It’s a Pedal Party!!!!
By: Imogen Church
Published: July 11, 2017 (Updated: July 11, 2017)
Hello again! I thought I would fill you in on a bit of our recent gallivanting, particularly pertaining to parent power and all things relating to small ones. I certainly know that a lot of parents I talk to can’t understand how we can have small children without a car, so I shall tell you a few our of recent adventures that debunk that theory…
Our small one is of the age (5) when parties are ragin’. I’m talking MASSIVE presents, tons of balloons, so much cake it could bloat a whale and some seriously awesome outfits. And that’s just me. We were recently invited to a party a couple of miles out of the city. I’ll be honest, my first thought was “Oooer, it’s past the outer-ringroad, what if I get lost, what if I end up in the wilds of the Norfolk countryside with nothing to sustain us but poisonous berries and nothing to protect us but a semi-tame fighting badger!? Turns out, Google maps thought otherwise and told me it was pretty much a straight line and should only take us twelve minutes by bike. Also turns out that you CAN cross major roads like the Norwich outer-ringroad because the council have thought about you and put in crossings with lights and everything especially for you! The 8Freight easily accommodated both my small one and present and I even looked party-ready in high-waisted culottes and vintage top (see Cycling Fashion blog)! We cruised along very nicely, my son had a great time, as usual everyone admired his ride and then there was room for him to spread out and nosh his party bag cake and sweets on the way home. We even tied a balloon to the frame! Yeah baby! Of course I could have got the bus but it would have taken far longer and cost money. Money I would rather spend on a How To Tame Your Badger course. Because you never know.
He is also of the age when after-school play dates are starting to happen and so I offered (to our guest’s GREAT excitement) to cycle both she and he home in the 8Freight together! At once! Two five year olds! In the back! You thought Wonder Woman had killer thighs…. for further reasons why an 8Freight is good for you, please refer back to my blog on sweat and the health/vanity perks of a cargo bike. To give full credit to Mike Burrows' engineering, I fully expected to have to push the bike up the two hills to our house but, although it was obviously harder work, I managed without having to disembark and BOY did I feel strong afterwards. I mean initially the legs were a bit like jelly, but very soon after that I was feeling ready to take on the world. Or kick-boxing. Or hot pants. Both kids sat in the back giggling, talking, eating snacks, and (after me asking them not to hurl themselves from side to side) were amazingly well behaved! It was a unique and very sought-after start to any play date!
As you can probably imagine by now, heading off to the pool in the 8Freight is so easy! There is tons of room in the back for bags and towels and the only possible inconvenience I can think of is that, if you don’t dry your hair post-swim, you then have to put your cycle helmet on over wet hair. If that’s enough to put you off saving tons of money and the environment by going Cargo Bike, then we’re done here….. *calls upon her fighting badger*
Our small one is very keen on his balance bike and is already good at riding a pedal bike, so there are days when he really wants to cycle himself to school. Initially, I followed him, slowly coasting on my road bike or Pashley, all the way to school and then home. We soon realised that cycling both to and from school, on top of a school day, was too much for one so young, so now, I coast quietly behind him on the 8Freight while he cycles himself to school, making sure he is keeping safe. Then, when I have dropped him off, there is room in the 8Freight for me to put his bike in the ‘bucket’ and cycle it home. Meaning he can just relax and take in the view on the homeward journey. In fact, this morning, he got tired on the way in and so he AND his bike sat in the back as I cycled them both to school. And one of the great bonuses of making your children so bike aware so early on is that he is also a far more aware pedestrian than lots of others his age. His road awareness is way beyond his years and our other (not so little) sprog was one of the only ones to pass her cycling proficiency in primary school for the same reason (she was molto proud). The best way to keep your children safe is not to avoid road awareness by keeping them locked away in a car, but to actually teach them how to use roads and keep themselves safe. And our little one was stopping and checking for cars of his own volition by the time he was four! Help keep them safe! Help keep them healthy! Help keep them the kid with the coolest transport system there is!!!!
Car? GO BIKE!
Until next time…
Imogen and Family