It has been a busy week! It started off with a celebration of my Mom's birthday with a family dinner at a nearby restaurant. My Dad had the idea to treat us all to dinner and the restaurant they chose just happened to have a location a few blocks from my house, so I suggested we hold the dinner there so me and the kids could walk. I figured since I was always the one driving out to them whenever there was an occasion, (most of my family lives in their city, which is only twenty minutes away from me) maybe they would be okay with coming out to my neck of the woods, and they all did. So far my family has been great and supportive of my move from driving to biking/walking. I do get the occasional "Really?! You're going to WALK to the store? Isn't it a little far, with the kids and all? I mean, it's almost 6 blocks each way" and to that I just kind of chuckle, and then realize that used to be my mindset as well. It's been almost 2 weeks since I took the insurance off of my minvan and parked it, and I still haven't had one ounce of regret. I walk past my van everytime I leave the house and I've yet to look at it with any longing or wishful thinking. Instead, I look at my bike trailer as my new car. I've made two grocery trips with it so far, both walking trips, and I am in love with it. If anyone is looking to buy a bike trailer I highly, highly recommend the Croozer 535. With Gabe in it, I can fit all of our groceries and it's still super light and manageable to push home. Some grocery stores are a little more difficult to maneuver it in which can be a bit frustrating. The Real Canadian Superstore (or Loblaw's) is great and I have no issues with the Croozer there. Other stores like Safeway leave me with an inch of clearance going through the store doors, and I have to use the wheelchair checkout, but other than that it's a dream. I think the best part of it though is the fact that we are getting outside and walking more as a family. No more excuses about not being able to carry enough stuff in an umbrella stroller, or not being able to go out when my daycare kiddies are over. Parking my van has actually given us more freedom (I didn't ever drive daycare kids), which I wasn't sure was possible.
The other day my Mom stopped by so I could go to an appointment and I of course rode my bike there. It was a 20 minute ride in each direction and it was a mostly cloudy, slightly cooler day which was fantastic. When I was headed home I got to an intersection where the light was red. At that intersection I encountered my first "grumpy driver". I was stopped at the line, waiting for the light to turn green. I "took the lane" (instead of remaining to the right of the lane, I hugged the left of the lane) while waiting because just through the intersection I had to turn left onto a dead-end side street. A woman pulled up behind me in a car and instantly laid on her horn because she wanted to turn right and I was in her way. We had a very short conversation that consisted of her telling me I shouldn't be in the middle of the road, and me telling her that I was where I should be. Our conversation was only about 15 seconds long and ended with an eye roll and a "WHATEVER" from the driver. To be honest, as short-lived as it was, it did shake me up a little bit. It was only my second time being on the road with cars, and she was pretty upset with me. More than anything I think it caught me off-guard because I was really hoping that I wouldn't have any kind of encounter with a driver, ever. I suppose that was wishful thinking. I think it taught me to really prepare for everything while on the road, and it also taught me that drivers really aren't aware that the rules that apply to them apply to cyclists as well.