I have thought about blogging a lot over the years but never felt I really had anything to say about anything. But I have something to say about cycling. Specifically, I have a lot to say about cycling as a family of four. The fundamental lesson I have learned doing just that is that it is both possible and enjoyable to commute by bicycle with two children.
The title of this post was my basic reaction when Big J suggested selling our car a year ago. I could not imagine my life without a car. I had always had a car, or access to one anyway. The underlying thought was something along the lines of You like riding your bike. I do not. Have you lost your mind? It was several months (and a couple of heated discussions) before we would come to an agreement. We sold our car January 4, 2012 having agreed to reevaluate the situation in three months. Here we are nearly six months later. We never reevaluated. We never saw reason to.
We’re well equipped. We own 8 wheels:
- Big J rides his Bianchi. He built it. It’s an awesome bike.
- I ride a Cannondale H300 which was handed down to me. I’ve put more miles on it in six months than it had seen in its previous 15 years of existence. I completely love it.
- Big J and I take turns toting children on our bright orange Yuba Mundo. It is a cargo bike that can carry roughly four hundred pounds in addition to its driver.
- We bought a Burley D’Lite from Big J’s uncle who owns two amazing bike shops in Austin, TX. (If you’re in the area stop by and tell them we sent you.) The trailer is fantastic: it keeps 2 1/2 year old little J out of the cold and/or rain. It’s well enclosed and keeps him safe from the elements.
- C is between bikes. He’s 10 and it isn’t easy to find a road bike for a boy his size. We’re seriously considering buying him a Raleigh i8 which will fit him for the rest of his life.
We had two main concerns about biking full time. The first was being sure that Little J stayed warm in the winter. A snow suit and the Burley made this a no-brainer. Our folks also gave us a balaclava for Little J. He stays amazingly toasty. The second concern involves me. Heat and I are not friends. In January, we were very concerned that I would not be able to withstand the heat come summer. Here in the northeast our summers are very humid. Humidity and I are not friends either. You put the three of us together and you will have a quite miserable momma on your hands.
It is mid-June and I have surprisingly little to complain about. I have learned how to manage (so far). A) Stay indoors on wicked hot days. Duh. B) Wear next to nothing. I have tank tops and itty bitty shorts I wear if I must go out on hot days. C) Stand up when descending a hill. God made AMAZING air conditioning in the form of wind. D) Never ever ever ever take an entirely cold shower. A body temperature shower does much more for temperature regulation.
Getting rid of the car required commitment, perseverance, trust, and communication. It was a major lifestyle change. It’s a lifestyle that continues to require commitment, perseverance, trust, and communication. I invite you to follow our blog and join us on our journey. Maybe you’ll even ride your bike.