Saturday, October 1, 2011

En route

Guess what? Day Two after the flu shot, the flu-y feeling is gone. Which confirms my suspicion that The Shot made me feel this way and it wasn't just some-cold-I-already-had-but-didn't-know-about.
So, I rallied on Friday and biked to preschool. It's a little over four miles each way; together the boys and trailer weigh half of what I do. It takes me 45 minutes each way. I feel totally badass on the bike, hauling the boys. (And here, I really need to credit JJ Keith for making me think about things that make me feel badass and why they are worth doing.) But the truth is, my pace ON A BIKE wouldn't even qualify for most marathon RUNNING.  So, after I stop feeling badass (kind of like the minute I get off the bike with a sore butt), I console myself with thinking that doing pickup and drop off on a bike is:

   45 min of exercise 
+ 45 min of exercise
+ 45 min of exercise 
+ 45 min of exercise 
= lots of chocolate chip cookies

And when Noah wanted to go on his own self-powered bike ride the very minute I unbuckled his helmet in the garage, I told him, absolutely, positively NO, we were going to do some baking.

Yeah, that's the problem with THAT kind of exercise. The boys finish it well-rested, while I am barely able to stand (or at least sit on a bike seat). Speaking of well-rested, here's Mattias at 9:15 Friday morning:
Yup, eyes are closed.
It has occurred to me that I could do ONLY pickup or ONLY drop off. Sometimes I have done that.  Usually, I become so indecisive about which one I should do that I end up doing neither.

I like drop off, because it's morning, and I'm one of those people who jumps out of bed smiling. I have a lot of energy in the morning. It's cooler in the morning. I can take a shower when I get home from drop off and then flow into the rest of the day. I don't have to fight for a parking space with all the other car-driving parents doing drop off. Then, I start my day feeling like I already did something great for me and I can focus on the boys for the rest of the day. However, it's kind of bad for Mattias, should he:
Midday pickup is a little more relaxed. It's less stressful because I have less weight (ie, only Mattias) to drag behind me. There are fewer parents at midday pick up than morning drop off, so the parking is less of an issue. It's still pretty much door to door service on a bike. Once we collect Noah (more weight), we can take our time heading home (good!). Sometimes, we stop in a park and have a picnic. The weather is usually a little warmer and sunnier - which can be good or bad at this time of the year. Still, this midday pickup, it eats away at my day. It doesn't flow as well. It feels like a detour instead of being part of the journey. But for Mattias, at midday, it's okay if he:
Also, since I've now done this preschool bike thing 6 times, I would like to say that I much prefer the postwar grid of secondary suburban streets to the new construction, picturesque greenways for biking. The greenways, with their serpentine paths and artificial hilly-ness may be good for the new urbanist flâneur, but they serve no useful purpose for the bike commuting mother with two (did I mention?) heavy children. There's a special place in my heart for postwar suburbia. If you've forgotten - or maybe never discovered - the haunting beauty of postwar suburbia, go read Holy Land by D.J. Waldie. One of my all time favorite books. But I think I'd still rather live in a proper city - it's the Jane Jacobs in me, I guess.

I'm sorry to bore you with these opinions, but once upon a time, I used to be paid to think about stuff like bike trails and I miss it all the time. Although, right now in my life, I feel both fortunate and happy to be able to spend three hours of the day hauling around the boys in a trailer. Really. I do and I am.

1 comment:

Katie (Mama May I) said...

Way to go! Biking the children to school is a goal of mine - a goal that keeps losing to the car. Sigh.