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Our First Day of Commuting by Bike

Tue, 03/29/2011 - 10:27PM by hestadalen 0 Comments -

The weather here has been completely wet and wooly, and today was really the first day we could've commuted with our new bike and baby seat. We took a couple rides over the past few days, ducking between hail storms, but today we went for it, riding to the nannyshare and back home again.


First we went from our house to the nannyshare, using a roundabout route to avoid divebombing at 40 mph down super steep Marin Avenue.  This is a little over 2 miles, but it doesn't really count because I do minimal pedaling. There was a lot of "WHEEEEEEEEEEing" to be heard from the peanut gallery behind me, though. Someone's a speed demon.

I dropped the Ulster off, left the Yipp baby seat at the nannyshare, and then rode 1.8 miles to the Bart station, where I locked up my bike and caught a freebie casual carpool ride with a hipster with a mustache listening to Jimi Hendrix in his Jeep Cherokee (wood paneled). I walked about a third of a mile to the office from the dropoff point.

After work I barted back and biked the same 1.8 miles using the awesome Ohlone Greenway.

Then, Uli and I put the seat back on the bike and biked to downtown Berkeley, a little over three miles.

When we got downtown, we waited about 10 minutes for the 67 bus, which takes us super close to our house, and lets us avoid trying to shlep our way up the gigantasaurus hills of our hood. Here's our bike on the bus already. You know what takes coordination? Putting a bike on the bus bike rack while carrying a laptop bag and holding a squirmy infant in one arm. I could've done it myself but the other biker on the bus (you can see him in this photo) helped me get my bike both on and off the bus. Thanks nice biker!

So, in summary, today I biked about 9 miles, more than half of those with about an extra 35 to 40 pounds on my bike (27 pounds of which were in the form of a delightful companion who enjoyed pointing out dogs, children, and trees we passed and trying to say things about them). I also used bike, train, casual carpool, walking, and bus to commute. It took about 45 extra minutes in the evening to get home, and it was a lot more complicated than simply popping Uli in his carseat and driving to work. But it was also a hell of a lot more fun, invigorating, healthy, and interesting for both of us. And I love having extra time to watch Uli explore his world, and to be a partner in those adventures.

I'm looking forward to doing it all again on Thursday.


congrats on your fun and healthy ride! i'm jealous and must start planning an adventure for ginger and i. the baby bike seat we have mounts on the front of the bike, and only works on the bikes of those who are less-height challenged than i. i'll have to check out your system more carefully. please keep this up!



Jen, any time you guys want to do a babies biking tour of the flats let us know! I was tempted by the front seats but Uli's so big that he would've grown out of one very quickly. I was worried it would throw my balance off, but so far it hasn't been that noticeable.



You are the very definition of awesome. I too am a commuter cyclist - although without a child and in a different city (Memphis) - and I was really impressed not only with your ride but with your entry as well. In fact, I have a biking-related blog myself, which I invite you to visit. The URL is www.bikinginmemphis.com. It's always good to hear about (and from) kindred spirits. Cheers.


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