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I absolutely love the idea of biking. But the biking itself? Yeah, that doesn’t usually work out.

One college summer I had tremendous plans to go on a two week biking tour through the French countryside. But at the last minute, I backed out. I mean, it suddenly sounded like an awful LOT of biking. Instead I could stay home in Connecticut, waiting endlessly for my crush to call, while spending the rest of my time trying to get into bars with my fake ID. Now that’s a summer.

Who needs the French and all that pedaling?

Many years later, my husband, daughter Dylan and I traveled to Tuscany. And that’s when I had an absolutely brilliant idea… What could be more lovely than riding around Tuscany on our bicycles? Oh, it will be just perfect.

In the August heat. On the Tuscan hills. While 5 months pregnant.

Rick mentioned that he thought I was perhaps being a bit too ambitious. But I laughed at that Debbie Downer and told him to bulk up. Man, if that guy wasn’t married to me, he wouldn’t do anything adventurous. He is so damn lucky to have me. This was going to be awesome.

You know what? Despite that joyful smile plastered on my face, not really all that awesome.

Expensive? Well, yes… with the bike rentals, the bike seat, the helmets, the locks, the bike rack, the bike pants….

Tiring? Oh, definitely. I was exhausted after schlepping into Florence just to pick up the bikes.

Hot? I mentioned it was August, right?

But I apparently have no memory retention because I am, once again, obsessed.

I am already lost in visions of scenic, family bike rides along New York City’s waterfront bike paths. When I imagine Rick biking, I sort of envision… Leonardo DiCaprio. You know, all urban and sexy and eco.

And, of course, not to brag but doesn’t that make me his bike-loving-ex-Gisele?

But maybe with a little less thong showing.

As you know from my previous post, this is definitely NOT how I imagine Rick and myself hitting the bike paths…

Although these two don’t look dumb enough to blow off a parent paid trip to France in favor of trolling the Connecticut suburbs.

So this time I’m serious. We’re getting used bikes. We’re getting bike seats. Dylan and Summer are totally on board with the plan. We’re doing this thing.

Rick – don’t say anything. This is going to be awesome.

mama bird notes
Click on drooling over this for the perfect dessert for wine lovers. You will seriously wow your dinner guests.

Don’t forget our TWO awesome giveaways from Lands’ End. I’m giving away a Girl’s Swim Package (bathing suit, short sleeve rash guard shirt + beach towel) and a Boy’s Swim Package (board shorts, short sleeve rash guard shirt and beach towel). Sun sensible with 50 UPF Protection. Winners will get to pick the sizes.

To enter, leave a comment this week on the mama bird diaries and let me know if you are interested in the boys giveaway, the girls giveaway or both!

49 Responses to the bike path untraveled

  • I can't wait to get bikes, too! I figure with the burley slowing my husband down just a bit, we will have hours and days of family biking fun.

    Oh, and still hoping to win the girl giveaway!!

  • kelsey kleiman says:

    go to John at http://www.greatusedbikes.com
    he has baskets, locks, cool 3 speeds, he delivers AND he stores them in the winter and delivers them in the Spring for a reasonable fee. But modern kid seats don't work on vintage bikes. Maybe those pull along thangs. If you figure that part out tell me.


  • Abby Siegel says:

    My parents actually do dress like those people when they bike around Westport. No joke. It shocked me at first, but if it makes them happy, active, and alive I'm all for it.

  • madge says:

    you go! get out on those bikes. i'll be at home eating some of that yummy wine sorbet you mentioned in your last post (ya, I know, I don't have Whole Foods — but it sounded good)

  • francine Kasen says:

    What a co-ink-a-dink! Today I bought a four bike bike rack with a hitch attachment for my van. And I come home and read this story of yours! And I have to tell you, biking the Rail-trails in the good old US of A is awesome fun! They are car-free, basically flat trails through fields, woods, farms etc. and can go for miles! It's part of our retirement plan!!

  • E says:

    Does it count as a comment if I write: Laurie Berkner is a flat singer and a mediocre–at best–guitarist? I have a boy and two girls so I would be tickled to win either gender. Just made my date to see the movie with girlfriends but I already feel your post on the movie.

  • Jennifer H says:

    You are so funny. I like the idea of biking, too, just not the actual pedaling and the oh-my-god my knees are killing me part.

    Awesome has a few different meanings. 🙂

    Glad you noted the thong–I was about to say somethin'.

  • Deb Ringold says:

    Easy on the "Debbie Downer" name calling. Can't we just call him "Dora Downer?" Do you want my mountain bike, my roller blades, my golf equipment, and all the other stuff I have from former ambitions? Good luck!!

  • Karen Veronica says:

    You are amazing to ven think of tackling the hills in Tuscay. I am very very impressed. NYC should be an easy breeze, even with two children (laughing) — Girl or boy swim packaged — either/or

  • Kristen M says:

    We love our new bikes and use them all the time. The girls love the burley thingy and giggle most of the time. When you posted about the woman so beautifully dressed in the park, I wanted to mention that I typically have biker capris and helmut hair when we are at the park… I definitely would not make it in NYC. Enjoy biking!

  • sam says:

    i didn't even want to walk across the living room when i was pregnant. are you kidding with the tuscan-five-months-pregnant biking?? after that photo you just went back to the pool lounger and didn't really bike, right??

  • michele says:

    I'm inspired. What a coincidence. Today Joel came home with a new bike, he's ready! Maybe you could put us in touch with Fran Kassen and we could do a foursome.

  • What great photos from tuscany.. I tried to purchase a tandem for my hubby for our 10th anniversary (he's a huge cycling fan) but it didn't work out..I was so sad!

    Just think, Tour de France starts in a few weeks, you can hop on that cycling whirlwind!

  • Jacki says:

    Man, I haven't been on a bike in sooo long! And I totally envy you for traveling to Tuscany. That's one of my "must see" destinations.

  • My husband is a semi-pro bike racer kind of guy. We have a tandem and lots of fancy gear to do family bike riding… for me, bicycling is kind of like communism- great on paper, not so great in practice.

    Have a great time biking (or not) and I'd LOVE that girls giveaway!

  • Memarie Lane says:

    Biking is huge here in The Q. Not among us po' folks mind you, but anyone in any other part of the sity has a $1500 bike with coordinating outfit, helmet, and Sigg water bottle. Us po' folks play basketball.

  • Tully's Mama says:

    Get the bikes but make sure you all have matching outfits made out of drapery and then hang from trees in Central Park and sing "My Favorite Things". Embarrass the hell out of the Captain. You were too cute at 5 months pregnant!

  • Julia says:

    I'm so much like that. So ambitious to start out with and then wishing I'd never thought of my brilliant plan (whether biking, camping, hiking, skiing etc). I do wish we could get more into biking though I'd never do it 5 months preg.

    Sign me up for the boys give away!

  • mackbeth says:

    I tried and TRIED to get a bike seat for my 18 month old and the peeps in Denver tell me it isn't safe. I cannot find a bike shop to put it on – 'too dangerous'. Seriously, on my beach bike??? How crazy am I going to get. Instead i am supposed to conveniently hook up a burley for a quick neighborhood ride. I guess I'll go on line and have handy husband install it….now doesn't that seem really Safe for Baby Owen?

  • Allison T. says:

    So, do you know these people (the matchy-matchy joggers and bikers) or are you just taking their pics on the sly? And do they know you're posting them? I'm only asking because now I'm wondering about what random and unflattering pictures of me are people posting online and commenting on? 🙂

  • amy says:

    We go on family bike rides and LOVE it! But of course we are in a nice surburban neighborhood with miles of trails. I would be scared to bike in the city. Heck I was scared to walk in the city!

  • Robin says:

    Last summer, the girls were at Fire Island with their Grandpa for a week. Mike and I decided to go to Block Island for a nice 5 day stay, with bikes. We could bike everywhere there! Everything is so close. Who needs to rent a car?? Now, remember that week last summer when the heat wave came in?? Yeah, that was the week we went. So, we got off the ferry, rode our bikes to our inn. Exhausted. But still optimistic that we'd get used to this. Then we rode to the beach for a little while. Rode back. Rented a car. That's right. We didn't get back on the bikes once. Even when we left the island, we got a taxi that could carry our bikes. It was too damn hot. Better to just sit on the porch of the inn, watch the boats and drink mint julips. Okay, we actually drank vodka tonics, but mint julips sounded so much better!

  • Cathy says:

    Good luck with the bikes this summer! I hope to do more biking too. There's was no way I could get on a bike when I was five months pregnant.

  • Aimee says:

    OH COME ON –you HAVE to wear a thong and let it all hang out while biking! I mean all of our asses will look as good as Gisele's!

    Good for you for giving it another whirl–but please–dear lord–be safe and wear your thong.

  • Milena says:

    This post was simply a perfect accompaniment to my second cup of morning coffee. Wish I'd read it with the first. Girl, you are fu-neee. Loved the pretend smile in the florence shot and Leo? Eco-gorgeous baby. Rick, don't say a thing, let the wife take you places.

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kelcey kintner