Cars, bicycles and beauty

cycling-w-childrenUrban living has many challenges! One of those is how to go from A to B if there is more just yourself to transport….

For example, how do you travel with young children and shopping or with bulky items like a surf board?

The website Inhabit features the Madsen Bucket bike as a solution.

I imagine this solution has its limitations in terms of how far you are likely to want to pedal, what to do in wet or cold weather, terrain and speed. On weekends recreation places different transport demands on the commuter than weekday commuting. Also needing to take two children to different schooling destinations could present quite a predicament for the modern parent – especially if  they also needs to be on their way to work in Monday morning peak hour!


5 thoughts on “Cars, bicycles and beauty

  1. Tom Turner

    A charming photograph, which reminds me of an old Mothercare catalogue, which used to have almost everyone wearing white. It would be difficult to re-design American (and I guess Australian) cities for cycling but it would be easy in many parts of North Europe. Denmark and Holland have made the most progress and, one-day-a-long-way-off, I guess it will be done in Britain.
    I often pass a Chinese mum on my way to work who has a 2-child carrier in a covered compartment in front of the front wheel of her bike, so that she can watch to make sure they are behaving themselves. But in Holland they have such an extensive network of car-free cycle lanes that it is safe for tiny children on tricycles to use their own muscle-power to get to school. Remembering how exerted the Chinese mum looks when contending with local winds and hills, I think this is a better idea for the journey to school!

  2. Christine

    I found an interesting field guide to New York cyclists on the net. They are categorised as ‘The Noble Rider’, ‘The Fixed Gear Rider’, ‘The Vintage Bike Fashion Gal’ and ‘The Weekend Warrior’.[]

    Probably not a comprehensive list. I suppose if you were seriously designing cities ie. New York city for cycling you a little more information would be needed about the potential users of the network and their requirements.

  3. Marian

    I feel for the Chinese Mum and the Lady in White. One of the most surprising things about being a new mother is that one changes overnight from a Bright Young Thing to a Beast of Burden. How often do you see a mother with a child in a pushchair, another balanced on the back and packages of nappies, food and cleaning products stuffed underneath? (Even a dog on a lead strapped to the side occasionally).

    Thank Heavens for the recent reintroduction of ‘delivered’ shopping – it wasn’t available when I pushed t’pram up t’hills of South London 10+ years ago. Living out in the sticks now it must make ecological sense to have the nice supermarket man do a delivery of those large anonymous necessities together with deliveries to our neighbours. Fresh things can then be bought from the local butcher and farm shops, of which there is an excellent selection.

    The Kentish roads are somewhat dangerous by bike however. Many of the lanes are narrow, poorly surfaced and fairly dangerous even by car. (I wouldn’t have it any other way of course, it keeps us quiet!) The ancient footpath system is good though, and would be a potentially excellent basis for cycle paths, since unlike many ‘leisure’ cycle paths, they usually take one from a place one might like to be, to a place one might like to go.

  4. Tom Turner

    I think the best policy for old roads is to CONSERVE them, by preventing through traffic from using them. A speed limit of 15 MPH, enforced by merciless average-speed cameras, should do the trick. Since roads are historic features of primary importance, this should be done anyway. If it also makes them safe for cyclists, so much the better. So instead of constantly ‘improving’ (ie destroying) old roads we should build new roads when they are necessary. Even in the Lake District, I think this is the best policy.
    PS Fathers don’t become beasts of burden in quite the same way, I suppose, but they do stop being bright and young, and it is easier for them to keep cycling (as in fact my Mum did).

  5. Christine

    I suppose the difference is when children are born fathers traditionally tended to work more (in the workplace)[] while mothers tend to work less (in the workplace).

    Whether there is a trend to equal parenting or the mark is being overshot with mothers becoming the primary breadwinner is difficult to say definitively.[]

    Not sure whether ‘go-getting’ mothers as the primary breadwinner is a more successful formula for parenting than ‘go-getting’ fathers as the primary breadwinner?


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *