Cycling with Children in the Chill

Due in part to the fact that, in the arctic-like temperatures we have been having of late, The Boy has become more than a little cycling resistant, which puts a real wrench in the works. The cold certainly effects my enthusiasm as well, but I am still willing to drag my sorry butt out there; but dragging the boy kicking and screaming behind me really slows me down, as well as creating a scene.

In Europe they have all manner of devices and accessories that allow one to take one's children, laptops, groceries and what not by bike without getting wet or frostbitten, just one more way in which this country is missing the proverbial boat.
When my son was an infant he rode almost daily in a bike trailer, but now that he is approaching age 12, we find that our options have dwindled to almost nil. Meanwhile, in the time that he has been alive, the rate at which arctic ice is melting has doubled. Doubled. Hearing this fact on a PBS special, my son is understandably outraged, and demands to know when people are going to get it through their heads that they need to change. "When" he asks "are they going to get a brain"
I don't think it's a matter of getting a brain, I tell him, I think it's a matter of getting the courage to change.
What is required here is not information, or knowledge, or even understanding. We got that covered. What is required is our acting on what we know and understand. It requires recognizing that we are not talking about someone els, it is not about "they", it is about "we".
I point out that we have ridden in cars in the past decade, in the past year for that matter. WE need to take responsibility, and we need to stop doing the damage we know we are doing. We need to find a way to ride, even through Oregon winters.
He ponders this, and then watches the PBS images, see the icecaps evaporating through time laps photos taken over the course of his lifetime; from white to barren brown, and open sea. In that moment he understands.
I know this is not the end of this conversation, but it is a beginning

1 comment:

Da' Square Wheelman, said...

Check out what the family-friendly Danes are up to with new bike designs over at
Bicycle Diaries