The Solution to the Mistaken Check-Out TIme

We all make mistakes. It’s human to misunderstand, to mis-hear, to be momentarily distracted. I try to learn from my mistakes. I find that it is a very American trait especially when starting out in the corporate world. I made mistakes while working that I never made again.  Fortunately, my mistakes weren’t too serious. I confessed and we all moved on.

Things get a little harder when you’re a parent. It’s one thing to drop a glass of wine on the floor and another to drop your infant daughter. My husband Justin did this once. I did something similar about six months later. I was lying in bed with my daughter and she rolled off our bed. She is fine despite these mishaps. We dropped our son a bit less.

veloaporter stylish cycling cycling in heels women on bicycles Urban Arrow cycling with kids
We are a hardy species. These two parents who are hard at work to depart from the CX race on Saturday also dropped their children when they were babies.

When we were in Melbourne for the Cyclocross National Championships the other weekend, I had mistakenly assumed a flexible checkout time for our Airbnb house in Fitzroy North. We woke up about 8am, had breakfast around the corner and returned to pack.

veloaporter stylish cycling cycling in heels women on bicycles Urban Arrow cycling with kids
Unusually on foot for a change but Mitte was just around the corner.

 The kids were playing upstairs. Justin was disassembling the bicycles. Unfortunately, he was moving slowly because he had bruised his ribs at the cyclocross.  When I called the caretaker to inquire if it might be possible to leave our giant bicycle bags and other assorted luggage in the house while we stepped out for lunch, I was told that it wasn’t possible. Checkout time was 11am.  It was now 12:20pm. The caretaker was coming to clean at 1pm and the next guests would be arriving at 2pm. Our friend Stephen was coming over at 12:30pm. We had planned to have lunch together at a cafe. We had to think fast.

I thought of calling Spokes Bicycles in Abbotsford to ask if we could store our things at the shop. It would mean asking our maxi taxi driver to come within a few minutes to take our things and the kids. We could then have lunch around the corner from the shop.  We rejected this idea because there were too many moving pieces and Spokes was packed full of bicycles.

Justin suggested shifting everything to Stephen’s place and then having lunch. But how would we move everything to his place? We initially thought of a maxi taxi again but then it hit me. We could use the Urban Arrows!  Stephen arrived. I asked him if we could take our luggage to his place as we needed to checkout from this house earlier than expected.  He was happy to accommodate us and our gear. It took a moment to decide who and what would go first. Initially, we thought Stephen would ride the Urban Arrow to his house. We reconsidered as he hadn’t ridden the Urban Arrow and it was a very heavy load. I would ride it and follow Stephen to his house.

veloaporter stylish cycling cycling in heels women on bicycles Urban Arrow cycling with kids
The look of relief on my face is obvious upon arrival at Stephen’s house.

Justin hadn’t yet disassembled his Speedvagen but had finished with Ofelia’s bicycle. All of the kids belongings and my clothes were packed up. As a result, we placed Ofelia’s bicycle and a suitcase in the Urban Arrow “Kids”. Stephen and I would come back for the kids and the smaller bags while Justin packed his bicycle. He would take the Speedvagen in its case on the Urban Arrow “Bicycles.”  A plan in place, we started off.

The two bags definitely weighed more than my kids. I gave a little scream as the bike started to tip when I moved it off its stand.  Justin opened the door quickly and asked if I was ok. Fortunately, I caught the bike before it tipped over. I put it back on its stand. That mistake once made, I gingerly moved it off its stand and sat on the seat. NuVinci in lowest gear possible and Turbo setting on, we made it to Stephen’s house in one piece. We dropped the bags and went back to the house. Justin was ready. He had loaded the Speedvagen into its case on his Urban Arrow. I took the kids and a couple of small bags.

Why is it always a ute that passes so close to bicycles?

We dropped the bags off and headed to lunch at Mixed Business cafe in Clifton Hill. The food was delicious and we were all hungry after a morning of packing and a bit of stress.

veloaporter stylish cycling cycling in heels women on bicycles Urban Arrow cycling with kids
Mixed Business has awesome food and is very accessible by bicycle.

We went back to Stephen’s house and loaded up again. He accompanied us halfway to Spokes Bicycles. I had requested the maxi taxi pick us up at Spokes to take us to the airport. We needed to return the Urban Arrows to the shop, of course. We said goodbye to Stephen halfway to the shop. The kids were sad to see him go. They had become quite fond of him. My brother who lives in San Francisco is also called Stephen and as a result, we always clarify that it’s Uncle Stephen in Melbourne or Uncle Stephen in San Francisco.

veloaporter stylish cycling cycling in heels women on bicycles Urban Arrow cycling with kids
Stephen taking us to lunch as our lovely guide again.

Sean was at the shop. We returned the Urban Arrows and our maxi taxi driver was already there.  We told Sean about our adventure to the cyclocross race and thanked him immensely and best regards to Gary. We loaded up the taxi and headed to the airport.

veloaporter stylish cycling cycling in heels women on bicycles Urban Arrow cycling with kids
At the airport lounge, an amazing-looking Asian Justin in Julius.

It was a brilliant weekend. All with the aid of the Urban Arrow cargo bicycle!

veloaporter stylish cycling cycling in heels women on bicycles Urban Arrow cycling with kids
The two winners of the kids races at the CX Nationals! And their minder-photographer-Dad!

Where was I? In the back of the plane, alone. Tee-hee!

veloaporter stylish cycling cycling in heels women on bicycles Urban Arrow cycling with kids
Justin thought I would be at the back of the plane in my window seat given my Bronze status on Qantas. Yes! It was the best seat in the house.

Today’s ensembles:

Sarah: Uniqlo shirt, J.Crew jeans and gumboots, Lululemon cycling jacket, Witchery sunglasses, Banana Republic necklace. Roeckl gloves, Yakkay rain helmet. AM photo: J.Crew dress, coat, infinity scarf, Aerosole boots, Urban Arrow c/o Spokes Bicycles in Abbotsford. myspokes.com.au

Justin: Zara henley t-shirt, Outlier vest, Banana Republic jumper, Levis commuter jeans, Redback boots, NorthFace backpack.

Ofelia: J.Crew jacket, blouse, jeans, boots. Limar helmet. Big W gumboots in AM.

Julius: Gap jumper, jacket, trousers, Tommy Hilfiger shirt, Clarks shoes, Nutcase helmet.Country Road gumboots in AM.

Stephen: Barbour jacket, Specsavers glasses, Levis jeans, Modern Tailor shirt, Montague jumper, Met helmet, combination bike lock, Ecco shoes, High visibility vest.

Happy Cycling!

X Sarah

2 Comments

  1. It’s amazing what can be done/transported/managed with a little planning and a few (of the right type of) bicycles, isn’t it?

    Julius is going to grow up into an adult who wears glasses, whether he needs them or not, just because he looks really *good* in them. 🙂

    Like

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