Monday, June 25, 2012

Cycle not-so chic


IF HELL is other people, then hell for babies is other people’s ideas about happiness. Especially if they involve two wheels. Or three wheels, in the case of a Danish cargo bike. Or, possibly, in the case of our car-adverse child, four wheels.

This I proved after our day cycling around one of the world’s best bike cities was less living the dream, and more living the nightmare for the 11 month old. To be fair, it got off to a bad start when having strapped them both into the front of my three-wheeled Christiania bike I couldn’t even manage to steer out of Baisikeli’s parking lot. Those things are heavy! Even without two extra people on board. So much for my plans of peddling the kids effortlessly around town, their Scandi-esque blonde bouffs blowing in the breeze.

Things only got worse when the squall that blew in after I’d reluctantly switched saddles with Daddy J meant we had to abandon ship (bike?) until it had passed. We were now well into lunchtime territory, and for a growing nearly 1 year old, a slurp of milk just didn't hack it. Plus it's a safe bet neither child enjoyed getting togged up in their Scandi POP raingear as much as I enjoyed – finally – getting some use out of the damn things even if the rain meant I’d look more Copenhagen cycle shit than chic in the Sindy pics.

In retrospect, I should have twigged that sitting up front in a Christiania bike was always going to be murder for a baby who hates being strapped in anything that isn’t also strapped to me. And the stormy skies meant that each time Raf was in the slightest danger of getting into any sort of groove, we had to stop to take shelter. He couldn’t even nod off come naptime because there was nowhere for him to lean his head, his big brother being accommodating, but only up to a point.

Where Raf really suffered, however, was that although he’d clocked up his Scandi telly hours in front of The Killing and Borgen while nursing of an evening, he hadn’t taken in any of it. So he couldn’t share in what ended up making us happiest of all about our cycle tour: peddling through Borgen itself. Or clocking Troels Hartmann’s Rathaus (Copenhagen's town hall, and the other star of the Killing along with that sweater), which is possibly the city's prettiest tower. Perhaps the key to happiness is just watching more TV, especially if it’s Danish. 

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