May 15, 2009
It's not a particularly eventful Friday evening. I made potato leek soup and needed some sort of bread to smother boursin all over. Don needed to go the home depot to exchange some wood stain. We rode bikes in the completion of these tasks and had much fun doing the very mundane!
In between the home depot and grocery place we rode past one of Edmonton's big (but locally owned and operated) bike stores, United Cycle. They have a great outdoor test drive area where I saw some dudes riding tricycles! We stopped to check out what sorts of bikes they have this spring and were very pleased to find a variety of things to suit lots of riding styles and lots of different price points.
There are lots of fancy electras for girls with limited edition paint jobs on them... they're very cute but not really my style. I prefer for my bikes to be simple and elegant, and for the personality dimension to come from myself. However, if a bold & fabulously painted/printed bike makes some girl really happy and excited and gets her riding all over town - go for it!
The tricycles. They were WEIRD to ride. After a few minutes I was already getting used to maneuvering around but I'm not sure if the cargo space on the back really makes up for how strange I found the ride. With two panniers, the rear rack, and a basket I could probably carry the same volume of cargo on either Amsterdam or Pashley. It probably wouldn't look as quaint:) The one I rode was a Trek Pure Deluxe (there is a 1 speed and 3 speed). I think it would be a good bike for somebody who doesn't care about going fast, wants to buy lots of groceries all the time or tow a bigger dog around, and feels safe with 3 wheels. My mom always comments about how she wants a tricycle because three wheels is safer than two. I think it's relative. Since I'm used to only 2 wheels the move up to 3 was strange!
I also don't think I could put a baby car seat in the tricycle's rear cargo. Don would have to come up with some system of strapping it in safely and then all my cargo room would be taken up with baby. I'd probably have to get a basket on top of it all to accommodate any other cargo and my purse.
I was frankly hoping a tricycle might be a good solution to biking with newborn baby. From the research I've done, baby is only really good to go in a bobike when he is strong enough to support the weight of his own head and wear a helmet. That will be about 9 months and WAY too long with no biking for me.
Then there is the trailer option. Some people have said they've strapped their baby car seats into the seat belts in these trailers and baby just rides in its regular car seat... inside the trailer. Then when baby is older it can sit in the trailer on its own. The trailer sounds like a good idea, they're just so HUGE. Even pregnant I can sit in one and fit myself and probably Dougal beside me. I would get a 2 seat one because I'd either be traveling with:
A. Child + groceries/shopping
B. Child + Dougal
C. 2 Children (one day)
I guess if I'm strong enough to ride a Pashley all over town I'm strong enough to tow a trailer. This is going to sound awful but... I find the trailers UGLY. They're so sporty and uh, don't really appeal to my style sensibilities. If I do end up going this route I might need a different bike for towing. I'd rather get a huge, sporty trailer than not bike at all so if that's the way it's going to be... then fine.
Finally, I can tell you what I REALLY want. What I really really want. A nihola. My friend at curbside in Toronto said they're actually fabulous to ride and the cargo space is amazing. Meaning, you can put baby's car seat it it at first, then you can put a bench in there and kid(s) can ride up front. It's designed to hold so much cargo that frankly, even I could sit in the front with baby while Don pedals us around. It seems AWESOME. And also much more stylish than the other biking with kids options that I've seen.
The only real problem is price. It's very expensive because the shipping costs are ridiculous (the nihola comes fully assembled so it's huge). My curbside friend said he's sure I can collect enough baby shower donations to get me a good portion of the way there financially... but so many people oppose my cycling... would they be into that?
Sigh. So many things to keep in mind. At least I've got some time to explore my options. I'm at week 37 so I'm three weeks out till my due date. I'm pretty sure I won't be hopping on a bike immediately after giving birth so I'll see what I can do between now and when I'm able to bike again (with baby). Will keep you updated!