Saturday, April 13, 2013

Napkin Not For A Lunchbox 8

From the 24 hour series; this is 3:40 pm, our commute by cargo bike in Manhattan.
Helpful pedestrians express concern for my children's welfare.

Bikes are certainly a controversial topic for some in NYC.  And then there are always people on the lookout for opportunities to spot and condemn what they perceive as bad parenting.  A woman pedaling her kids on a city street is like a double Yahtzee moment for the self righteous.  

In my own defense, the vast majority of our trip is in separate bike lanes, and on the rare occasions that we do ride with traffic, it is generally so congested and slow that no one could run us down if they wanted to.  

This does not stop strangers from expressing their disapproval at my parenting/transportation choices.  I've quizzed the few cargo biking men I have met about whether people shout obscenities at them as they pass.  I'm developing a theory that people harass me because they think they can get away with it as there is a slim chance that a mom with two kids is going to say apply her bicycle pump to a man's skull just because he yelled " You F#%&*ing C#+@*!" at her in front of her kids.

(You can see the whole series so far at this link. )


  1. While I admire your commitment to bike travel, and your art is beautiful, it is a tad "burying your head in the sand" to not see that you are in fact endangering the lives of your children by biking themaround NYC. I see parents doing this all the time, and I don't approve. Maybe I'm too protective, but I think it's a mistake.

    Take the kids riding, just not commuting...

    btw, I also do not approve of some jerk calling you (or anyone) harsh demeaning obscenities as a response.

  2. Sounds like NYC has a serious case of Carhead. Some people just can't seem to wrap their grey around bikes as a legitimate mode of transportation. Child endangerment? I think that's more than a bit rich, there's lots of dangerous things in life, but I don't think bike commuting makes it anywhere near the top.

  3. I don't really understand the ignorance of people in this world. Biking with you kids is no dangerous than riding in a vehicle with them, or walking them to school. People all over the world still use bikes for their major mode of transportation, it is a safe effective way of transportation. I think what you are doing is amazing, don't let anyone change what you do.

    1. Seriously!! I completely agree. This woman obviously is protective of her children. I don't understand why people feel the need to be so critical all the time smh.

  4. Keep doing what you're doing! You're doing an awesome job!

  5. i live in texas and i find it very strange that someone would harass you for biking your kids to school. people bike their kids everywhere here, lanes or not, and bike commuting is considered a very admirable form of daily transport. like do they expect you to put your kids on a subway or city bus? i sometimes can't believe the stories i hear about street harassment in NYC. if a man publicly called a woman a f@#*ing c$#*t down here in the south he would receive a gentlemanly smackdown.