Thursday, May 26, 2011

Joined at last

We have been doing this for nearly nine months.  In that time we have been pitied, dismissed, admired, envied, laughed at, and encouraged.  I have explained, defended, encouraged, and shown why we are doing this and why it truly is important to our family.  But until last week, I have not really felt joined.

Often when I talk to people about our journey they tell me all the reasons why they can't choose this lifestyle. In all the reactions that I thought about before we started this, I never really expected people to feel guilty.  My reaction to this is that I always encourage them to start small.  That not all families can go cold turkey like us.  That we always were committed to living where we work long before we started riding bikes full time.  That this was just a natural progression for us.  But these conversations always leave me a little sad, because it reminds me that for the most part, we are doing this alone.

                                                The Bakfiets parked at the grocery store

It is not like I don't see people on bikes.  I do.  Everyday.  I even have a friend who has started to ride her bikes when we go out to coffee. But I have never seen, in my town, another mom on a bike with her kids going to the grocery store for their weekly groceries or ride across town with her kids to drop them off at a play date/grandparents and then ride off to do something else.  (If you are out there and I don't know about you, please comment because I would love to dialog with you.)  I know that there are other moms committed to this because I read about them on the internet.  I see pictures of them with their children.  I know it can be done.  But here in our little town, we done this journey primarily alone.  That is until last week.
                                                            The Little Guy at the bank

Two moms, one at the Big Guy's school and one at the Little Guy's school, both started taking their kids by bike to school.  They both traveled over 2.5 miles and got there in not much more time than what it took them by car.  Suddenly our conversations took on a whole new direction.  We discussed what are the friendliest roads for biking, how to navigate the more dangerous parts of the city, how to keep our kids entertained without a radio. It was community.  It was bike culture.  It was fabulous.  

We are three and we are mighty. Wanna join us?