On an ordinary Monday in Melbourne (although it was forecast a balmy 25C / 77degF) the day on our Xtracycle cargobike began with drop-off of the Max-man at kinder. Time for a quick coffee, baby cino and an Anzac biccie at the nearby Abbotsford Convent Bakery afterwards.
Then back home for housework, and playtime in the cubby for Gracie. Distance travelled so far; about 6 kms return + 2 kids. Easy peasy.
Later in the day, after a phone-call from my partner who was at a one-day conference in beachside Elwood, the decision about dinner that night was settled. Fish and chips on the beach. Awesome!
My partner had the car. The options were – after I’d picked up the Max-man from kinder on The Blobinnator (our Xtracycle):
- Ride to a train station, and catch a train to Elwood, + or – The Blobinnator.
- Ride to Elwood, with the kids.
Easy decision, really. We rode, of course.
So it was Gracie (who fell asleep in the Pea Pod anyway), the Max-man and I, that embarked on a little jaunt from the inner Melbourne suburb of Abbotsford, to Elwood Beach: distance 14.73km (7.4 miles), at an average speed of 11.95kmh (7.4 mph). Not far or fast, but it was about 150kgs (330lbs) I was punting folks. It took me 1 hour 13 minutes.
First stop was the St Kilda marina, for a fortifying cafe latte, and juices for the kiddies. Sitting and watching the idle yachting real estate made the effort that much more satisfying.
And the ice-cream at Elwood beach tasted so much better for the effort when we made our destination.
Then after we rendezvoused with Mummy, it was the long-awaited fish and chips on the beach.
Now you might wonder what the fuss is.
Well, when my partner drove to Elwood earlier in the day, it took her about 1 hour. That’s about 12.1kms. In a car. One person, in a car. And at morning peak hour, she was surrounded by a lot of other cars. One person per car.
Later in the day, around peak hour, I rode – with 2 kids – a greater distance, and it took me a little over 1 hour.
This morning, as I was about to throw my leg over The Blobinnator to commute to work, my partner said she would’ve preferred – with hindsight – to have ridden her Xtracycle to the conference. Maybe next time. Although when you don’t know what the end of trip facilities are like, you really might not want to arrive at a conference all sweaty and rank, and nowhere to clean up. And public transport from our suburb to Elwood would have taken up to 2 hours. Absolutely crazy!
Isn’t it nuts that most people choose to drive though, when a bike can do the same job, in much the same time, at the same average speed?
Oh, and there’s that exercise thing too.
If you are a rider and commuting cyclist, and you want evidence for this, download the RiderLog app to your iPhone; the evidence speaks for itself.