Tuesday, April 3, 2012

No pain. No gain

- What I think I look like.

My daughter's daycare facility has moved to the middle of nowhere.

Those of you who have been following along for sometime know that I decided to go car-free in 2012. This latest development has thrown a huge wrench in my transit plan. There is no transit route for the area that the daycare now resides in.

My husband has a vehicle but my husband also works in an industry where the work day begins long before the sun rises. The daycare opens at 6:30. Hubby has to be at work for 5:30 come May 1st.

Ahh, see, now you get it!

But, but, but CJ, you ask, how can a business move to such a remote area without transit? Isn't that bad for business?

I hear ya. Unfortunately, no. Considering we're already out in the "country", almost every family owns one to three cars so access to public transit hasn't been much of a priority.

Is there parking?! Is there highway access?! Gas stations nearby?! Can I buy milk within a 5-minute drive? Is there a Tim Horton's with a Drive-Thru? These are the burning questions folks have when they buy a house 75 kilometres east of Toronto.

But public transit? Isn't that for people who live in the city?

You know what I think we need? A submarine from Toronto Harbour to Port Darlington (Bomanville). Or maybe a ferry. But a submarine would be way cooler.

So I bought a bike. And a bike trailer.

Last night, I put my 70-something pound, soon to be 7-year old daughter in the bike trailer, threw on my newly purchased workout gear and climbed aboard the bike (appropriately named Iron Horse) and went for an inaugural ride.

It's 2.9 kilometres from my house (ONE WAY) to the daycare. I made it to 1.8 kilometres and had to turn around. I was riding against the wind. The seat and handlebars were too low and my body kept screaming, "The hell?!"

When I came back, my husband adjusted the bike and said nothing about my "fail".

I have three and half weeks to get in shape before his new hours kick in.


Squiggles said...

Yay for thinking outside the box!

But I have to ask - is the trailer necessary? Why not have her peddle herself alongside you? Growing up, my siblings and I always biked alongside a parents (or both) for some distance (aka a couple of kilometers).

Anonymous said...

Congrats on making it half way there on your first attempt. You can do it!!!

Anonymous said...

Get your daughter a tandem bike. what's you plan for rainy days?

C.J. Smith said...


Those are good questions and I'm sure others are thinking the same.

A few emails already have suggested I find a day care or babysitter who can get her to school.

So here's more history:

No one can take my kid to school except for this particular daycare facility that offers private bussing. Believe me, I tried to find someone. The home provider I did have disqualified my daughter from bussing since her address didn't qualify. Meaning, though we could apply for out of bounds, there's no guarantee she'd get a seat on the bus which is how we arrived at our current situation.

I have not been able to find anyone who I can entrust to babysit my daughter.
On bad days, I'll have to cab it - still less expensive than owning and operating a car.

In regards to my daughter riding alongside me.

She's still on training wheels and rides really, really, really slow.

The route I have to take is rural with an 80 km/hr speed limit (no one does that, it's easy 120 km/hr) and I fear for her safety since she's so small. I have to ride on the gravel shoulder which means traction isn't great. There are no sidewalks.

I also have to take into account that it's twilight when I leave and drivers out where I live aren't looking for, nor expecting cyclists, so I need her as close to me as possible.

C.J. Smith said...

re: tandom bike.

That could be the next step once I feel she's tall enough to pedal and willing.

The bike trailer is temporary, hopefully once we get through the spring/summer/fall, she can ride on her own or ride in tandem with me.

On bad days, praise baby Jesus, we have cabs out where I live.

C.J. Smith said...

Wow. So many of you are so supportive in caring! Got a few more emails since a lot of readers are blocked by firewalls at work from commenting.

The question is: why not pick a different school or find another babysitter.

The answer:

There are 3 elementary schools near me. Only 1 is walking distance but she's too young (only in grade 1) to be on her own and to be by herself yet in the mornings. The school she's in is where she started when I had my first babysitter, who walked her. That babysitter decided she wanted to be a real estate agent so I had to scramble to find someone else while my daughter was mid-way through S/K. Then I found another provider (this has all been hard on my daughter by the way) and a week before my daughter started grade 1, I was told my daughter did not get a seat on the bus despite me filling out all the forms early, etc. So I had to scramble to find a way to get her to school, consider changing schools, or find a new school, etc ... so I found a place that offered daycare plus private transportation and she could stay at the same school.

Then in February, the owner told me she was moving to be near the highway (401) so parents could commute faster. I haven't been able to find a provider near my daughter's school or even near me. Here's the thing. If I find someone near me, in my postal code, my daughter would be considered first priority for bussing but not for the school attendance since she would be out of bound. The school she should go to I can't find someone to take her to so she's at the school I picked near my first babysitter. If I find a babysitter near her current school, there is still no transit in the area.

Anonymous said...

ur fat ass could prolly stand to lose a cuppa pounds but still u whine. How about u buy a house in toronto like the rest of us?? what do ya expect when u buy in the 905? all u905-ers always bitch and moan. buy a car dumb ass. problem solved.

C.J. Smith said...

Shoo! No one cares what 'bout your trollin'

lswgirl13 said...

That really sucks C.J. My worrying-about-daycare days are long gone.
Easy to ride in the nice weather but let's face it, just a band-aid solution, remember, this was a crazy (easy) winter.
You are gonna have to try word-of-mouth and get a before and after school daycare, most likely a home situation. Maybe the school office/secretary/teacher would know of someone.

ExGOnowTTC said...

Cuppa pounds? Is that like a cuppa soup? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, soup *drools*

C.J. Smith said...

Hey LSWgirl!

Fear not, I only need to do this May 1 to November 1. Hubby can drive the wee one in the mornings and I just resume hopping on the bus.

There is no way in arctic hell I'd ride a bike in winter.

LT said...

What does this have to do with GO Transit?

FRED said...

^ About as much as this website?!

Have you tried It's all GO. All day. Everyday. Even says so right in the name.

This site? Not so much. Hope that clears things up.

Sylv said...

Fred, I think I love you - no wait, your comment - yes, I love your comment!

C.J., no suggestions, but I feel for you.

lswgirl13 said...

I'd go back to a car if it was that much trouble. I know a car costs money but your time is worth something too.

ExGOnowTTC said...

Everytime you get into your car, a tree screams.

Anonymous said...

who cares, just drive a car tightass, cheapo.

Anonymous said...

nobody really cares, they are all ball lickers like yourself,,

Anonymous said...

I like licking balls but yours Anon are just too small for me - can't find them at all - even the tweezers can't find them.

C.J. Smith said...

Not sure if tightass is compliment or insult.

ExGOnowTTC said...

Oooo, looks like it's outing day for the mouth-breathers. If they're good, they'll have lunch at McDonalds.

lswgirl13 said...

@ExGOnowTTC - meh, I'm just not a lover of the environment.