Said photos are usually cute and harmless and kind of fun to look at. For our sake, let’s hope that’s true because the CarFreeDay team is making it a zillion and two right here.
If you ride an Xtracycle, you get used to attracting attention. Add a cute kid and the curious looks ramp up. However not even carrying my beautiful wife (riding side-saddle and dressed to kill) on one of our car-free date nights prepared me for the level attention garnered by a red Xtracycle, cute kid, AND 8′ Noble Fir (with safety blinky light).
As the youngest and I rode up the damp street during one of our typical rain-shower breaks (followed by Mom and the 7-year-old on Xtracycle #2) we observed a soon-predictable reaction cycle from motorists and pedestrians. It went like:
- Ho-hum, a guy on a bike in the rain. (bored stage)
- Wait, that bike has a skateboard on it? (confused stage)
- And a kid? Cute (smile stage because we just made their afternoon)
- Crap, that dude has a Christmas tree! (Either a deeper confusion stage or a preferred euphoria stage — as demonstrated by an occasional shout of “right on!”)
I’ve got to admit that a “right on!” is giving us a bit too much credit — especially considering the whole ride was only around 3 miles and took a lot less effort than our usual Vanagon trip up near Stevens’ Pass to cut a tree with a Forest Service Permit.
For what it’s worth I’m happy to be noticed. 1) it feels good, and 2) If folks see us getting a tree, in the rain, with kids in tow, and having fun – then maybe the idea of parking their SUV and walking to the store a couple times a week won’t seem so daunting.