Brandon took the kids up to Wisconsin last month while I worked on the house (they didn’t need to suffer the lack of hot water), so he had our minivan and I borrowed his mom’s car. It was the nicest, and coincidentally or not, newest car I’d ever driven (a Subaru Forester). I mentioned it on Instagram Stories, and boy do people love them! Tagline: accurate. I was spoiled very quickly. It was super fun to drive and had some novel bells and whistles, so going back to our minivan was a tiny bit of a bummer.
We have been a single-car household for years and we don’t need a new one, yet I found myself researching. Looking at vehicles that we do not need and would rather not spend money on. I enjoy driving more than Brandon (it’s fun for me, just something that needs to be done sometimes for him), but neither of us are particularly interested in car makes and models. Is it reliable? Does it fit our family of five and the things we need to transport? Cool. Run for as long as you can and you’re our car.
I did successfully transfer my ‘must research cars’ energy into ‘must make my bicycle the cutest in the land,’ which I guess is an improvement? It’s far less expensive at least, though I do find my wish list adding up. We live in a very walkable area, and we do walk a lot — more than we drive. But I often find myself walking somewhere and schlepping things home* with tired and sore arms. So why am I not using my bike more? I aspire to be a person effortlessly and stylishly riding my bicycle everywhere (sundress flapping in the breeze), even though mine has mostly spent its time in the garage. And now that Eleanor has learned to ride and loves it, she wants me to join her.
I have what is apparently not a very good bike (I know it is not top of the line and people have not hesitated to tell me so), but I don’t have a lot of knowledge in that area. It’s comfortable and easy to ride, and of course the Liberty of London floral pattern is adorable. I dropped it off at a local shop for maintenance and I’m eager to ride again, but I never did get a basket for it and it is begging for one. Hence my new obsession. Pretty baskets! A more stylish helmet! Do I need panniers and a rack!? And is my bike really so bad? A bike is a bike is a bike to me. I don’t know.
Eleanor is the only one of our kids riding right now, and I found a used Electra for her (a blue argyle boys’ bike from their Gap collaboration). She loves it. August has tried it and it wasn’t his thing, but I wonder if he would be happier to ride with a bike of his own. I keep looking at the Electra kids’ shark bike (he adores sharks), but haven’t purchased because I’m afraid it will be an expensive toy that goes unused.
Someone mentioned loving their cargo bike, and immediately I was like *ding ding ding* that is my dream. Pile the kids inside and off we go! She has an Xtracycle. Doesn’t it look fantastic?
Serena & Lily has a beautiful limited-edition Public C7 bike. Goop has a striped Dutchi Linus 3. They are both so darn desirable, but then so are the standard Public C7 and Linus Dutchi bikes. Throw Electra Townies, Lofts, and Brilliant Mayfair bikes in there too, but honestly, I’m going on looks (all pictured below). What sets one apart from another besides the most obvious features like number of gears, I’m not entirely sure.
Now I appeal to you, oh people that know much more about these things than I do. Knowing that I appreciate style, but do want function along with my form, have you any recommendations? Do I need a Wald basket for bringing home groceries even though wicker is far more cute? Panniers or a big crate, or something else entirely? The bike world is a little intimidating to me as an outsider and I’m not super sure where to look for information. How do I know when/if I should upgrade? I’m not going to be racing or doing trails. I’m going to ride around town and go to Trader Joe’s, and I would like my bike to be cute and comfortable while doing so.
Point this researching energy in the right direction, please!
* I always try to have reusable bags with me, and Envirosax is my favorite. The roll up nicely to fit in my purse, they’re durable, they come in great colors and patterns, and the wide shoulder straps make them comfortable even when filled with heavy things.