Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Feb 7: Commute with Baby

Of course I would decide to stop the full-on home-to-daycare-to-work bike trip just before entering the Utilitaire 12 contest; c’est la vie. That nine-mile trip was fun, invigorating and a great workout, with the added bonus that it meant my bike would be right at work where I could keep an eye on it and have access to it for lunchtime errands. The killing downside, however, was that the full trip took over an hour and a half to complete. On days when I made that trip,I was always late for work in the morning and picking Baby A up from daycare in the afternoon. My boss and my husband are both supportive of my bike commuting with Alex, but I think they’d have to draw the line at 3 – 5 hours of missed work and $20+ dollars in late fees every week.

So this morning, I went back to the old routine of biking from Bloomingdale to daycare, then from daycare to the West Hyattsville metro station. When I parked at the metro station, I put the cover on BOB in the hopes that it would keep people from messing with it. The train came to the platform just as I finished my post-ride stretches, I sipped my café au lait while reading a novel on my Kindle, and got to work at 9:15, needing minimal cleanup after my cool-down time on the train. Bliss!

On days when we bike commute, I like to fix a breakfast that’s nutritionally dense and quick to eat. That way I have enough calories and protein to keep me going during the ride and keep me from becoming ravenous during the day, and I can also shovel the food into my mouth fast enough to get us out the door in time. Eggs usually fit the bill. Today’s breakfast was salsa frittata with blueberry muffins. I prepped the frittata last night in a gratin dish, then put it in a cold oven this morning and let it cook for 30 minutes (including oven heating time) while I walked the dog and got the rest of breakfast ready. The frittata was delicious, but Alex—who would eat his own weight in eggs if they were scrambled—wouldn’t touch it. The little ingrate.

Although today’s temperature was still unseasonably mild, A’s continued refusal to wear mittens inspired me to bundle the rest of him up a little more heavily than I might otherwise have. I went with the snowsuit—which he haaaaates to put on—and his snow boots.

Date: 2/7/2012

Destination(s): Daycare, West Hyattsville Metro Station

Total Mileage: 10.66 mi round-trip

Morning Temperature: 46°F

Baby A Wore: Shirt, overalls, regular socks, snowsuit, snow boots, Bern helmet with winter insert

I Wore: sport top, T-shirt, work shirt, sweater coat, stretchy pants, wool socks & casual shoes, scarf (wrapped around my head to substitute for forgotten balaclava), thrummed mittens

Clothing Notes: Baby A: hands were cold but not freezing; legs were warm. Me: the scarf-as-balaclava is a neat trick and a great example of how many functions a simple rectangle of cloth can fulfill.


  1. I also was a mitten skeptic for a long time. Until well after high school in fact. My favorite bike-riding handwear nowadays is a pair of fleece-lined gloves that are claimed to be waterproof. They're not, but they are reasonably warm and comfortable even when wet. I wear mittens when it's too cold for gloves.

    1. Would you like to have a little chat with my son and explain all that to him? :-)

      Actually, I've been wondering if he'd wear gloves if they were thin enough. Part of his objection to mittens seems to be that they keep him from holding on to his toys and dinging the handlebar bells; gloves might be a good compromise.

    2. Well it's been a while but anyway. On the ski hills sometimes I see kids with mittens attached with string. Clever isn't it! So the mittens don't get lost and can be easily put on or taken off. Your passenger could even have a pair of thin gloves plus a pair of large string-attached mittens for optimum duck handling ability in all temperature conditions.

      Love reading about the big orange bike and your adventures!

  2. Since we're heading into cold weather again, I'm sure you've been considering options, and your son's advancing age may well solve the problem, but just in case:

    With my kids, when they were mitten (or glove) averse, one thing that seemed to help a lot was extra-long sleeves. This way they usually just bring their hands up into the sleeve for extra warmth/protection, but can (usually) hold on to the special toy or other items, and can get the unclad hand into play when desired. I admit that my kids are way past 2-3 so my memory of timing may be faulty, but I'm pretty sure we employed this option from ages 18 months to 4-5 years old when necessary.