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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,668

    Default Getting started biking with the kids?

    I haven't biked in a really long time, but I would love to pick it back up, DH and I had just started going on some rides when I got pregnant with DS. I don't really have a bike at this point since I was using FIL old bike and I didn't really think it fit me all that well. Do you have any recs/suggestions on how to get started? I'm thinking best kind of bike to haul around an extra 30lbs + and then if I should start with a seat or a trailer or ??? I've been looking on CL and I get quickly overwhelmed. Reminds me of early carseat/stroller shopping, lol. DS is 30 months, DD will be a year at the end of the year. I guess I'd have to get a trailer if I wanted to haul both of them? Seems like they would enjoy sitting on the bike close to me and being higher off the ground, and right now I think I'd be ok with a set up for just 1 kiddo to start, given how young DD is, I'm thinking I would just take DS until I got more comfortable with it. Thanks for any pointers you can provide!
    ~ Dawn
    Our little monkey (4/2011) & his early holiday present 12/12

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Quebec
    Posts
    7,612

    Default

    I only have one so much less weight to consider, but we towed DS in a Chariot trailer until he was almost 4. He's got an end-of-summer b-day so his age really marks the end of various sporting seasons. We would have done a tag-a-long after that, but he's been pretty good keeping up on his own bike (on closed bike paths) so we kind of skipped that step by pushing him to keep up, or trading off on which adult got "alone" rides. DH is the big cyclist in our family (he used to be a competitive athlete), but I've also towed the trailer by myself w/o any big problems. The biggest issues are getting going, and if you're in a hilly area, controlling up/down hills.

    A lot of people do bike seats on an adult bike as well for children less than 3 or 4 yrs. We didn't go that route for a number of reasons, the primary one being that we're also skiers so we had actually purchased the Chariot (with ski kit) for winter time. We already had it, so why invest in something else? Also, my DS is super wiggly so we really appreciated being able to buckle and zip him in there with a bunch of books/stuffies/snacks and just roll He used to nap in there! DH even did a few fun races with DS in the thing. Unfortunately he outgrew it by height, otherwise he'd have been in there much longer, LOL!

    As for bikes, that's a fairly subjective thing. It depends on what type of terrain you'll be biking on, if they're closed paths, what your budget is, and how hilly it might be. DH and I are on some pretty nice gear, but we're so far from purchasing these days that we really don't know what's out there anymore. We're going to ride these bikes into the ground! As for other gear....I towed the Chariot on my mountain bike because that's all I have. DH was able to tow it on both his mountain and road bikes, though there were some issues with attaching to the road bike. We did buy additional mounts to make it easier to just clip the thing in because we were using multiple bikes.

    I would rec. a double for you, whatever brand, with an eye to transitioning to a tag-a-long for your older DC in the coming year or two. We actually had a double for DS because we just didn't know if he'd be in there alone or not and it was really preferable. The singles are pretty narrow.
    DS, Summer '07

    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." ~Jack Layton

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Central Coast, CA
    Posts
    1,668

    Default

    Thanks MontrealMum,
    I'm sort of leaning towards a mountain bike or cruiser so it's really stable, I've never done enough biking to feel secure on a road bike. The only thing I wondered about was whether different bikes or bike types would make it easier/harder to haul extra weight. I would be sticking to walking/bike paths, etc., especially if I got a trailer. Does your son mind being that low to the ground? I always sort of feel bad for the kiddo who ends up in the jump seat of our stroller that their view is just peoples legs, etc.

    There was a double burley on our CL for $300 earlier this week, which got me thinking about this. But there was also an iBert for $40. I think I'm going to try to go used on the seat/trailer and then maybe new or nearly new on the bike. Once I have something I tend to keep it forever.
    ~ Dawn
    Our little monkey (4/2011) & his early holiday present 12/12

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Quebec
    Posts
    7,612

    Default

    He's never complained about being low to the ground, but it's kind of all he knows since we started towing him when he was 1. We had a Burley on loan from a friend at first, then had to give that back so we replaced it with a Chariot. There's a huge mesh panel in the front and windows on the sides so the child can see quite a bit. I could always hear him back there telling me things and pointing stuff out.

    As for bikes, usually when I pulled the trailer I would have the knobby (mountain bike) tires swapped out for smooth ones which helped with resistance. Having gears helps a lot too so I wouldn't go too low-end with a cruiser style. I never did the pulling in hilly areas, just by our home on the bike path where it's mostly flat. So, the biggest push would be to get the bike moving. Once it's moving, it's not too difficult to keep going.

    You can often find used trailers, especially if you live in an area where biking is big. I'd totally recommend going used to save money. A new Chariot is pretty spendy.
    DS, Summer '07

    "My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world." ~Jack Layton

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