I never realized until I began reading family bike blogs that there is a whole… thing about carrying home Christmas trees on bikes. Subculture? I’ll admit that it looked wildly cool to me. I am impressionable like that. Granted, Matt is Jewish, but it’s a California Jewishness, where significant proportions of his family haul in pine trees and call it good as long as they use a lot of blue ornaments. Our son identifies as Jewish but would probably have foresworn centuries of faith if that were necessary to get a tree. So we had a weekend morning and we got a tree.
The easy way to move a Christmas tree home by bike, for a given quantity of easy, seems to be to dump it into a box bike. We don’t have one of those. Neither do we have option #2, an Xtracycle Freeloader. However we do have a stubby cargo bike. And we have a lot of bungee cords. Problem? No problem! I proposed before we left that we bring the tree home on the bike and Matt looked at me like I was completely insane. I pointed out that last weekend we’d watched a tree fly off the top of an SUV on the freeway, landing in a shower of fragrant kindling, a sight that made quite an impression (as did watching the couple inside put their faces in their hands as they pulled over). Also the lot isn’t far from home; plenty close enough to walk; I told him if it were a bust he could bike home in less than five minutes and come back with the car. He rolled his eyes and agreed.
I walked over with the kids and the stroller, Matt biked over, waiting for us at each intersection. When we got there, my son picked a 6’ tree in less than five minutes; in the next five minutes, two other people asked to buy it (our tree was the best one). After it was wrapped up, the guy working at the lot asked where our car was. We said we brought a bike, and it was sitting right there. He said, “That’s nice” and asked us where our car was. We clarified that we wanted to bring the tree home on the bike that was sitting right there. He looked at us like we were completely insane. Then he tried to stand the tree up on the back deck. Less than a minute later, we had laid it down and bungeed it to the back deck. It was surprisingly solid. “Well, this is a first for me,” said the Christmas tree lot guy, visibly impressed.
Matt biked home, we walked home. When we got back he’d unloaded it, walked it upstairs, and locked the bike in the garage. Easiest Christmas tree shopping expedition ever! No needles in the van to vacuum up, no fighting for parking at the lot entrance (people were already honking at each other when we arrived—happy holidays!) and no stress. Plus we got the usual strange looks from the neighbors. Awesome!