Getting the Christmas Tree Home via Bike: 2019 Edition

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In now it’s 7th year, we’ve been moving the Christmas tree home by bike. It started when we lived in Paris, using a bike share Velib to make the trek from our favored Christmas Tree vendor at the flower markets in the shadow of Notre Dame, to just across the river to our apartment.

In case you missed some of the previous years, here ya go:

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Now that we’re in Amsterdam we’ve been doing it with the much larger cargo bike – but also with 2 kids (the 3rd Peanut hasn’t yet graduated to tree duties, next year will be her first go at it). As always, I’ve written up a short bit on it each year – more for me and the kiddos someday, than anything else. But I figure everyone continues to enjoy it.

Of course, given Christmas is a mere two days away, you might surmise I merely forgot to post this or something. Nope, not exactly. We’re just a bit ‘deferred’ on the Christmas tree schedule, only finally getting our tree this past Friday. It was a blend of The Girl travelling back home to Canada for a week, and then upon return, all last week a household full of sick kiddos (and adults). Thus Friday was the first ‘opening’.

We headed down to the same Christmas tree place as last year as they appeared to have a number of trees still. I had the two toddler kiddos in the cargo bike, and The Girl had littlest Peanut (P3) in a baby carrier, riding a standalone bike. At this point, things were looking promising.

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Except, after a quick bit of browsing, all the trees were kinda small for our living room. In other words, all shorter than me. I’ve got a bit of a rule that the tree has to be as tall as I. Just my thing.

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So onwards we went, looking at a few more places. Here, most tree vendors are simply flower shops or grocery stores. Same in Paris for the most part (whereas in the US, Christmas tree vendors generally pop-up in large parking lots as well as at grocery stores). We did find one standalone tree place, but it was already closed:

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It’s at this point that the oldest Peanut said: “We’re not going to have Christmas now.”

Oh noes.

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However, with one last nearby place on the list, we found ourselves a tree that worked. There were only three trees left – but this one will do just fine!

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We got the tree all tied up and bound (get your mind out of the gutter, this is a Christmas post), and then stuck into the bike. We ended up relocating P2 to the backseat. She could have fit just fine in the front seat, but this gave both kiddos a bit more room.

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Plus, next year with P3 onboard, you can see it’ll still easily work.

With that, it was time to head out on our journey to get the tree back home! Of course, as is also tradition, it’s never the shortest route. Nope, we usually take a rather circuitous route. Just because.

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As always, nobody pays any attention. This is the norm here. In fact, it’s nearly impossible to get anyone to glance at your bike load unless you do something astoundingly outlandish. After two years, I finally managed to unlock that achievement this weekend for a different ride. More on that later today.

First up we passed the old train station. Roughly 12 times.

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Because trying to figure out the fading sunset light combined with movement, on a new mirrorless camera was proving challenging.

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Then we continued on to Olympic Stadium, home of the 1928 Olympics. It was vaguely on our way home. Also, it’s where the most light was. We took a photo in front of the stadium with it in the background. It came out like a potato. So instead, here’s the opposite direction, which came out reasonably well!

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After that, we rolled over the small canal bridge behind it, and along the bike path back towards home. I even posted a little Instagram video of that, which I’ve added to the collection of ‘Best Cargo Bike Videos’ on Insta-Stories.

And then it was back home to get the tree set up! Simple as that. Oh wait, Strava!!!! Of course we recorded it on Strava:

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And finally, here’s the finished product:

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We’ve decided it’s actually one of the nicest trees we’ve had, structurally speaking of course. It holds the vast amount of ornaments quite nicely. And then once it’s done its duties, we’ll hand it over to the city to become mulch within the numerous Amsterdam city parks. The circle of life continues.

With that – thanks for reading, and have a Merry Christmas!

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17 Comments

  1. gingerneil

    Its never really Christmas until this post pops up!
    Have an amazing time Maker Family – and thanks for giving us all so much over the year. x

  2. simon

    Merry Christmas Ray and family

    thanks for all your posts this year

  3. Yonah

    Merry Xmas to all of the Makers, and best wishes for a happy new year

  4. Chris Benten

    Wait until you have been married 30+ years…Then you will have an amazing amount of ornaments!

    Have a great holiday!!

  5. Ritchie

    Merry Christmas to the Maker family, and best wishes for a healthy and happy new year. Thanks for all you have done and continue to do for us nerdy types.

  6. Logan

    Merry Christmas, Maker family. By the way, the Girl’s version of the Peanut’s meltdown was way better than yours. 😂

  7. Sharon

    I do love this post every year – so envious of your life on the bike. Thanks for sharing your family with us, those Peanuts are just adorable.
    Merry Christmas to all the Makers 🎄

  8. Kevin

    Just one concern – what happens if there is a P4? Will you need to go for the smaller tree to fit everyone on the cargo bike?

    All the best to you, Bobbi and the kids for a blessed Christmas and Happy New Year.

    • R Levels

      @kevin. Oh your definitly not Dutch. A second child seat can be fitted on the Girls bike or even better P1 can ride here own bike.

      Happy Holidays from Limburg

    • On the P4 front, no such plans.

      But the Urban Arrow actually can fit three within the box, technically four if they’re smaller. Once we remove the baby seat that sits in the main cargo portion, then a front bench can be added (that faces backwards). Thus four in the box, plus the one more in the back-seat. So five kids + adult. For realz.

      Also, again, zero P4 or P5 plans.

    • Olivier Homps

      Very interesting.
      I’ve got 3 monkeys, aged 2/5/7. Living in Poland it’s not that great for M1 to ride his own bike.
      I’m looking at replacing the disel burner with either a cargo bike or a something like the yuba sweet curry (link to yubabikes.com)
      I am veering more towards the latter, because the monkeys are getting bigger, and i’m not sure they’d fit in a front cargo box.
      Decisions, decisions…

  9. swoosh

    All of you three should were a helmet.

    • Thomas

      You have some great advice on your website!
      But I do support the statement that you should be wearing a helmet, also in a cargo bike.
      Contact me if you want some advice on good helmets for toddlers. Our kids never want to go in the cargo bike without their helmet 😉

    • R Levels

      Why? For sporting absolutly, but for leisure rides it is not in our culture (or law). Even the Fietsersbond (organisation campaining for safer cycling) is opposing a cycling helmet law.

      Any data on whys this would be safer in our cycling environment?

    • Thomas

      @R Levels
      Even the Fietsersbond advises children to wear a helmet on their website.
      Decide for yourself, but I believe it is smarter to let your children wear helmets (also in a cargo bike).
      Happy new year and drive safe 😉

    • swoosh

      R Levels, are you really asking me why it is safer to ride with a helmet?