Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Where do I start?

If you're like me, then you love your bikes.  You whiz around Boston never worrying about being stuck in a traffic jam or allowing for extra time in your commute to account for finding an elusive parking space.  You've discovered Boston in a way that is not possible by any other means of transportation.  Biking has become your lifestyle.


Then one day...


You are blessed with a tiny, wailing human being.  It's January.  Relatives buy you a car seat. You're stuck, back in the drivers seat, enviously watching others pedal past.  The good thing about being stuck in a traffic jam is that it allows plenty of time for one to contemplate and establish goals.  When I found myself in this predicament, my first and foremost goal was to discover a means to extract my child and myself from relying on automobiles.


We experimented with public transit, for awhile.  There is a bus stop at the end of my street and an extensive subway system three miles away.  It wasn't for me.  Seemed to me that people were reluctant to give up their seat for a father carrying a baby.  Buses sway a bit and I found keeping us upright on a moving bus to be a dealbreaker.  We went back to the car. 

I'd researched ways to strap my little girl to my bike, but she was too small, at the time, for most of the available options I'd found.  Beginning a bit past the age of one, I'd found a way for my daughter and I to ride together.  She's going to be five years old in a week and we ride together year round.  She loves it.  An effective discipline method is suggesting she shape up quick, else she'll have to ride in the car.  Our family has grown.  There are now two little girls.  We've bought and tried many products to enable us to ride together: a Topeak Co-Pilot II, a front mounted BoBike seat with a wind screen, a WeeHoo Trailer, a Burley Piccolo, a Strider bike, a 16" bike with training wheels, and most recently, a Cetma Largo.


In this blog, I'll share stories about what products and setups have worked and didn't work for us.  I'll also share some of our adventures.