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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    18

    Riding with the kids

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    I haven't noticed many posts about riding with the kiddos, but I'm new here and probably haven't looked very hard. I'm starting to lower my car time and upping my bike time and I have a 1 year old and a 3 year old in tow. So far, so good. I've got a Yuba Mundo cargo bike with a Yepp Mini on the front for the wee one and a Peanut Shell on the back for the big one and then it still has room on the rack for panniers and groceries/cargo/baby gear. We were using a trailer but for lots of off/on errands, it was too much.

    What are other moms with kiddos doing?

    Elle

    www.tinyhelmetsbigbikes.com

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    Hello and welcome to TE!

    I'm a new rider (coming up to two years now) and have a trailer for my four year old. It doesn't get used that often at the moment, as I'm using the bike more for solo "me" time, and also because the traffic on the nursery run is pretty unpleasant and unpredictable and it's just no fun. That said, we have fuel-delivery drivers strike looming so I expect I'll be back dodging the lorries again soon. I'm hoping that we'll use it again when she starts school in the autumn, other than that I use it to take her to her favourite park in town and we always hire one on holiday. Here's my trailer thread http://forums.teamestrogen.com/showthread.php?t=41526
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    18
    I thought I had replied earlier but I don't see the message...Have you heard of Kidical Mass? It's like a car-pool but with bikes where families pick up other riders along the way for a "safety in numbers" type ride to school, the park, events, etc. Sometimes that can help other families gain confidence to ride and that's always a good thing!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Posts
    54
    Hi. I don't have kids but I think it's great that you're riding with yours. I see more and more people taking their kids to school on trailer bikes and trailers now on my daily commute and I get to chatting with them sometimes at traffic lights. On the whole, the kids seem to love it. There's even a mum who rides a cargo bike and the kids and dog all pile into it. It's a brilliant sight.

    tinyhelmets, I had a look at your website - what a great set-up you've got. Hebe, the lorry run sounds awful. I'm in the UK too. Worth a letter to the local councillor? I know many are still stuck in the dark ages where cycling is concerned. A number of them are latching onto the 'Cities fit for cycling' campaign launched by The Times though. Anyway, good luck with it.

    A question: What's it like riding a trailer around hills, especially downhill?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    99
    At the beginning of the school year, I rode my 4 year old in a child seat on a semi-regular basis to his Pre-K. As the snowbirds came down, the traffic increased enough that I wasn't comfortable doing it anymore unless my auto won't work. I've thought about walking him to school but as he gets more headstrong, I'm almost afraid that he will escape and try to do it himself. He has also outgrown the child seat that I had on the bike.

    My boys (4 year old and 6 year old) were regularly riding 14-20 mile rides in the trailer with me pulling, but they are getting too big to ride together. DH and I just got new bikes and we are considering purchasing a half-bike tow behind for the 6 year old. He rides pretty well but just can't keep up with us on his 16 inch tires. He doesn't seem quite big enough for a 20" yet. We rented one of the tow behind bikes on Monday and he did awesome on a 14 mile ride. (We are poor though so its hard to break with the money - I think we will though).

    We live in Florida so most of our rides aren't too hilly. I did head over to where they do the Hilly Hundred and didn't get too far when I was pulling both of them in the trailer. Most of the time, it isn't too bad though.

    They both seem to enjoy it most of the time (until they start getting in the space of the other one).

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    Quote Originally Posted by silversurfer View Post
    Hi. I don't have kids but I think it's great that you're riding with yours. I see more and more people taking their kids to school on trailer bikes and trailers now on my daily commute and I get to chatting with them sometimes at traffic lights. On the whole, the kids seem to love it. There's even a mum who rides a cargo bike and the kids and dog all pile into it. It's a brilliant sight.

    tinyhelmets, I had a look at your website - what a great set-up you've got. Hebe, the lorry run sounds awful. I'm in the UK too. Worth a letter to the local councillor? I know many are still stuck in the dark ages where cycling is concerned. A number of them are latching onto the 'Cities fit for cycling' campaign launched by The Times though. Anyway, good luck with it.

    A question: What's it like riding a trailer around hills, especially downhill?
    Thank you. I decided to try again, as generally lorry drivers are pretty good here, and a two mile round trip is really too short to do in the car especially with fuel prices as they are, and cycling there is definitely safer than walking, even with the traffic and potholes. I will talk to my councillor, who is very pro cycling. Part of the problem is that a good chunk of the estate is private roads rather than council-owned so there doesn't seem to be any rush to fix the road surface or enforce parking restrictions. The Times campaign is interesting, do you think it extends to "Sleepy Wiltshire market towns fit for cycling?" I've got a session booked with the cycling instructor who taught me to ride, so I'll ask her for tips on the best way to ride there too.

    I haven't done any really steep hills with the trailer, but it's a case of dropping into the right gear early and counting or singing my way up.
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    We recently purchased a weehoo for our 2 (almost 3 yo). He didn't like riding in a burley trailer anymore, he wanted to be riding and pedaling. He LOVES the weehoo. Attached to my bike is a burley piccolo for our 6 yo and attached to THAT is the weehoo. It's a very long train. I use it to take them to and from school/daycare and to soccer practice, the park, etc.

    If I'm going to get groceries, I leave the kids at home and take the burley trailor.

    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    That's an excellent set-up, limewave!

    Can I ask how you find the handling of your bike with the Piccolo attached please? I'm starting to think about the next step on from the trailer, though it will depend on what school we are allocated and how long I can encourage Small Girl to stay in the trailer.
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    How old is your daughter now? I think we started my daughter on the tagalong when she was an old 3 (as in she was about to turn 4 that fall). She could barely touch the pedals, but she could balance and hold on alright.

    We started with short rides, 2-3 miles and built up from there. Last summer we took her on a couple 15-18 mile rides on the tagalong, she was 5 years old. Although, she did nod off at the end of the 18 mile ride--somehow she managed to hang on while asleep. This summer we have plans for 30 mile rides.

    It's an adjustment riding with the tagalong. You can definitely feel them moving about and you'll find yourself yelling at them to stay still! Or Don't lean to the side! But, you'll get the hang of it. You'll also have to take wider turns and stopping will is more of a challenge. You'll want to slow down earlier as you are towing that extra weight--it can be like trying to stop a freight train.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    Thank you! B turned 4 in February. She rides her own little bike with stabilisers, but there's only one possible school with a safe enough sidewalk route. I'm sure she'd be ok holding on to the handlebars on something like the, but I wouldn't want to take her on the nursery run for example as there's too much risk if she came off. The Burley piccolos have a good press here because they are rack-mounted rather than seat-post mounted. I really struggled with a child seat on the bike, but am absolutely fine with the trailer.
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    Quote Originally Posted by hebe View Post
    Thank you! B turned 4 in February. She rides her own little bike with stabilisers, but there's only one possible school with a safe enough sidewalk route. I'm sure she'd be ok holding on to the handlebars on something like the, but I wouldn't want to take her on the nursery run for example as there's too much risk if she came off. The Burley piccolos have a good press here because they are rack-mounted rather than seat-post mounted. I really struggled with a child seat on the bike, but am absolutely fine with the trailer.
    I really like the piccolo because of the rack mount. It's very convenient to attach and detach. And it puts less stress on the bike. We've bought higher end child trailers and tagalongs--I have not regretted a single cent I've spent for the quality and ease of use.
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Wilts, UK
    Posts
    903
    Thank you . Sorry for all the questions, but do you keep the Trek set up just for towing, or do you use it off-road too with the rack still on?
    Dawes Cambridge Mixte, Specialized Hardrock, Specialized Vita.

    mixedbabygreens My blog, which really isn't all about the bike.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    99
    Limewave - I love that setup. I mentioned to my DH that I might want to try something like that and he just looked at me like I was crazy. When they are both out of school this summer, it would be great to get some rides like that. My 4 almost 5 year old loves being in the regular type trailer as long as brother isn't in there with him. Both my boys are short so my 6 year old is just barely tall enough for a tagalong. He loved it though when we rented one to see how he would do.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    2,546
    Quote Originally Posted by Cynedra View Post
    Limewave - I love that setup. I mentioned to my DH that I might want to try something like that and he just looked at me like I was crazy. When they are both out of school this summer, it would be great to get some rides like that. My 4 almost 5 year old loves being in the regular type trailer as long as brother isn't in there with him. Both my boys are short so my 6 year old is just barely tall enough for a tagalong. He loved it though when we rented one to see how he would do.
    My DH was not keen on the idea of the tagalongs and bike trailers. In fact, he pretty much was flat out against spending money on it, he thought it would be a waste and that we'd never use them . . .
    Hundreds of miles later, neither one of us regrets the investment. We bike with the kids all the time. So go for it!
    2005 Giant TCR2
    2012 Trek Superfly Elite AL
    2nd Sport, Pando Fall Challenge 2011 and 3rd Expert Peak2Peak 2011
    2001 Trek 8000 SLR
    Iceman 2010-6th Place AG State Games, 2010-1st Sport, Cry Baby Classic 2010-7th Expert, Blackhawk XTerra Tri 2007-3rd AG

    Occasionally Updated Blog

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Ohio
    Posts
    105
    I rode with my kids in the trailer for a long time, and then one spring it happened. I put them in and went off on a 17 mile ride. I felt like I was in really bad shape. When I got home I could barely walk up the stairs to the house. They had grown so much that their combined weight was well over 85 pounds. I did a number on my knees that took years to make better. Be careful how much weight you pull.

 

 

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