The thing I hate the most about being sick is the mental confusion. A simple task such as locating a new address, packing or getting out of bed can be difficult, if not hallucinatory.
Consequently, it was with some difficulty that I made it to our Airbnb house in Fitzroy North. I had stopped at Spokes in Abbotsford to exchange the Gazelle Geneve for the Urban Arrow cargo bicycle. Sean gave me a quick refresher lesson on its use. Soon, I was going around the block to re-acquaint myself with the NuVinci grip shifter and the Bosch motor. I was still nervous about the “set-off.” I was a bit unsteady but I consoled myself that at least the cabin was empty. When setting off in a cargo bike, the first few pedal strokes need to be easy to gain momentum. Otherwise, there is the danger of losing balance. Not good when carrying groceries but awful when full of children, for example, which I have done with my husband Justin’s Yuba Mundo. Of course, in my fever-addled-haze I got lost. Fortunately, Melbourne Crank came to my rescue.
We chatted like old friends and his calm demeanour helped me through. I took a few photos and he directed me to cross Queens Parade which would take me to Michael Street. The house was five minutes away.
I knocked on the front door and was relieved when Justin and the kids opened it. With daylight fading and dinner time approaching, we would need to pick up the other Urban Arrow from Spokes, shortly. We needed both cargo bikes for the cyclocross nationals race tomorrow. Justin and I discussed how to go together. One of us might need to take a taxi. And then it struck him, “Maybe you should get into the cabin too.” I wondered what the weight capacity was. I called Spokes and Jai said that it was one-hundred and fifty kilos. The kids and I would be under that for certain. Justin and I smiled at one another.
He took it a for a test ride to get used to the gear shift as I did. Fortunately, our quiet street ended in a cul de sac. He adapted quickly after nearly tipping over at one point with both kids in the cabin. I climbed in amidst protest from my son who said that it was “too squashy” sitting next to him.
My daughter sat at my feet. And we set off. I recalled the path that our friend Stephen had selected from my trip in June. Delbridge Street to Wellington Street to Gipps Street to Nicholson Street. Not the crappy way that Google Maps took me a few hours ago.
I was navigator and Justin driver as we usually are in the car. The curb came dangerously close to us once but after this, Justin had good control of the cargo bike. It was quite comfortable despite my son’s protests.
At Spokes, I clarified with Sean about how to set-off. He told me that I needed to turn the gear shift to the “hill” position to make it easier to pedal.
With that important bit of knowledge, I was able to take the kids to dinner at El Chino in Fitzroy North. Stephen joined us for dinner. Justin rode the Urban Arrow “Bicycles” upon which Gary had installed two Thule mounts.
Unfortunately for me, I lost all sense of taste midway through the meal. My congestion had returned.
Two tired kids later, I took them back to the house and put them to bed. Justin and Stephen arrived a little later with eggs and milk for breakfast the next day. They began the process of assembling the bicycles for tomorrow’s cyclocross race. I was ready to drop and considered sleeping with the kids but they finished and Stephen went home not long after. And I had snagged my tights. After a tumultuous day, shower and sleep.
Sarah: J.Crew dress, coat, scarf, Cartier Santos, Yakkay helmet, Aerosole boots.
Justin: Levis Commuter t-shirt, jacket and jeans, Outlier vest, North Face backpack, Giro helmet, Redback boots, Urban Arrow c/o Spokes Bicycles http://www.myspokes.com.au.
Julius: Cotton-on-Kids shirt, Children’s Place cords, Clarks sneakers, GapKids jacket, Nutcase helmet.
Ofelia: J.Crew t-shirt, jacket, jeans, boots, Limar helmet.
Melbourne Crank: Suit and shirt by Sarti, Bartelesi shoes, Marc Jacobs sunglasses, Gazelle Primeur, Basil Route Shopper Bag.