You’ve probably seen about a zillion Christmas-Trees-on-Xtracycle photos already this year. I mean, everybody is doin’ it.
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.
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