‘You’re making everyone smile today” said Nikki. It was true, but it had stuff all to do with me. It had far more to do with the fact that in the box of our bike we had four children singing songs and waving frantically at every passerby as they shared a tupperware full of home popped pop-corn. We were on our way down to the park with our two children and two of their friends who were over for the day.
The bike was heavy but in these situations we simply adopt a ‘we’ll get there when we get there’ sort of approach and as a result were cruising really nicely. Felix was informing the other three of the operations of ‘give way’ signs now that he has become an expert after a trip to the ‘traffic school’ (you’ve never seen such lawbreaking as 30 odd 1-5 year olds). This built into a game of spot the sign though Piper seemed more interested in her ongoing ‘spot the taxi’ game (don’t ask me why?)
What I find remarkable about this however is that it wouldn’t have been possible to transport 4 kids any other way. The whole point of this year was to reduce our impact and have more fun doing it, and that’s exactly what we were doing. We weren’t losing out because we rode rather than drove, we were doing the same thing only better as we burnt ‘daddy power’ not oil.
To do this by car would have taken two cars, as well as a possible exchange of baby seats. We wouldn’t have been able to take everyone together so there would have been no conversation and certainly no sharing of popcorn. The interaction from the adults to the kids would have been minimal as both Nikki and I would have been driving ignoring the children behind as opposed to being involved in the games. Likewise we would have been in different cars so no chats there either. On top of this there’s parking, loading in and out rather than riding straight to our ‘home base’ under the rotunda and the cost on petrol.
Now this is a pretty rare situation and it only works because of the cargo bike and a relatively close park (5.5 km away according to google). But it’s a pretty good reminder that change is not loss and by thinking and acting in a different way, you might just find that there was nothing so great about our busy, consumer, car driven ways after all.