleted them, then retyped them, then again, deleted them. Basically, it comes down to physical and emotional challenges. I wasn’t ready to bike yet, and now I am. My partner even cleaned the garage and organized the bike and trailer so I can just pull out of the garage easy no problem. The problem lies within me, with the freezing temperatures of Winter, and not having the right gear for me or my kid. To correct this, I am avidly attending the local gym.
However, I don’t like putting my kid in the trailer. I can’t hear him or see him, and I don’t know how he is feeling. He tends to fall asleep, which is both good and bad as parents of toddlers know. It has been a struggle all along. I can’t always hear him crying or talking from the trailer, and daily he asks to be carried in our hiking pack where he can talk to me, and interact with me, and tell me he wants to stop to touch a tree or pick up a rock. If he were in the trailer, I would miss out on so many opportunities to teach my child about living.
I immediately choose blue, and texted my hubs to ask if I can attach it to my current bike. It seems that no, better to have a steel frame. Steel is real, after all. So now I might be on the hunt for a used steel bike that will easily hold this seat and my ever-growing toddler. I am so excited to be the new owner (well, when it arrives!) of a seat for my bicycle. We can’t afford an extracycle or new family oriented bikes. But we can do a Craigslist steel bike, with my new Yepp Seat, and my kiddo, safely on the back, chatting away with me.
So… who wants to ride?
PS: THANK YOU Momentum Magazine! I appreciate so much what you are doing for me and my family, giving us the chance to bike ride and improve our lives! Here is my entry for the contest:
I would take my boy in his Yepp seat to…
We would ride everywhere! We would commute to preschool together, swing by the Lichton Springs park and visit with family at lunch, followed by a lovely jaunt to the Zoo. We would ride out for snacks (coffee for me, banana for him) and run errands like library book pickups and groceries. We would ride on family bike rides with friends, and longer rides around Lake Washington. We would explore the 31 parks of Shoreline, and test out as much of the interurban trail as we could. We would join in on bike ride Sundays at Seward Park, and see if we could make it to BikeWorks in one afternoon. We would ride to the beach at Golden Gardens and get ice cream at Ballard Locks. We would visit the Science Center, children’s museums, community centers, and the gym. We would make new friends on bikes and visit old ones. The question isn’t where would we could, it is how far can we go today?
Posted by MaLora Ann January 14, 2013 13:42:57
** Challenges to riding with an infant under 2
Child not wanting to ride
Access to child things like parks and eateries