What do a father and daughter do to make the most of their morning commute?
Riding bikes of course!
Our morning routine is pretty typical of anyone. We struggle to wake up — well, Dad does. Daughter has been up for the past hour, carting stuffed animals and toys into Dad’s room and piling them all around his sleeping body.
We have breakfast and get ready for the day ahead. We brush our teeth while NPR and Paw Patrol are playing in adjoining rooms. It’s a typical weekday work and daycare morning for Dad and Daughter.
When 8:20 arrives, we set the stage for our routine commute.
Dad gets his riding gear together. Commuting clothes consist of a simple plain white t-shirt, jeans and backpack. This is a summertime, fair weather commute. Dad’s work outfit is packed. Daughter has her PJs on, because Monday is pajama day at Daycare.
Dad and Daughter head out the back door to the garage, where their commuter bicycle and Burley trailer await them. All strapped up in the trailer with her princess helmet, ready to go. Dad has his GoPro set to record the trip, accompanied by music on a Bluetooth speaker, as requested by Daughter.
We head north onto our neighborhood street, bound for Daycare. The sun is shining and the streets are alive with the morning routine. Dad and Daughter are peddling the 1.5 miles to her friend’s house (daycare) while listening to music and enjoying the ride as we roll toward our east-west bicycle boulevard we use to get to her destination.
Dad stops and looks behind at every intersection to talk to Daughter. She is wide-eyed and looking at all the stuff along the street. She is especially fond of the construction digger on the corner. I explain to her that the workers are rebuilding the intersection to make it safer for people to cross the street. She doesn’t want the digger to “dig” her.
The trip feels like a blink of an eye — it takes us 10 minutes to make the journey. Google Maps estimates a car trip will take a similar amount of time. The short trip is a warm up for Dad’s commute into work just south of Downtown Minneapolis.
Dad wishes Daughter a great day playing at daycare and takes off for the second leg of the commute.
Daughter’s Burley trailer is securely locked to her daycare’s metal railing.
Dad starts his 30-minute, 6.7-mile trip into work. Built in Father/Daughter time and a cardio workout.
Lovely — a wonderful, inspiring article! But I’d also be interested in what streets you’re biking on. Where is the East-West bicycle boulevard you refer to, and the construction you pass that’s designed to make the crossing safer for pedestrians?
Looking forward to reading more from this Dad.
Hello, Ann. Many thanks for your support of my first article on Streets.mn.
The bicycle boulevard is 22nd Avenue NE. It’s a nice low traffic street with parking on both sides, which effectively narrows the street to keep traffic speeds low. This is the bulk of our trip.
On the end of the trip, we cross the street and make the last few blocks via the alleyway to stay off the higher speed 2nd Street NE.
How old is Daughter? Is there a reason daycare doesn’t have a bike rack or you don’t use it for the Burley?
The post title leads me to believe that Daughter is 3. 😉
Our daycare is in a private home. The parking space we use is convenient and our provider is extemely accommodating of our situation. 🙂
Wonderful inaugural StreetsMN post, Jeremy! Made me reflect on how much I love carting my 5 year old daughter around town in her burley, and now mostly trail-a-bike. Karate tonight, work fundraiser she accompanied me to on Monday night… Happy commuting!
Great story. Friends in northern Europe, who nearly all rode on their parents bicycle to school, say that the daily ride is one of their lifetime highlights. They had mom or dad all to themselves and could talk to them all they wanted or watch the world go by, and either way it was fun.
For most the second biggest day of their youth was the first day they got to ride their own bike alongside mom or dad. The biggest day was the first time they rode somewhere by themselves without mom or dad and couldn’t wait to get home to tell mom and dad about their great adventure.