You know that funny moment that you’re “caught” doing something and all you can do is laugh?
Abby drove by us the other day (and captured this lovely photo that just makes the wicked witch song from the Wizard of Oz pop into my head) and it was all at once awkward and funny and I was weirdly embarrassed and joyful at the same time.
I’m not sure why it was weird … or funny … or awkward … because we are on the bike all the time in the summer.
We don’t live far from downtown, and getting on the bike is often just easier and faster than getting in the car.
In fact, I can rattle off five reasons right now why I love my bike (not including that it’s fuchsia and has flowers on it):
(As an aside: this is a rare moment that I am thankful for autocorrect … because until this moment I had no idea how to spell fuchsia.)
1. Exercise. I’m always looking for ways to incorporate exercise into daily life because I don’t love going to the gym. Getting on the bike gives me an excuse to burn off a few extra calories tugging 100 pounds of kiddos and trailer along. Add groceries and it’s 120 pounds! And we live in a valley, so no matter where I go, one direction is uphill. So even if I only go a few miles, I feel like I’ve done something.
2. Loading up is way easier. We’re in that trying time in a young man’s life when the last thing he wants to do is get into his carseat. It doesn’t matter where we’re going, our little guy does NOT want to be strapped in. But the bike trailer? Totally different story. He wants his helmet on. He wants to be buckled in. And he wants to be close to his sister.
(That might not be true for his sister.)
3. Parking. I drive a SUV. (I know that’s not PC, but when you’re carting two big dogs, 2 kids, and large bags of feed for horses, a Prius just doesn’t make sense.) Anyway … parking is
sometimes almost always a bummer. But never on a bike. There’s always space at the bike rack (although Bozeman is a bike-friendly town, so sometimes the racks are as crowded as the parking lots). And if there’s NOT space at the rack, there’s often a street sign that’s easy to tie-up next to.
4. Gas and Money. I drive a SUV. (Do you hear an echo??) It’s summertime. Gas is expensive. So every time we opt for the bike over the car I’m saving a little money and using a little less of our natural resources. It’s cost effective and sustainable. Woohoo!!
5. Safety. Sometimes, when you’re in your car, your smartphone rings. Or you get a beep that you have a text. Or the email notification bings. And then you get to a stoplight and you can’t help yourself so you check it. And then all of a sudden the guy behind you is honking and you look up and you’ve missed the green light and then you think about the car that flipped over on South 19th the other day and wonder if the driver was texting while driving and then want to kick yourself for checking the dang phone. That doesn’t happen on a bike. Because on a bike, your phone is safely in the bag in the back of your bike trailer and you don’t know if it rings or bings or dings or beeps.
And one more for good measure …
6. Exploration and Discovery. I found the perfect color that I plan to paint the kids’ bedroom while riding through town the other day … it’s a gender-neutral shade of blue-ish greenish blue and it’s perfect. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. And now I have to go back and see if I can capture the hue with my camera so I can bring it to the paint store and find a low VOC version of it. But it’s not just paint colors … it’s seeing gardens that our neighbors are planting, happening upon new pastry shops, exploring side roads and alleyways that I wouldn’t think of driving in my car. It’s actually getting to see and know the town we live in.
When was the last time you jumped on your bike and went for a ride?