Chicago: Kids love Jimbob Love’s Pedicab

I couldn’t get these kids to smile at the camera all day, but as soon as they hopped in Jimbob Love’s Pedicab, I got big cheesy smiles. OK, the baby couldn’t take his eyes off Bobby, but can you blame him? The guy oozes cool.

But first the beginning of our trip…

This is the first airplane trip we’ve taken without car seats! We’re staying in downtown Chicago and should be fine with public transportation, walking, and biking. In the past I’ve had to bring my big BOB single stroller, mostly for carting the car seats and luggage around the airport. That thing easily holds big wheeled suitcase, little wheelie bag, two tiny kid backpacks, my messenger bag, a bag of snacks, and the big kid perched on the handlebar (while little kid is on my back). I’ve never once bothered to get anything out of the little wheelie bag on the plane so I got a Tom Bihn Super Ego messenger bag to hold just as much stuff, but fit under the seat (Which, by the way, Jimbob Love called “cool bike bag”). So considering how comparatively light we’re traveling, I thought we might give public transportation to the airport a go. I couldn’t fully commit, though, so I told myself that if we were up and ready to leave the house at 9am, we’d go for it. Otherwise we’d go by car at 10.

We were up on time and the only sucky part was the six-block walk to the bus stop from home. The first three blocks were uphill and we were running five minutes late so we had to run the last block. I had the little kid on my back and stacked everything else (including folded up stroller) on the big wheeled suitcase while the big kid ran alongside me. In retrospect, I should have removed my huge laptop from the messenger bag slung over my shoulder and kept it in the suitcase until bagcheck. Next time. My shoulder is a little sore from lugging the heavy load to the bus and through the airport. My husband borrowed a coworker’s car with car seats to fetch us from Midway airport so the day wasn’t all public transportation, but it’s important to leave room for improvement.

This morning was all about trains: L train to Metra train to The Choo Choo train-themed diner (food delivered via model train) in Des Plaines, with Metra train to L train back to Chicago. Then we explored downtown (aka, I got horribly lost trying to walk three blocks back to the hotel). I almost hailed a pedicab, but ended up finding the Chicago River and the water taxi, which is almost as exciting as a train. Then we walked a bit more to Navy Pier for the ride-on Kiddie Express Train. I saw pedicabs at the entrance to the pier and checked with one that kids are allowed to ride, having already decided I didn’t want to walk anymore. There were two pedicabs there at the time, the young guy I talked to and a cigarette-smoking guy shouting at passersby, “You want a ride, yes?” I told the young guy I’d look for him when we were done with the kiddie train.

Fortunately the young pedicab guy was gone by the time we returned because all three of us were drawn to the yellow music-issuing chalkboard-encased Jimbob Love’s Pedicab. It was so nice to get pedaled around for a change! I had been looking forward to when I can put a kid on a FollowMe Tandem to help with the pedaling, but now I want one of them to grow up and become a pedicab driver and do all the work. Bliss!

Bobby showed us a nice bike route out of Navy Pier, but I didn’t pay close attention so I’m not sure I’ll find it again. The riverwalk, however, I’ll be able to find, and it should be nice to cycle on a weekday. Today it was moderately crowded, but Bobby’s harmonic ringing of his four bike bells cleared the way. If it wasn’t so far away, I’d be tempted to go to tomorrow’s Northcenter Neighborhood Garden Walk just for the free Jimbob Love pedicab rides.

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