I have owned a few bicycles over the years. There was the new silver blue racer my brother helped me put together when I was nineteen. It was a pretty thing, fast and light as a feather and was stolen within two weeks at university. It was replaced by a rusty, steel-framed racer covered in old, ripped stickers that saw me through the next four years with its robber-proof lack of panache.
Then came a mountain bike birthday present from a boyfriend which I replaced symbolically when we broke up with a lovely one I saved and planned for with specially chosen tires and a well-researched seat. I rode this one till I was pregnant, developed pelvic instability and couldn’t hoike my leg over the straight bar anymore. It was replaced by a free-to-a-good-home, step-through bike and we travelled the years of toddler seats together.
Now that my kids don’t need strapping into a seat, my travel companion is a cargo bike, slow and steady. It helps me leave the car at home to do those everyday toting kinds of errands. It can take the library books, school bags and groceries. It can get two small people plus school bags to gymnastics after school. It can even transport my crafty gear through the neighbourhood.
With a little, rough DIY using a bit of plywood, my son’s rusty saw and some varnish from the dark recesses of the shed, I even managed to attach some running boards to the cargo frame to strap my sewing machine to. Now I can ride along the creek to our bi-monthly craft afternoons at the local scout hall.