Two weeks ago, I finally did it: on a sleepy Sunday afternoon I
brought my bike in to Wastyn Cycles bike
shop on Fullerton and Western and asked them to kindly set my
pink Schwinn 3-speed up with a baby seat.
My poor bike had been collecting dust in the basement for more
than a couple of years. After the birth of my baby girl in late
2009, I put biking on hold. Mainly because every time I'd expressed
my desire to get myself (and her!) back on a bike, I was met with
the usual "You're crazy!"s and "In Chicago?!? Too
But you've heard it once from me and you'll hear it a million
other times: Life is too short. I'd always wanted to ride with my
baby girl on my bike, and I'm a city dweller so it will have to
been on the crazy streets of Chicago. My son, 10, also adores bike
riding, and has been begging me to get my bike ready to go on trips
beyond his limited neighborhood jaunts forever. So the friendly
folks at Wastyn's set us up with a fancy
Topeak bike seat for baby Chiara and matching pink mother and
My nervousness faded as soon as I pedaled away with Chiara in
her bike seat and my son trailing behind. Freedom!
Since that first ride, there have been many others. Today we
rode for about two hours from our home to the lush green expanse of
Humboldt Park. We biked over bridges, stopped to look at the ducks
and geese, circled the ponds, stopped to play at the park. We rode
into Bucktown for a sandwich lunch at Sacco Bruno, then biked on
home for naptime. It was a lovely morning, but boy are my legs
Funny that Chiara, my almost 2-year-old, is terribly restless in
her carseat but loves her bike helmet and sits peacefully in her
bike seat. She points out the passing trains, dump trucks, and
sometimes brings along her dolly for the ride. My son downloaded an
app on our phone so we can see how many miles we've biked; He's
eager to go farther and farther afield. My husband is going to get
in the game too--he's looking for a new bike this weekend.
Exploring the city with the wind blowing at my face and my kids
having a blast (and getting some exercise!) alongside me -- does it
get any better than this?
Amy Bizzarri is a mom of two living in Logan Square. She also blogs at tiramisumom.com.
See more of Amy's stories here.
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