Transport by bicycle is both harder and easier than I thought it would be. Somehow, simultaneously.
At times, the weight, wind and topography make it seem like mission impossible to get across town. The weight of the trailer carrying my 35 pound daughter, the lock, the snacks, and whatever it is I feel the need to drag along with me, tends to make me feel like an underappreciated pack mule.
We considered another option for carting around the offspring. It was the holy grail of cycling for transport for us for many months. We fantasized about how we might import one from Denmark, how we might build one ourselves and then finally we found a bike shop in DC that owns one and rents it out.
It seemed like the answer to our prayers. The kiddo is in the front where she can easily be seen and monitored. Theoretically, what one can push might be more than what one can pull? So, we metro-ed into DC and gave it a whirl. Our facial expressions in the photo below tell it all. We hated it! And I could not imagine maneuvering that thing on the hilly rides around Arlington. My thought was, this bike would be perfect for some place really flat with a well established bicycling infrastructure,someplace like, um…Denmark.
Once the fantasy bike faded, I embraced my trailer set up more and more and now I feel naked without it, albeit slightly liberated and faster. This might also have something to do with being alone.
The easy part, you ask? For many of the short trips around Arlington, I can get there in about the same amount of time as I do driving. Especially, if you include finding a parking spot. Also, it is possible to go places you can’t go in a car. I have been discovering nooks and crannies and bike trails of Arlington that I didn’t know existed. Furthermore, arriving somewhere by my own effort gives me such a sense of accomplishment. When I arrive at my destination,no matter how the ride itself went, there is always that “I did it” moment.
I can see this in the expression of my daughter when she first started pedaling on her bike solo. She couldn’t stop smiling as she propelled herself across the church parking lot. I am pretty sure that most of the time I am riding my bike, I wear the same perma- grin across my face. I am giddy and proud.