Friday, March 16, 2018

Pooches: The Family Bike

While we love to get out and around the city, most of the places we can go with the pups are limited to places we can walk or drive and easily find parking.
For years we dreamed about getting a cargo bike. We loved the idea of all of us being able to bike around the city and the ease of popping the pups in the front. But we never really had a reason to get one or a place to store it.
Last year, with the demands of The Laboratory, we realized that we needed more than one car. Instead of buying a second car, we decided this was the perfect time to invest in the Nihola 4.0 so we could transport cargo to and from The Laboratory. Also, with the ailing Miss M and the aging Mr. B, our Nihola quickly became our family transport of choice.
Though we loved visiting our usual stomping grounds, since our pups were getting older it was getting harder for them to walk those few miles. Driving was not a convenient option due to the hassle of getting the pooches and Baby K into the car and reaching our destination to find that the closest parking spot is only blocks from our home.
The Nihola, with its 264 lb load capacity, gave us the option to safely, with its closed double tube frame, and efficiently go around the city, with a few modifications.
At first we tried to fit, everyone, including A, into the front cargo area, but it was very cramped. So our first modification was to fit a heavy duty bike rack in the rear that can hold A's weight safely. I added a padded seat with a backrest, flip up footrests and a small handlebar to make A's ride as safe and comfortable as possible.
For Baby K, we added the Babboe cargobike toddler seat shell, which is made of the same hard foam used in bicycle helmets.
Finally for the pooches, we have tie downs in the front that clip onto their car seat belts or harnesses and we tighten the tie down as much as possible to limit the possibility of an escape from a moving bike. We added padded floor mats cut to fit the floor of the bike so the pooches can comfortably sit and sometimes lay. The low entrance on the side makes it easy for our pooches to hop in and out with some assistance.
One major issue is that we did not opt for the e-assist and it is not a tandem, so moving is all based on pedal power from me. This makes going up hill and long rides really difficult. Luckily all of our usual stomping grounds are only 1-4 miles away, so once we reach our destination, we take nice long walks and breaks before we all head back home.
Even as Miss M was tired and slowing down, the Nihola allowed Miss M to continue her life of grand adventures.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Obligation vs Opportunity

Though I am fully aware that my time with Mr. B is very limited, especially since the passing of Miss M, I have always considered my routine with Mr. B, taking him for a walk, letting him out for a potty break, as an obligation.
I would tell A that I have to take Mr. B for a walk when we get home, I have to let Mr. B out at night. It was not until we had a recent scare with Mr. B's blood work that I truly wanted to change my life with Mr. B and continue to live every moment as a grand adventure. I had to shift my thinking from things I have to do with Mr. B to things I get to do with Mr. B.
A daily walk, taking him out for a potty break, taking him to the vet should no longer be an obligation but an opportunity to spend more time with him and ensure that he is healthy and happy and we are still creating amazing memories.
Though I do slip up and say I have to do something, I try to remain mindful of my language and correctly restate it as I get to do something.
I hope to always remember not only with Mr. B, but with all aspects of my life that instead of having to do all of these obligations, I get to have all of these opportunities.

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