Thursday, July 29, 2010

Just took the 2 year old for a spin on the Xtracycle to do some shopping. We went about 8km or so, picked up some tomatoes and corn at the downtown market, some grips for the 6 year old's handlebars (I phoned her at her dad's from the bike shop and she chose white - the colour is uber important dontchaknow), and then headed for the east end market, but turned around a block from it because 2 year old passed out in the PeaPod.

The Xtracycle is very, very easy to ride with just the 2 year old. I feel so light and springy on it with just her that I'm getting really cocky and super enjoying the ride. But managing the bike when I'm not actually on it is another story. I don't have the double kickstand, can't justify the price right now ($135 US I believe), so although the single kickstand is surprisingly sturdy I leave one hand on it at all times with the toddler on it. Which makes for some fun times at the outdoor market buying tomatoes, finding money, and digging my shopping bag out of the panniers to load it up and put back in the pannier, all one handed and ready to support the weight should the bike start to go down. I actually did pretty well with that, but getting the bicycle through doors is hilariously unwieldy. I am sure I looked ridiculous going both into and out of the bike shop downtown for example. My strategy is to support the bike, open the door, get myself and the first part of the bike through the door, and then kind of fling it open and yank the rest of the bicycle through before it bangs shut. Ahhh!!!! This is actually pretty doable with nobody aboard the bicycle, but with the toddler on, her weight makes the back end of the bicycle hard to lift up and move, so it's difficult to get a good angle on the bicycle to go through the door without banging handlebars, stoker bars, the 6 year old's foot pegs, and then whatever is in the panniers.

Coming home, she was asleep so I left her in the seat. To get into my building I have to come up a ramp, turn the bike 90 degrees, walk it a few feet, and then turn it as close to 90 degrees again as possible to get in the door. This is hard enough with an empty bicycle and a 6 year old holding the door. But today I had no 6 year old, and the 2 year old in the seat. It took me so long to get thru the first door that an older woman with a walker came to help me get in the second!! But I turned my key, went to open the second door, and... promptly dropped the bicycle!!! Holy bad mama moment. Thankfully I was able to brace it enough to make it fall slowly, and the 2 year old briefly woke up and then went straight back to sleep, still halfway between the floor and upright! She was well protected between the baby seat and her helmet and didn't seem to care. But I freaked myself out so badly that I took her right out of the seat and put her in the baby carrier to go upstairs in my building. The bike was easier to manoeuver, but the transfer to the carrier woke her up and now I am faced with a napless toddler.

Ahhhh!! I sure appreciate automatic door openers, and wish we had them in my building.

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