Bicycle Belle

Car free in the snow

You may have heard that New England got some snow last week,  and we’re getting another 10 inches or so while I write this.   Last week, in preparation for the storm, The Scientist left his car at work, where he has a covered parking spot,  and it’s been there ever since. Between the parking emergency, and the fact that people can’t or don’t move their cars after a big snow, it was just too much trouble to park the car in our neighborhood.   This means that for a week now, we’ve been a car-free family, and until Saturday, we were a bike-free family too.

Fortunately we live and work fairly close to T stations,  and although the sidewalks have been treacherous, with good boots and an “all terrain stroller”  we’ve been mostly able to get around within a limited range despite the giant snowbanks.   But by the end of the week,  we were in dire need of fresh groceries,  and stuff that was too big to bring home from the store by stroller/backpack.

While getting the bakfiets out the front gate, is for the time being a non-starter (the snowbank is too close to the gate to make the turn out),  it was reasonably do-able to get out Gilbert, and the temperature was almost 20 degrees, no wind and sunny.  So I dug out a path to the bike shed and headed to the grocery store.

IMG_6918

It was really nice to get a bit further out of our neighborhood for a change, and I got some badly needed fruit and veg.  The little one is really into shredded cheese (she doesn’t like slices or cubes of cheese for some reason)  and so we’ve been buying it pre-shredded.  However thanks to the Super Bowl,  there was no shredded cheese to be had !  I may have been the only person in the store buying non-alcoholic beer.  Hey- nursing mother!  And it’s not bad if you get the German stuff.

IMG_6915

My shopping complete, I loaded up, bags full and overflowing into basket and top of rack.  While I was packing up, another guy came down and got on his bike. While I was dressed in a (wool) skirt, boots, and a trench coat,  he was geared up, with special spats on his shoes,  tights,  neon parka and ski goggles.  We didn’t look like we were riding in the same climate, let alone the same city.

IMG_6916 I’ve got to say this is about as much load as Gilbert can carry-  There was a bit of a shimmy and steering was a bit wobbly.   But it’s groceries for most of a week for a family of three (2-1/2) so I can’t complain too much.  And I made it the just over a mile home just fine.

So while I’m not super excited that we’re getting another 10 inches,  we’ll continue to deal with it-  commuting by T and by foot as the weather allows.  The Scientist could bring home his car,  but I’m not sure it would be any easier, once you factor in the hassles of parking it.  Hope everyone is reasonably warm and happy whatever the weather in your particular neck of the woods.