As moms, we tend to put aside our hobbies when baby comes along. More important things come along to fill up those empty moments of our day… Like coffee, showering and the occasional Netflix binge.
One of the things I missed the most (next to sleeping, anyways) was biking.
I was riding 15km to work every morning before I got pregnant. It was glorious and an amazing workout. Then, after a ten hour workday, I would ride the 15km route home… And occasionally, Jason and I would then ride from our home in Burnaby to Stanley Park or Yaletown.
Then I got pregnant. I’m clumsy enough without the added change in body shape and size so I decided to retire my bike, in what was meant to be temporarily but ended up being a bit longer.
And I’ll be honest. It never occurred to me that I could get back on the bike with the boys in tow. I didn’t think about bike seats or trailers…. until recently.
I’ve fallen head over heels for biking again.
A couple of months ago, I talked my poor, poor husband into yet another stroller. This one doubles as a bike trailer and it’s been a terrific addition to our family.
I love being able to pull the boys along on a bike ride. Sammy laughs when we go over speed bumps and Dean is a great backseat driver (“STOP SIGN!” “MOMMY, GREEN LIGHT!” “USE YOUR BRAKES!”) Dean has been learning all sorts of road rules and about the different signs he sees as we ride along the bike paths. He knows how to find the bike paths and has fun trying to tell me of the turns before we make them.
I love the new freedom of being able to hop on and off the bike and get us places without having to rely on the bus or trains, without having to pay for transit and with getting some exercise. The bike trailer has given us the ability to have new adventures.
However, we are still limited.
We’re not able to take the bike with the trailer onto transit. I can’t take the boys around Stanley Park, False Creek or along the Quay with our current set up. It’s a bit sad because we don’t have many places right by home that we can do on the bike, other than malls, library and a few parks. There are too many hills and I also don’t want to venture too far from home in case everyone gets too tired or uncooperative and we aren’t able to hop on transit to get back home in a timely fashion.
And that’s where I discovered cargo bikes.
Did you know there’s a bike that is just a bit bigger than a regular sized bike but can carry children, too?! No trailer needed.
I’ve been researching them for a week now. And I’m so excited about the idea! We have to number crunch and make sure it’s possible but with Vancity’s “Clean Air Vehicle Loan” it could be made into a monthly payment rather than an upfront cost.
There are various brands and models and price ranges. The two I am eyeing are compact enough that they would even fit onto the bike racks on the bus and I can take them on board the skytrain but still has enough room to fit two kids! Sounds pretty spiffy, right?!
Last Wednesday I got to test ride a Yuba Mundo (it’s larger than the Boda Boda and fits three kids vs two) and became even more obsessed. They handle great – I had no problem loading up the two boys on the back and giving it a whirl!
Spokesmama, aka Lisa, who met with me at Science World to let me take her bike for a spin, also runs the Facebook group “Vancouver Family Biking“. I’ve learned so much from her website, from her and from other riders in the group.
If you are looking at getting on a bike with your young children, check out the workshop she is leading! You can find the link on her website, in the group or from the Crushed Cheerios Facebook page. There are more dates being added as others fill up – the June dates are full but July has a couple openings and there is also one scheduled for October so far. The course is free and there will be childcare available for free, as well. I’m looking forward to learning more about biking with the kids and how we can get more out of our time together on the road.
I’ve been bitten by the biking bug. A swarm of them.
I’m looking forward to all the kilometres I am going to log this summer with the boys!