A couple years after moving into the Cottage, Adam and I realized that we didn't have to confine our downsizing efforts to just our home. At the time, we had two cars-- a compact 4-door, and an SUV. We decided to donate the SUV to our local NPR station, KCRW. The goal was to rely more on our bikes, and on public transportation. Years have passed, and we've never regretted this decision.
Shortly after West was born, we started looking for cargo tricycles. There are so many wonderful designs out there, but we fell in love with one in particular-- the Virtue Schoolbus+ from Virtue Cycles in San Diego. Not only does it have enough space for #StubsandSoph, but it also has seat belts for up to four children, and can fit West's car seat. (And coincidentally, it even matches our house.) We call it our "company car," and even added a "Tiny Canal Cottage" decal to one side of the cart.
We ride it all over the west side of Los Angeles. (We've even passed a few others at the farmers market and by the beach!) For those who are interested, here is my honest, bullet-point experience with this bike:
- It is a wonderful size if you're regularly hauling children, pets, shopping, and/or plants.
- It's beautiful, from it's leather accents, to its muted green hardware, to the wooden cargo hold.
- The ride is smooth, sturdy, and steady.
- The electric assist (an option) is EXTREMELY helpful when starting the bike, and when going up inclines.
- The steering takes some getting used to, but after an hour or so of test-drives, Adam and I both got it down.
- You can't stand up on the pedals while turning, nor should you take sharp turns at a high speed, as the cargo hold can actually tip.
- It's initially intimidating to maneuver the bike around tight, winding and/or urban spaces. Again, give it an hour or two of practice, and it's easy to master with confidence.
- I regularly switch between my standard bike and this cargo tricycle. It's an easy transition between the two-- I never feel as though I have to relearn one or the other.
We enjoy this bike daily-- especially now that Adam works full-time at the Cottage, too. We're absolutely in love with how it has improved our lifestyle. It keeps us moving, outdoors and healthy, allows us to leave our shared car at home, and encourages us to experience new adventures with our little family here in Venice and throughout West LA.
(Browse all of our bike photos via the #wlmbike series on Instagram.)