Biking with the Brinkleys: The Week it All Went Wrong (but not really)

The Brinkley Family is going car free for a full year and sharing their journey with us!

Brinkley Mileage to Date: 93.1

I find myself saying to people “You know, it’s just not that much different.” or “It just really doesn’t take much longer.” Because, you guys, it’s not and it doesn’t.


While I would not say that the transition to bikes has been seamless, we have been able to operate as usual. Taylor still gets to work on time, I take the baby to the doctor and Maddie to the salon for her first day of 4th grade haircut, etc. I even did my first big grocery shop since my previous post, yes, I did. Not just to re-stock perishables, either, to get everything for 2 weeks of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks…and toilet paper. Now, since I never go anywhere without at least 2 children in tow, we hatched a plan for these big shops where I go to the store with my posse, do the shopping, load what I can into all of my cargo space, have them hold the rest of our groceries and Taylor will pick-up the rest with our other (not as awesome) bike trailer. It was going to work perfectly, and the timing was such that it was going to be a tag-team and we wouldn’t even need the store to hold the groceries for us…was…the other trailer had a flat tire that could not be re-inflated and I had already taken ALL of the groceries out of the store, loaded what I could onto my bike AND buckled the kids in before I found out.

It seems all of our “perfectly” coordinated plans went like that this week…I’m not bitter.

There were flat tires, first-thing-in-the-morning doctor visits (pre-cautionary, everyone is just fine), and a crash that resulted in a whole new wheel for me, all in the first full week without our car. Nothing like testing your meddle right off the bat though.

Even though this week seems to have been fraught with snafus, the advanced planning has really been SO necessary that the hitches in those plans haven’t made any of us regret our decision to make this pivot in our life-style. Because, right before the trailer hit a snag and sent me careening into the fencing of a restaurant’s patio seating, Maddie was navigating perfectly through downtown Boise and saying “Weeeee!” And anytime we’re at a cross-walk with other people walking to their destinations, Everett says “Hi! Hi, kids.” and my sweet, sweet baby who always hated car rides and being buckled in, just contentedly watches the world around us and falls asleep on nearly every outing we’ve been on so far.


So, actually, maybe it IS that much different.


All of my children are already much more in-tune with the world around them…and I never got any bruises from driving a mini-van.

So, real-talk time, the biggest adjustment so far, more than the physicality of pedaling everywhere, has truly been having to plan in advance for every day time trip…it’s just not my forte. But space is limited now, so I have to really make sure I have all the necessities/baby supplies with room to spare and that I know how to get where I’m going before I start my trek because the best way to drive somewhere is often not the best way to bike somewhere.

Taylor, quite poignantly stated and I whole-hardheartedly agreed, that it’s wonderful to travel and navigate together as a family instead of chauffeuring.

So, if any of you are after a bit of peace right now or the need to be in-tune with the world around you (or just a better night’s sleep), ride your bike to your next dinner out with friends (but as I’ve learned about best-laid plans, make sure you have a patching kit, and wear a helmet).

Stay Tuned!

BBP will be sharing many of their updates on the FreeSpirit Blog, but to be sure you don't miss a post, check out their blog site (with more pictures!).