Car Free Dates

We’ve been on vacation and have a lot of catching up to do on the blog, but in the meantime here’s a joint post…

Ridin’ through Fremont post car-free-date

Tonight was one of the rare occasions where we got a sitter and had some grown-up time out. Tim is a total tightwad and it kills him to pay a sitter, but Anne keeps him honest (and I thank her for that -tk). We see so much of each other that sometimes it’s hard to imagine that we’d need to go out on a date, but the truth is that a little quality time together is essential. When you have 2 kids, sometimes it’s necessary to buck up and pay someone to watch them for a few hours.

Anyway, we decided to grab a beer and go to a movie. In the couple weeks since the longbikes have been built we’ve been driving less and less. It was a beautiful evening and we both just assumed that we’d ride. No discussion needed – we just knew. This meant we chose our movie partly because it was in a location where we wanted to ride (Ballard, down the Burke-Gilman trail). This also meant Tim the tightwad couldn’t use the free movie passes we had downtown but that would have meant firing up the car — not so free after all, or taking the bus (longer babysitting hour$ so even less free).

So we hopped on our longbikes and rode on down toward Kings Hardware and Ballard Ave. Both of us have been riding bikes for years. We’ve got the shoes, the sunglasses, the gloves, the shorts, the everything. The nice thing about cargo bikes is that you don’t feel compelled to drag all that into the picture. You just don a helmet and hop on the bike as-is (lovely Dansko sandals and all, in Anne’s case). It’s a really freeing feeling. What you lose in speed you gain in reduced hassle factor (and anyone who knows me knows I’m the master of hassle factor).

It took us about 25 minutes to get to Ballard. Maybe five minutes longer than driving and parking, maybe a tie if parking was tight or we had to wait for a drawbridge. Plus we got some exercise, talked, and enjoyed a light evening rain shower (not enough to even dampen us and it smelled great).

Once there Tim bitched a bit about Ballard’s lack of bike racks (c’mon folks look around. Lots of people ride bikes in this part of town and they need a place to put them) but probably would have bitched even more about parking.

We ended up skipping the movie in favor of a more relaxed evening of beers and dinner with friends, and then hopped on the xtracycles for the trip home. It was a beautiful night — we got some compliments “cool bikes,” popped into PCC to pick up some fruit for the kids lunches (and ice cream, but that’s OK we did exercise on our date), watched the freaks come out: “WHOOOOOoooo….take back the roads, ” screamed one dude as we rode up University Ave), and generally enjoyed another 25 minute ride. Just as we turned the last corner for home, Anne summed up the feeling of the car free date:

“Sometimes I wish I could go back to college and live in the dorms – life was so simple then. At least I can still ride my bike around at night – I used to do that a lot in college and it’s just as fun now.”

-Tim and Anne

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