Helen Palmer (nice_cup_of_tea) wrote,
Helen Palmer

Boys, Bikes & Scooters

We've always been a no-car family (except for our mobility-abo and the odd holiday rental). From the earliest age my boys have been city rates who jump on and off Zurich trams and love the train! I remember Markus asking me why he couldn't get the tram alone to Kinderkrippe (he was about 4!). And Patrick wanted to take the train alone to Kindergarten at 5! Their early years were dominated by the tram no 8 which took them to Hardturm and their Kinderkrippe. We watched the line extend over the Hardbrücke, and went to the weekend opening celebrations in Dec 2017.

Last year when the schools partially re-opened after lockdown 1, we finally allowed the boys to get themselves to school, hort and home alone. This was May 2020. Before this, Markus had been going to school alone since Klasse 3, but I was still taking in Patrick and then collecting them both. The route to school is about 1 km along really busy main roads. Anyway, after a few weeks of the boys learning the timetable, and sometimes turning up at the doorstep when they should have stayed in hort (!), it's worked really reall. We wave them off with a "see you later alligator / in a while crocodile" and off they sccot. We've only had one scooter nicked from school so far! There's a certain rhythm and joy to them turning up separately at the end of the day, as they check who's in the house. Thanks to lockdown, we've changed our work routine and therefore their hort routines. They have 2 long days, staying in Hort until 6pm, and 3 days when they come home after school at 3.30 (or at 2 if it's a Wednesday).

Anyway, this all got me thinking about the boys and their transportation and how we've been taking them to and from childcare all these years...

2010-2014 When they were both at Kinderkrippe (day care), we alternated between us taking in and picking up. We'd get tram to Stauffacher, change to the tram 8, get off at Hardtum then walk for 10minutes

2014-2016 When M was at Kindergarten and P still at Kinderkripe, we'd both cycle with a child on the back of the bike - I'd take Markus to Enge, Alan would take Patrick to Hardturm. Markus would rub my back and encourage me up the Enge tunnel hill!

2015 M learnt to cycle fairly early and from the January of his first year at Kinderkrippe, we'd cycle in together. He was 5. We'd get amazed looks, but he was well capable of the 1.5 km. This continued for the next 1.5 years.
Cycling, July 2015
Cycling, July 2016

2016-2018 Then Markus went to school and Alan would walk him in and collect him. I would cycle P ot Kindergarten on the back of my bike, he never rode himself! I'd then cycle up the hill and down the other side into work. I'd always leave work as late as possible and have a mad fast cycle, then slide into the Kindergarten at just 1815 to pick him up. Someontimes we'd take the train one stop to Enge, then take Tram 7 to Museum Rietberg, or walk. 2017-2018 i got a pick up attachment for my bike so Patrick could "cycle" behind me - the lazy tyke would often sit back and let me do all the pedalling!! The pick up frame finally came off in April 2019. It was a big day.... after so many years of bike seats and frame, my beautiful blue bike was mine again, with a basket up front and back! I'd loved the joy of cycling to work unencumbered :-)

From Jan 2018 P moves to Kindergarten at Zurlinde, and finally both boys were back together at the same location! So normally Alan would walk them in (then come back to Wiedikon to catch his train to Berne), and I'd normally pick them up, mostly by bike, then walking back with them. In the meantime Patrick finally learnt to cycle when he was 8-ish (summer 2019?). He was very resistant for so many years. The last summers it has been so lovely to all cycle together - me at the back of the pack of course!

For my birthday in 2019 the boys bought me my own scooter, so for a short time we were the scooter family, but the Markus' got stolen, so my scooter got re-allocated! So we've gone full circle, from the first pic I found of Markus scooting home from Kindergarten in 2013, to the boys scooting to and from school by themselves...

Flashback to my commuting thoughts from 2014!
All the photos here

Full circle Scooters..

Learning to ride, catching a lift...

M rides to Kindergarten

P hitches a lift (for a long time!)

Tags: family, memories

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