Dexter's Commute.

November 28, 2012

Active Pedestrian

When it came time to choose a preschool for Dexter, I had the choice of going to my neighbourhood place just a few blocks away (major league convenience). But, I also applied at this other preschool about a 10 minute ride away (20-25 min walk) because it had an afternoon class.

Now, everybody is going to think I am a huge baby because it's challenging for me to get my kid to school with his coat off for 8:45 am. But I know this about myself... I am not a morning person. Especially not when wrangling an unpredictable 6-month old at the same time.

Since Don and I both work until quite late, by the time I am finished with teaching I basically have to tend to baby Alice and put Dexter to bed immediately. We don't have much in the way of quality time in the evenings, and since I am teaching for large chunks of the day, that time is gone too.

So mornings become our family time. We wake up leisurely and get ready. I have a coffee and get Dexter his breakfast. If we're not in a rush to get anywhere sometimes we have special pancake mornings. I get baby Alice down for a nap and get ready. It suits our current schedule just perfectly, even if the school is farther away. I am all about that afternoon class.

It also forces me to ride my bike. Even in the winter.

Tire Pressure

Now, the first week of riding wasn't all that bad. We got a pretty big helping of snow right off, and my general rule is that I don't bike on the first day of a big snow. Too hairy.

But I was on the bike the next day, and although more challenging, it was still fun! Dexter likes to remind me to seal the flap so that he can stay warm.

Happy Passenger

Though, I think my tires may have a slow leak or maybe something with the colder temperatures is happening. One day last week I biked with incredibly flat tires and it was a pretty intense workout. Ice. Snow. Bumps. Snow hiding ice. Windrows. Frozen tire treads. Cars driving around in a huge rush and not noticing there is a bicycle on the street. It was less straightforward than it usually was.

Funny, how it's the conditions of the road (unpredictable and varied) that are the most vexing. The -10C to -15C (5F-14F) temperatures don't really bother me at all.

Winter Wheel

I bid Don to pump up my tires (those of you who read this blog frequently will know that I am somehow horrifying at pumping up tires) and the next day.


The cycling, in the same bumpy and slippery conditions was at least 30% easier. Thank goodness. Confidence restored. Back at it!

I'm still ironing out some issues with biking with the trailer in the winter. This is my first winter biking with 50-60 lbs trailing behind me and it's definitely more work than solo biking. Generally speaking, I think I've just got to keep my tires the correct pressure, and I need to just keep doing it so that my cardio level can match that which is required for winter commuting with a trailer in the ice and snow.

The increased cardio aside, I'm really happy to have something built into my day that makes my body work! No gym membership required over here. If you see me show up panting somewhere, with a runny hose, you'll know what's up.

How is winter cycling for you guys?


Anna said...

So far so good in Chicago! We haven't had a major snowfall yet so it is just a matter of dealing with the cold. - Anna

Trevor said...

Hi Sarah..
Greetings from the UK.
I have only just discovered your blog and have been catching up on your previous posts...
As I am interested in all aspects of cycling I have now joined you as a follower...
In turn I would like to invite you to visit my blog: and become one of my followers too...
I look forward to reading more of your posts in the future...

Ainsley Wiles said...

I have only had a couple of frosty mornings, but nothing too cold. My office moved and doubled the length of my commute though. That and having an unpredictable 3yr old and an 8 week old makes things very interesting.

Anonymous said...

Miss Sarah,

I'm gift idea stumped, so I came here. I was hoping you could tell me what photo editing software you like to play around with, if any. Ive alays admired your shots, and since I'm looking for a gift for a new SLR camera owner, I knew you would have tons of experience. I will chack back to see if you have posted a reply.

miss sarah said...

Anna - Stay warm!

Trevor - Thanks for visiting, I hope you continue to enjoy the archives and future posts.

Ainsley - Toddler + Baby. I hear you. People tell me this too shall pass. I am sad you aren't here so we can weep silently on the inside and hold hands (no sarcasm).

Anon - Hi! I'm glad you like the photos! I am currently only using boring old iPhoto and I'm actually not that big a fan. My friend uses lightroom, which seems amazing, but is a little steep in price for my every day hobby needs. Don tells me we might look into a baby version of InDesign, for photos (sorry, blanking on the name now). Good luck!

Josette said...

I am totally inspired by your lifestyle! I am wondering how you manage with the snow banks on the roads. Do you ride on the sidewalks? How is it turning corners with the trailer behind you? I bought a Yuba Boda Boda a few months ago and have been riding it all Fall, loving how simple it is to ride with passenger and all our stuff on the bike. But now that it's getting colder I'm finding my preschooler getting too cold to ride on the deck. Your trailer situation seems great for the cold and snowy weather. And I love those burgundy moccasin boots you got!

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