Toth is getting along with his bike-turned-glide-bike, but I don’t think it’s going to be an overnight success. He has rolled along with the family on a couple of outings around town, but gliding with no pedals is not necessarily faster than walking, at least not so far.
Since our old way of traveling with the youngest in tow, the bike trailer, remains broken and unreplaced, this presents some travel challenges for car-free family. For instance, starting yesterday, the kids are signed up for daily swim lessons at a nearby health club. The past two summers, we rode bikes there, but now I didn’t really want to bother with bikes if it wasn’t going to speed us up. Besides, I thought Toth might be tired enough to fall asleep on the way home, so I wanted to bring the stroller.
I sometimes get quizzical looks from other parents when I push around my soon-to-be-kindergartener in a stroller. Yeah, um, I don’t care. I’m thinking that folks who arbitrarily declare that kids are too old for strollers at X age probably don’t walk as many miles as we do in a day, or need to haul groceries, swim bags, etc. Also, it’s just sort of, what’s the phrase? None of your business. That.
Before walking to swim lessons, I checked Google Maps to see how long it should take us. Google estimated 25 minutes, and since little kids walk slow, I doubled that. Then I panicked, because swimming lessons were starting in about 45 minutes and the kids were just putting their suits on. I whipped them up into a state of mild panic, herded them out the front door, and we took off power walking across the school playground to cross the bridge to Bay Farm Island.
I’ve found that Google Maps bike times are usually shorter than I can manage, but lucky for us, the walk time estimate was a bit long. We managed to get to the club in just 20 minutes, leaving us plenty of time to get situated at the pool before lessons began. And now that I realize we can walk there so quickly, I kind of don’t want to bother with opening the garage, getting out the bikes, and then locking them up when we get there.
Now that I think about it, it’s silly that I was worried about how to get to swimming lessons without biking. It’s only 1.3 miles. But in my experience, a new route always feels far until you’ve done it once.