Hazel, Halifax Bike Bawse

May 14, 2017

Hi, I’m Hazel. I’m five years old. My dad isn’t. He says he’s a long way from forty, but I don’t think that’s actually true. He forgets I’m learning how to add now.

This is a picture of us on our new cargo bike (Rosie and I named him Charlie Chocolate). Dad went all research crazy and ended up getting a Yuba Mundo from Cyclesmith. It’s his first ever new bike and all he does is look at it. When we can’t find him, he’s in the garage staring at Charlie. I’ve seen him—he just stands there, hands on hips, smiling. Mom says he’s infatuated, which I guess means he likes Charlie a lot. I like him too. That’s why I suggested we take Charlie Chocolate on an adventure.

See that sunrise behind us? We picked a clear-ish day and got out early. The goal was to make it from Cow Bay to our school in Halifax almost twenty kilometres away (with a ferry break to rest). I think Dad wanted to back out, but I climbed onto my seat quick and said “Let’s go!” That sealed the deal.

We rolled from our house past the church, over the causeway (where I always spin my head and say “ocean, lake, ocean, lake…”), past the Moose (“G’mornin’ Moose!”), past Off Beet Farm (“Hey Papa Jambone!”), up the hill into Eastern Passage (Dad, wheezing—I helped him out with some “Go Dad!” power), right on Caldwell Road (where I saw so much litter in the ditch—what’s up with that?), left at the Shearwater Flyer trail (I spotted an osprey, three bunnies, and a cackling pheasant), through the zig-zaggy oil refinery  (sidewalk, crosswalk, sidewalk, crosswalk), and up to the Woodside Ferry terminal. I saw so many awesome things. I even caught a woman putting on makeup while she was driving. Weird.

This is a picture of Charlie and I resting on the ferry. Dad stretched a bit, I coloured in some newspaper Sudoku boxes. Then we were downtown.

The bike lane on Hollis Street is pretty nice. We took it and then turned up Morris Street. Dad almost blew a gasket on that hill. Our bike is a “base model” according to Dad, which means it only has seven gears. And he says it’s a “workhorse” (I like horses, especially the long-haired ones in Cow Bay). We sped up as we passed the hospitals and finally hit my favourite bike lane, the one causing such a fuss on Dalhousie’s campus. Dad and I cheered. People stared. After that it was one more crosswalk and we were at school.

We left at 6:57 AM and got to school at 8:21 AM. I can’t do that kind of math yet, but Dad says it was about an hour and a half door to door. I felt wide awake, that’s for sure. Dad said later that he’s never had so much energy through the day.

Did we miss the bridge traffic? Nope. The radio with all those people talking about the election? Nope. The frowny faces in cars? Nope. Would we do this trip again? Maybe, but not every day (Dad went to bed before I did that night). I think our plan is to drive with Charlie Chocolate in the van and park at the ferry, then bike from there.

Dad tells me some people think Halifax isn’t “bike friendly.” What does that mean? I think more people should bike. It’s fun! I’ve just dropped the training wheels myself. I think people would smile more if they biked. But I’m just a kid, what do I know?

Oh ya, Dad made me put this last picture in.

See you on the road!

Love Hazel Shaw

Ryan Shaw