I've never been a huge bike rider. Yes, I adored my banana seat Schwinn as a kid and have been on a couple of fantastic mountain biking treks, but I've never owned a nice bike or used a bike regularly.
Japan has changed all that. We don't have a car here, which I love, except when it's pouring down rain. So everyday, we hop on our bikes to go to work, shop or do our everyday things on the island. And now, I have become a proficient everyday biker. The first couple weeks we were here I was a little wobbly, especially with Max on the back. Unfortunately, I always buy too much when I go to the store, so I'm forever trying to creatively pack on my groceries - with bungies or with the front basket and back babyseat full AND my handlebars both with bags hanging off them, but I still seem to manage.
I have also mastered the art of riding my bike while holding an umbrella. This has become a little scarier now that I'm pregnant, but I can do it just the same. The big problem is loading the bike while it's raining. While I can arrive at my destination fairly dry when riding my bike, pushing the stroller while trying to hold an umbrella is near impossible... Hence, my purchase:
I hope it's easy to move from bike to stroller. If not, I may have to buy another.
We bought this today at the bike shop. Why were we at the bike shop? Well my petite frame caused my tire to POP on Saturday afternoon!
I did learn one lesson from using an umbrella while riding a bike, you may want to note if you want to try this balancing act... do not ride your bike with a dark colored umbrella. The clear ones are the best. (I almost ran over a lady one day because I had the umbrella down low because the rain was coming down hard.)