Today, thanks to Family Ride, we decided to bus to the West Seattle Junction and then ride from there to Morgan Junction and back home. Part of the decision to bus was the hills between our house and The Junction. A little more than my legs can take currently. Partly, also, because I wanted to see if I could do it. I knew that if I could get kids, bike, and gear on the bus that a whole world of biking and commuting without my car would open up. The night before I prepared a very small diaper bag with snacks since at the time I had no way to carry a bag other than my shoulder. I threw the messenger bag (diaper dude to be exact) on my shoulder put Gav in his bobike seat on the back to simulate a real ride. Turns out that because I have a very small Breezer Uptown 8 with 2 kid seats I could not fit a bag between Gav and me. Bummed, I called Madi to see if she had a brilliant ideas, which she often does. "Hang a canvas bag over the windshield" was her suggestion. So I took a reusable grocery bag stuffed it with my "essential gear" and wrapped it around Evan's "handlebars" on his Yepp Mini and then stuffed it between those and the windshield. Hopping back on the bike I rode around my block making lots of turns to see if the bag would stay, and miraculously it did! So that obstacle was conquered, thanks again Madi! Feeling satisfied that I had our gear taken care of, I moved on to the next challenge. Figuring out how to put my bike on the bus. Thank goodness for online videos! Feeling happy and strong after watching the videos and practicing lifting my bikes I was ready to commute on the bus! The next morning came and I somehow managed to get us all fed and clothed for our bike ride and bus commute. Naturally, it started raining as I was leaving so I put threw on the boys' newt suits (MEC.ca) and buckled them into seats and helmets. We arrived 2 minutes too late for the bus! Arghh! That meant waiting 27 minutes on the side of the road with 2 small children who were already bouncing off the wall. "Why not just bike then?" some of you ask? Those of you who ask that, have NEVER attempted to bike with 2 kids up these hills! Luckily, the next bus came and I got to practice putting my bike on.
As Gav, patiently waited at the bus sign pole, as instructed and Evan on my back in the ergo, I bravely walked up to the bike rack pulled it down then stopped! What the hell is this black cup like thing? Is my bike tire supposed to rest in it, or what?? Crap! I am frantically trying to recall all of the video last night, and can not recall this contraption! Feeling deflated, I look up through the giant windshield to the bus driver (for those of you unfamiliar with busses and racks-the rack is on the front of the bus) and shyly say, Umm this is my first time to load my bike. Driver then turns off the bus and gets down to put my bike on, while saying "watch this" in a grumpy tone. Finally we are on the bus and heading to meet Madi. Once we are off the bus, with no drama, we meet and the kids play and all is well! Madi dubs us 4 wheels 12 feet!
The next part of the trip is to bike to Aaron's Bike Repair (rideyourbike.com) so I can get my front rack and basket installed. The ride there was great! No problems. All downhill. I even put my bike in the 4th gear, if that is even the right terminology. We get to Aaron's and the kids settle into the little play area that is actually set up with a lego table!
This shop is great! Oh, but wait! Does he have a cat? Crap, not just one but 2 cats!! I think, maybe I don't really have an allergy to cats! Then my body starts itching, my nose itches, my chest feels like I am sucking fire down it! Yep, I guess I really do have an allergy! Shit! Luckily, Aaron tells me he can install my rack and basket while we leave to have a cat free lunch at Zeeks Pizza.
Alf wouldn't have approved a cat free lunch, but I am happy.
After we get back, my bike is still not ready. Turns out, 4 people came in while we were gone and he had to actually help his customers, sheesh! An hour or so later, my bike is ready and we can start home! I tell Madi which way I think she should go after she had already mapped it out and we take off. I get her way more south than she needed to go but she is an amazing sport and happily goes along. After we split ways, me to home, her to the water taxi and home, my kids fall asleep. ON THE BIKE! Evan has his head resting on his weird Seuss like fish pillow from his Yepp and Gav has his head lolling back and forth.
All in all a great day. Looking forward to more rides!