Christmas tree by bicycle, 6th year in a row

Hey. Hey there. I’ve spent a crushing term with an extra-heavy teaching and advising load, and spent all of my writing time working on papers and grant proposals, because that’s my real job. However it’s now December, I’m done teaching and have mostly caught up on papers, and don’t have another grant proposal due until February. It’s blogging time!

Decisions, decisions

Decisions, decisions

December has traditionally been the time of year that we head to the Christmas tree lot and draw stares as we load up a tree on our bicycle. Our son (11) is now old enough to be feeling some tween awkwardness at the prospect of rolling into the Christmas tree lot on bikes; our daughter (now 7) remains oblivious to all forms of peer pressure. Admittedly both kids express some interest in the question of what it might be like to carry a Christmas tree in car, as they have no memory of ever doing so. However when we arrived and discovered a long line of cars waiting to enter the parking lot (which we breezed past, per usual) our son concluded that our decision to bike was appropriate after all. And despite some unusual indecision from the kids this year about which tree to purchase and some contemplation of the (live) turkeys and rabbits, we still made it in and out of the lot faster than any of the drivers.

Tree loaded and ready to go

Tree loaded and ready to go

In this, our sixth year of hauling a Christmas tree by bike, the people at the lot have gotten used to us and we no longer raise eyebrows. We’ve learned we can roll the bike right up to the tree baler, which makes us popular because it means no one needs to carry the tree anywhere, let alone strap it to a car roof. I know that other families in the neighborhood bike their trees home too; thus far we’ve never met any of them at the lot, though.

We have pretty much settled on the Bullitt as our Christmas tree bike, after some experimentation in earlier years. Front loaders are laughably easy to load; just throw whatever in the bucket. Our tree was taller than we are, so we also used a couple of bungees to ensure it wouldn’t slide out on bumpy pavement. For this reason and many others, the Bullitt remains the most reliable vehicle we have ever owned.

Hey, neighbor!

Hey, neighbor!

When we first began carrying our tree by bike, it got us a lot of attention. Even last year, we got a bit of hooting and dropped jaws. This year was the first time that no one seemed to think we were doing anything odd, riding bikes around San Francisco with a Christmas tree and two kids. We see more and more families like ours every year. As we rode up to our building, our next door neighbor appeared on his own bike, on his way back from a trip to the grocery store. It was cool. Not everything gets better all the time, but it feels like occasionally, some things do get better.

 

2 Comments

Filed under Bullitt, car-free, cargo, family biking, San Francisco

2 responses to “Christmas tree by bicycle, 6th year in a row

  1. Melissa @ HerGreenLife

    Yay, end of semester and blogging time! I have good intentions to write a post or two in the next week, which would put us at about even for time between blog posts.

    I’m still a “maybe one of these years” on tree-by-bike. We have several very accessible tree lots, but so far, the au natural field cedars from my in-laws’ property keep winning out over the heavily sprayed, conventionally grown offerings from the local lots, despite the cedar tree requiring a car trip.

    I was actually at a local nursery that sells Christmas trees, with our longtail, on Thanksgiving weekend this year. I was buying some plants, which raised a few eyebrows, but I really wanted to bungee a tree onto our Hooptie and then see their faces 🙂

  2. I loved reading your post! We also hauled our Christmas trees by the Bullit!
    However, as we have the original Canopy mounted, and I didn’t figure out yet on how to remove it, I used our Andersen Shopper to carry it home. It is fun, my daughter in the front, our tree in the back! 🙂

    Here’s a pic from Pinterest to illustrate it:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s