Introducing…

Meet Eleanor…she’s my “newish” bike.

Eleanor

At first, I didn’t like Eleanor. She wasn’t my ideal bike.

As a kid, I rode a mountain bike. An Allegro Ground Control. We were inseperable. Traversing the North Shore trails, blazing through massive mud puddles down by the train tracks and riding over Lions Gate Bridge to Second Beach Pool. This was all pre-helmet laws and before the safety barrier was installed between the roadway and the sidewalks.

Then it was stolen one night from the house that I was babysitting at.

I was devastated! Mum got me a replacement under our home insurance. A Diamondback Topango, but it wasn’t the same. The new bike and I never bonded so my sister inherited it.

Ten years ago, hubby bought me Eleanor as a gift. We live in a condo with no bike storage available, so she was sadly tucked away into our off-site storage locker.

Isn't she a beauty!

She’s, what I call, a “lollygag” bike. A lollygag bike is a bike that you take on leisurely rides, not a bike to take on the trails in the local hills, like I used to do. It’s got a “big bum” seat, goofy handlebars and a droopy “crotch bar”. All technical terms, clearly.

Hubby reminded me that we now have kids and “lollygagging” is what we do. Enjoy the moment, take in the scenery and don’t be in a rush. Plus, we also have a bike trailer (that has also been in storage for four years) that we can use for lazy tired kids, park toys or even picnic gear.

Today, the wee lad and I took Eleanor and the trailer for their inaugural ride.

The inaugural ride.

 

The set-up took a bit longer than necessary as I needed assemble my front tire, attach the trailer, adjust my seat height and inflate the tires to proper firmness. Once all systems were a go…away we went!

Wobbly at first (I hadn’t ridden an actual bicycle in over 30 years, only stationary exercise bikes), but I composed myself and the swerving along the path stopped. Little dude thought that this was hilarious, but cheered me on with, “You’re doing great Mum!”

Our ride lasted about an hour and we had a blast! I can’t wait to get out again…with or without the kids.

 

Bike un-friendly condo living. #YMCCommunity

Spring has sprung…at least in Vancouver, BC.

The flowers are blooming, the temperature has been in the double digits for a few weeks now, people aren’t wearing winter parkas and boots and bicycles are out in full force.



I have a bike. However, it has been in storage at a not-so-close storage facility since my husband bought it for me, six years ago. Parked right beside it, is his bike and the bike trailer that we bought for our kids two years ago. 

Why are they in storage, you ask?

Because we live in a condo building. And this building does not have a bike room or enclosure, so that we can keep our bikes at home. It used to, but a former resident and their flat mates frequently “borrowed” parts from fellow residents’ bikes to repair other bikes for resale or to sell the parts. Hence the removal of the bike room and spoiling it for the residents who did have bikes in there. We also have a bylaw preventing us from parking our bikes in our parking stalls.

We now have no where to keep our bikes at home. Our deck is too small to accommodate two adult bikes, a child bike, a tricycle and a bike trailer, so only the child’s bike and tricycle reside with us.



I’ve emailed our strata council, inquiring about re-installing a bike enclosure or polling the current owners to see if there is interest, but I don’t think it will happen. The demographic of our building doesn’t seem to be made up of “bike people”.

I miss riding a bike. It’s been at least 25 years since I was last on one. I want to get out with my kids and teach them to ride their bikes and go for fun rides together. I know that we would use our van way less if we had our bikes at home. I’ve recently discovered cargo bikes. These bikes are pretty awesome looking! We could grocery shop or pack up our gear and head off to the park for the day. I seriously want to get one, but again…where would we store it? 😞



Do you live in a multi-family building? Does your building have bike storage for the residents?