Have you heard how awesome it is to have a bike? Word on the street is that it makes life better, leveling up your transportation game, while aligning your lifestyle with your values of wellness for yourself and the planet. How fun would it be if more people had bikes and our streets turned into big fresh airy bike lanes? Bikes are a beautiful, quiet, sweet lovely YES to life.
When Nymue turned two I bought a new bike. It has been a major life upgrade to the next level of awesome. This bike was one of the best purchases ever, and I want everyone to have one.
Why are bikes the best? Imagine not getting into a car for weeks at a time, but having the freedom of mobility, fresh air, and the good health that comes from regular cardiovascular engagement.
We only get in a car when we need to leave town, otherwise you'll find us rolling around town on two wheels, and here's why:
1. Built-in exercise
How hard is it to get exercise every day as a full time single mom? Easy when you have a bike as your major transportation! I ride up and down the hill we live on several times a day. It's perfect. I have exercise built into my everyday routine with this bike habit!
2. No parking problems
We live in the SF Bay Area where parking can range from tricky to stressful! Not with a bike! There is no price for parking and there is always space for bicycle parking and no parking tickets. Also, with kids, there is often lots of stuff. I can ride right up to the door of where I am going with out having to carry things from my car parking spot.
3. With electric assist, it helps you up hills
Electric assist is the way to go if you have a kid and live in the hills. We haul library books, groceries, and other kids around. I barely ever have the excuse, "I'm too tired to ride my bike," because I can decide how hard I want to work. The electric assist has settings to charge when you go down hills, and works for you the more you pedal. If you don't pedal it won't run on its own by pushing a button. Like a regular bike, you have to pedal. The harder the bike feels you pedaling the more it helps you.
4. This bike carries precious cargo
The Bullitt bike I have is a front loading cargo bike. This means my daughter, Nymue, is lower down to the ground, making tipping over much less likely. She and I can easily chat as we ride. I can see her. She can see the world around her. She can have books, snacks, a blanket, toys, and things she picks up along the way on our adventures.
5. It's big enough for bike pooling
Yes, two kids can fit! The most I have carried is two adults --- dancer yogi people can bend--- and yes, two adults fit. I give people rides often, sometimes even people I have just met. I will give them a ride to their car, their house, or down the street to the next spot. Socially, this bike is super fun. Not everyone has a body that allows them to ride a bike. This bike is cool cause people can ride in the front who can't pedal it.
6. Social yum: the friendly flavor of biking
I knew I didn't want my daughter to grow up in a car - a big metal box that shuts her off from our environment. I want her to know distances, and space. To talk to the people we meet as we go along our day. To be outside, to be able to see, hear, and feel the town we live in in each moment. Bikes are like riding the bus. You get to see what's going on around you and meet people in community during your commute.
7. Riding this bike saves money
Is my bike expensive? Yes. Is driving a car more expensive? YES. It cost me the same amount of money to run a car for one year as it does to buy this bike (think: parking tickets, gas, insurance, and repairs - not including payments). Maintenance on the bike averages $100 a year. Basically I sold my car and bought a bike; this bike is cheaper and better.
I highly recommend a cargo bike for safety, practicality, efficiency, and general awesomeness. Your life will improve if you make this kind of shift. Imagine the adventurous possibilities!
Where do you get a bike like this in Berkeley? Talk to the folks at Blue Heron Bikes on Gilman. They import them from Copenhagen
Do you have a two-wheeler you adore? What do you love about your bike? Let me know in the comments below :)