|Cat's out of the bag - now you know what M & I look like!|
Yes, I added the skirt and the drag make-up to this photo.
I was obviously not going to ride this bike by myself. There was going to be a small child on the back of it when it was in motion, and to make that happen without serious injury I had a lot of gear to purchase. I did some research online and discovered that to gear-up to ride bikes is not cheap. We needed helmets, a toddler seat, someone to install that toddler seat, and a mechanism to mount the bike on the outside of my car, whether it be the trunk or roof of our SUV...all adding up to many hundreds of dollars, so I put off these purchases for a couple months. Then I discovered that a dear friend of mine had a bike too, and she had been dying to ride it with her toddler in tow. I had a biking buddy, therefore I had some motivation.
Our first purchase was the helmets. You would think a kid that has worn a helmet half her life wouldn't mind trying on helmets. Fast forward to me holding her in my arms, pinning her arms down, as the poor guy at LL Bean is trying to fit her for a helmet as she screams her head off. Helmets: check!
Then I went to 5 different bike and sporting goods stores to find a bike seat for M. Finally decided to go to a small local bike shop around the corner (Adi's Bikes on Grove Street) and ordered it special from him. He was the only person not charging me for installation (what up Adi!) and I like to throw small businesses a bone. Two days later we were with the Rolls Royce of bike seats attached to my rusting mountain bike.
Instead of spending $400-$500 to get a hitch on my car (cannot use the strap holder thing with our car) and then a hitch trailer jobby, I just detach the toddler seat shove the bike into our Highlander. We were ready for action!
And today we went for our first adventure. I don't think I have been so nervous for something since my last dance performance in 2004. I should have test drove the bike by myself at some point, but I didn't think to do that of course. We met Mama L and her son X at Castle Island in South Boston (where I used to walk my dog every morning for 5 years), strapped our kids in place, took a few deep breaths and off we went. And like they say, it is just like riding a bike!!
After a few hundred feet we were in our groove, and the kids were loving it. To my great surprise M didn't try to take off her helmet! She was so excited to be going fast and seeing doggies and "burdies" and trees, and having even more fun kicking my bum. And 10 minutes later she was fast asleep, and I was finally relaxed - although my bum felt like I had been riding a horse for hours already!
I called Dada J (who was cool as a cucumber this morning when I left him off at the train) on the car ride home and the conversation went something like this:
Mama: Mission Accomplished!
Dada: Is everyone ok? No one got hurt??
Mama: Of course we are ok! We had so much fun! M loved it!
Dada: Do you realize how nervous I have been?
Mama: What? Why?
Dada: Because you have fallen with her in your arms when you were walking, and ended up in the hospital! And you were on bikes, going fast, by the water...
So now I am looking forward to all of our future biking adventures around Boston! Does anyone have any suggestions about where to go? Next stop France! Watch out Lance...