When I first met Jeff in the spring of 2008, two years after I had packed my bags and left Germany for New York City, one of the first things we did together was to buy me a bike. We went to a bike shop on the Lower East Side, and I decided on a yellow Schwinn named “Jenny.” She was the counterpart to Jeff’s old, beaten-up Schwinn Cruiser. It was love at first sight.
We spent our first summer together riding bikes. Everywhere. We rode bikes to City Island, Coney Island, Prospect Park, Central Park, Sandy Hook, and to everywhere in between. Rather than sleeping in on weekends, we would pack our bags and leave early and spend as much time as possible outside, beached out, drinking cold beers at the end of the day. It couldn’t have been a better summer. No wonder I fell in love hard. With Jeff, NYC, and bike riding.
Now, 6 years later, we still love to bike. But our methods of transportation have changed slightly. Gone are the beat-up, beloved Schwinns. Instead, we invested in two gorgeous Dutch bikes, one of them a long-tail which hauls around our two boys (65 pounds combined weight). Jeff is the lucky dude who gets to chauffeur our boys around all weekend long on the bike. I ride a Gazelle, a beautiful but very heavy bike, and I bring along what we need for the day: picnics, diapers, snacks, blankets, baby carrier, jackets, you name it.
When we first started riding with Julian when he was around 11 months old, I must admit I was a bit nervous. New York traffic can get crazy, and cars, pedestrians, and fellow bicyclists alike can’t be trusted. But 2 years later I feel pretty safe. We are always cautious, and Jeff is taking good care of his precious load.
About a month ago we started riding as a family of four. Arthur loves the bike, although he hates getting into the bike seat. I’m surprised he loves it as much as he does, given that this child hates sitting still, ever. Julian loves loves loves bike riding. He points out cars, trucks, and sights all day long. Just this morning on his way to school he said he missed bike riding and maybe we could go for a ride this weekend.
Naturally Julian loves to ride his own bike as well. For his second birthday we gave him a balance bike, and he loved it right away. He’s been riding for a year now, rain or shine, sun or snow, and is super fast on it and can keep his balance really well.
I’m so excited for the summer and for many bike rides and beach days and picnics.