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Happy family on their Yuba MundoHappy family on their Yuba Mundo
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Sleepy boyNapping on the go.
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Front viewFront view
Happy family on their Yuba Mundo
Tiny Helmets, Big Bike
by Elle Bustamente, tinyhelmetsbigbikes.com
Our family has decided to drive less and bike more. With two wee ones (1- and 3-year-old boys), there are days that I don’t even want to get out of bed, much less leave the house. Surprisingly enough, adding a bicycle into the mix actually gets me out more often, puts a smile on my face, and gives me added energy throughout the day. I now look forward to errands and find excuses to go for a ride (what, we’re out of graham crackers again?). Hauling my boys around is second nature now and for them, putting on a helmet is as normal as buckling into their carseats. In fact, they haven’t been in a car for over a week.
Luckily for me, biking has always been a part of my life. I can’t remember a time I couldn’t ride. However, once I had kids it became harder to find time. We had a trailer for longer rides and the boys were quite happy, but for day-to-day errands it was harder to manage. Then I came across the minivan of bikes: the Yuba Mundo. We set up our new big rig with a seat up front for the little one and a seat in back for the big one. The extra-long cargo rack still has enough room for groceries and our mounds of gear. You have to find the best-fitting bike for your lifestyle; if it’s not comfortable you’re not going to use it. I have found the Mundo to be worth every penny and the savings rack up with every mile pedaled.
Now I want to help get other moms on their bikes. We are the protective mama-bears who will do anything to keep our children safe. We need to channel this passion into making our roads safer for children to ride. I am always surprised when people tell me how impressed they are with my efforts. I don’t feel I’m doing anything that amazing--a couple miles to the zoo, a couple more to the store, and maybe follow that up with a 30-mile loop at the end of the week just for fun (with an ice cream stop, of course). However, to those uninitiated in the joys of biking, I might have just as well said I sent my kids to Jupiter alone.
I am finding that some of the best ways to change families’ perspectives on riding are: Ride and describe--lead by example and show that it’s easier than it looks. Hold some hands--plan shorter trips around the park/bike trails to fun destinations, the more families are on their bikes, the more confidant they feel (confidant riders raise bike-friendly kids who will change the world). Arrange Kidical Mass rides--progressive bike-pools that pick up children to ride to school are a great way to create safety-in-numbers awareness. Show families that you don’t have to wear spandex and funny shoes to be a cyclist, and even those 2-mile trips to the park and back count.
Since I’ve started biking for transportation, I feel like a better mother. I am more excited about each day, and less rushed because the journey becomes as fun as the destination. I am healthier and happier and able to watch the world go by at a child’s pace. We still have days where it is difficult to get out of the house and even days where we can’t avoid taking the car. However, knowing that with each pedal stroke I am creating a better future for my children gives me that extra push.
Thanks for sharing your words of inspiration, Elle!