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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The parent with pedal power! Mother ditches the SUV to do the school run on a bicycle modified to carry all SIX of her children


Pedal power: Emily Finch of Portland, OR, does the school run on a modified Dutch bicycle that can carry all SIX of her children

How about this for a voluminous velocipede? An American super-mum has hung up her car keys and now does the school run on a modified bicycle that carries not just her, but SIX children as well.
Inventive Emily Finch, 34, of Portland, Oregon, cycles up to 20 miles a day around town with her three youngest (plus a friend) in a bucket on the front, one in a child seat and another towed behind on a bike. Her eldest, Nathan, keeps up the rear!
And there's not a murmur of 'are we there yet?' from the young Finches Mary, Lucy, Ben, Olivia and two-year-old Maya.

Training for the velodrome? Emily has already lost two stone carrying Mary, Lucy, Ben, Olivia and two-year-old Maya (plus a friend) to and from school every day

Emily manages to transport her toddlers with pedal power alone, despite a full load - complete with shopping - weighing in at around 40 STONE.
She rises out of the saddle, grabs her handlebars like a weightlifter grabs a barbell, and stands over her pedals with a pumping motion that keeps her moving at regular biking speed among city traffic.

All aboard! Mary, nine, and Nathan, 11 finish breakfast while waiting to board their mother's bike

It must be hard going, the weekday-morning workout has helped her lose almost two stone.
Emily's bike is modelled on a traditional Dutch 'cargo bike' known as a bakfiets, created by fixing extra wheels and buckets to a traditional bicycle design.
Bakfiets usually cost upwards of £1500, but Emily insists it's a money saver. 'It's funny how many people ask me how much it costs, if someone's driving around with a $4,000 car, no one asks, 'Oh, how much does that cost?'. Really, it's such a bargain in the long run. It's amazing.'
'I started looking at my life, I was living in a giant house and had a nine-person car. I remember thinking, there's no reason I can't walk or bike around town.'

Going Dutch: Emily's vehicle is a cargo bike called a bakfiets, which she's modified further by adding a child seat and a bike attachment

In 2009 Emily Googled 'family bike' and discovered a bakfiets could be the solution to her travel arrangements.
She had been looking at SUV cars but broke the news of her new decision to neurologist husband Mitch one evening.
'It was at a time in my life when something had to change, when I saw that bike, I knew it. I said, 'This is it. This is going to change my life."

Is it a bike or a bus? The head-turning contraption is well known in the local area

Emily ordered her bakfiets from a Portland bike shop that same night.
Her modified mount quickly caused a stir. 'I was already the town freak, I'd had three home-births and now this. People thought I'd had a driving under the influence conviction or something.'
'They asked, 'is that a boat on wheels? Are you going to carry your kids in that?
'I was really depressed before, but I was so happy after I got the bike. I just loved it.
'At first, it killed me, I thought I couldn't ride it. It was seriously exhausting.

All smiles...for now: Emily doesn't miss her gas-guzzling SUV one bit, even though she says the bike hasn't completely banished the school-run chaos

source: dailymail

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