We hadn't planned on getting bikes, we really are trying to minimize what we buy, even though it doesn't seem like it sometimes. Recently though, Fiacra started asking for a bike and in the end we decided to get some. Connell got a little bike for Ailbhe from a colleague at work and we bought a new bike for Fiacra and a bike for Connell and I to share. We started to look for secondhand bikes but since we don't have a car, it seemed like it would take more time than it was worth.
Ailbhe had training wheels on her bike last summer in Canada but didn't really ride it very much. I wasn't sure how she would do with no training wheels, but when Ailbhe decides she is going to do something, there is no stopping her. She hopped up on her bike, biked across the courtyard, and hasn't stopped since.
Ailbhe and Connell bike to school and work everyday. We've biked to the swimming pool, the Sunday market, and along the bike path by the river. We definitely made the right decision on getting bikes.
The kids are so happy with their bikes. Fiacra's is shiny new and has gears which he loves. Ailbhe's is cute but not shiny new and has no gears. She has never compared her bike to Fiacra's and found hers lacking. In fact, she has said many times "I love my bike". If the situation was reversed I'm not sure we would be living in such harmony. She declared at dinner yesterday, "When we go back to Canada, I will be taking my bike with me."
I love my bike too and have been out for some long rides. You can go so much further on a bike than running and there are lots of bike paths here. There is a bike path from Bordeaux to Lacanau, it's about 70km, I want to do it by the end of the summer and have Connell and the kids pick me up at the beach. Summer visitors, who's up for it?
I went for a ride on Monday night, rode for about an hour, ended up on the bike path by the river in Downtown Bordeaux and then noticed I had a flat tire, totally flat. If it had happened even 20 minutes earlier it would have taken me forever to get home. I was close to a tram stop and just jumped on with my bike. I had no tram ticket but if an inspector tried to fine me, I was planning on using Ailbhe's respone when we ask her to do a chore she isn't interested in doing, "Oh no thanks".
Now we are thinking of getting a second bike for Connell and I and a bike seat for Finian.