Friday, April 30, 2010
Biking to work kids in tow
On my trip to Philadelphia several weeks ago, I watched a documentary called, "No Impact Man" which was about a 3 person family in NYC working to "go off the grid" for 1 year. They don't go to a movie for 1 year, they have their electricity turned off as well as not using the subway. One thing that made a big impression on me was the willingness of the mom to go along with the project, as she started biking everywhere. At the end of the year, she decided she would continue biking...with her 2 year old in tow in a trailer behind her-in NYC.
I've always been a bit afraid of biking on the road, but after watching that movie, I thought, "If she can bike everywhere all the time in NYC, I should be able to do more biking with the kids here in Kodiak".
So I saw an announcment on Facebook about a friend selling a used trailer for kids and jumped on it. That night we drove around the driveway with the kids in it-squealing with delight. The next morning, the day was sunny and I thought to myself "I have NO exuses. If I don't give this a try on such a perfect sunny day, then I'll never do it." I left the house at 8:00 AM sharp, and headed to drop off Stuey first. The Mill Bay hill just about killed me. My stomach started feeling queasy, as it took so much work to pull 80 pounds of kids behind me up the long ascent. To make matters worse (or better perhaps-he made me laugh), Stuey was saying, "mommy, go faster!" I could barely breath or talk.
After dropping Stuey off in the Puffin drive part of town, I headed off with Nora to the baptist mission. Surprisingly, I felt very safe on the road. I stayed on the bike path as much as possible, then near Cutoff Drive went on the road. Cars would slow down way in advance, or stop all together if I made any indication of turning. THere is a little flag on the trailer which helps people see it from far away.
I got to work right at 8:40, and had a client at 8:45 so I didn't give myself quite enough "wiggle room", but overall it went very well! My legs felt very tired last night after picking the kiddies up and returning home. The kids absolutely loved it. They were laughing and talking a lot of the way. When I dropped Nora off at the Baptist mission, she said, "Mom its so neat how you can hear everything!".
My plan is to try to take the kids via bike a few times a week. I'll gain my leg strength over time and it'll be good training for the ecochallenge race in August that I"m hoping to participate in with our 'Pushing Up Daisies' team.
Photos-the top one is of us before we headed off to work. The lower ones are of Patrick and I trying out the trailer with the kids the night before.