Thursday, August 30, 2012

I Want to Ride My Bicycle, I Want to Ride My Bike

Last weekend I decided it was time. I took the boys two wheelers out of storage. I got these from another twin mom almost 1 ½ years ago, when I bought the toddler beds. They have been in storage ever since.
The bikes are almost too big for them , so I left the training wheels on.  Besides, the training wheels will slow them down slightly allowing us adults to keep up with them (sort of).  Nathan needs about another ½ inch and Corwyn at least a full inch before I could take them off, so probably in the spring.

They love them. Nathan in particular can’t get enough of it. While Corwyn took to and learnt to pedal the tricycle sooner, Nathan is clearly more enamored with the 2(4) wheeler.  I think he likes the speed.
Once we’ve worked more on safety crossing roads (and get some compliance in it) we’ll go further than the playground kitty-corner to us.

At the same time, I got a great deal on a pod that can be used as a stroller, jogger or bike trailer (Baby Jogger Pod - a double bike trailer that fits through a door). I’d love to be able to go further than we sometimes do without depending on transit. Of course, to use the bike trailer, I’d need to get a bike for me. I had a bike. Someone tried to steal it. When they couldn’t, they jammed the lock, smashed the frame and bent both tires. I can’t unlock it to throw it away and it’s beyond fixing or even using for parts.  A couple of my coworkers stepped up and gave me an old bike they had and weren’t using! Woohoo!

I got a helmet and lock and Tuesday I rode it home from work. Now, for those who know me IRL, I don’t live that far from my office. I can walk to work in around 20 minutes or bus in about 10. The route is up about 80%,  flat-ish for 10% and down the remaining 10%  on the way there, reverse on the way home.  Not bad. But remember, I have not ridden a bike in well over 4 years (pre-pregnancy).

It wasn’t bad going home. I had to make a few stops to adjust the seat until I found a place that was comfortable. Same with the gears. But I made it home, and managed to lock the bike up in our ghetto bike area.  Yeah. Um. Yeah. We’re not allowed bikes on our balconies and I rent out my parking spot, so this bike rack is it.  The mangled pink bike is my old one. I’m going to see what we can do to get it removed. I have no idea who has/had the blue one with the bent wheel. A couple other of the bikes here are unusable.

So the next morning, I would try the longer uphill start. Um yeah. They had dug up my road to begin repaving. This was my first challenge (other than the hill). So I moved over one road and began the ascent (yeah, yeah, to my biking friends who do mountains and ironmans, I know you’re laughing and scoffing, but give me time). It was almost laughable and I hope no one was watching out their window. I was like the little engine that could, my inside mantra of “I think I can” going strong.  The older lady with the walker snickered out loud when she passed me.  She wasn’t laughing when I flew past her on the flat a few minutes later! I resisted the urge to give a big boo-yeah (in part because I’m a better person and in part because I had no breath left). And I made it to the office in one piece.

My second trip home was a breeze, made even better because they had finished paving my street. I got to the downhill and coasted the rest of the way.  When I got inside, Nathan noticed my helmet. He wanted it. He kept saying “Thank you mommy for my new red helmet”. Uh yeah, the helmet that falls off when you smile, yup, it’s yours alright.  He was very cute, kept it on for a good hour. I hid it when I left the next morning.

This morning was much better. For starters, my road was paved instead of dug up. I got up the hill at much more reasonable pace. While I wouldn’t have lapped the elderly lady from yesterday, I would have easily kept pace with her. I expect it to get better each day.

I’ll take the bike in for a tune up in the next week or so, as it’s been stored for a couple of years. I like it a lot and seems like a good fit for me (with a price I couldn’t beat). I will name him George, and I will hug him and pet him and….. Okay, maybe not George. Hmmmm.  I’ll have to think of a name.

I’m definitely not ready to hook up a trailer and pull over 100 pounds behind me, but I’ll get there.  Maybe next weekend, I’ll pull the trailer empty to get used to having it behind me, then add a child at a time, sticking to small slopes or flat surfaces at first. And of course, I’m totally looking forward to when they are comfortable enough on a bike and safety conscious enough that we can go biking as a family. Vancouver has some amazing bike routes and parks. 

Here's a parting shot of Corwyn hanging in the Pod, securing Monkey in the seat. I've only used it as an occasional stroller so far. They both fit in easily and have both slept in it (at the same time and one off). I've run with it only a bit (when they demand I go fast). Except for long walks, or transit, we're mostly stoller-less, so I see this being used mostly as a bike trailer or jogger. But I got such a great deal on it, it was much less than just buying a biking trailer.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Supergrover will fly with u, while u n/or boys bike around, n keep u safe near n far!!