A Bike Trailer
Just before Lily was born, my aunt bought us a Chariot bike trailer. She knew my love of biking (I grew up biking with my family) and she did all the research into the trailer and assured us this was the best. We both liked the fact it was made in Calgary. It also folded down into a somewhat smaller size (which was still impossible to get into our Jeep TJ and barely fits into our Dodge Durango) and had a lot of great accessories.
We have the double Chariot, which both Sunshine and Lily ride in together, but they are skinny girls and find it a bit squishy this summer. They're used to riding in it together, though, so with a few snacks or toys to keep them busy, they are usually happy for a ride. My neighbour tried borrowing it and found her kids wouldn't sit together, so habit does help.
The Chariot bike trailer is super easy to attach to the bike. We got two hitches so we could put it on either my hubby's bike or mine, depending on who wanted to take the girls for a ride (or so we could take turns pulling, because trailer plus girls weighs about 100 pounds right now). I also like the big basket behind the bike trailer for stashing those extra things you need to take along—jackets, snacks, diapers, etc.
Last summer, my husband saw a kids' bike that hitched behind the parent's bike. He spent quite a bit of time researching this online before finding a trail-a-bike for sale second-hand. Sunshine loves it. She gets to ride behind Mommy or Daddy on a big bike, so she can go a bit faster than her own bike, but she doesn't have to worry about balancing or stopping.
I think this helped her learn to ride her own bike this summer. It also helped with the weight in the Chariot; Sunshine and my husband could ride together while Lily went in the trailer with me. Lily still isn't quite tall enough to reach the pedals on the trail-a-bike, even at the seat's lowest point. Since then, I've seen lots of other kids out for a ride with Mom or Dad.
A Bike Seat
Lots of people who are moving out around here leave stuff behind that they don't want to take with them or to a thrift store. We've scored some pretty great gear, including a kids' bike seat. I gave it a quick wash and my husband installed it on the back of my bike. Now in the evening, I often go out for a ride with one of the girls behind me.
One night, my husband watched Jade while I took Lily in the seat behind me and Sunshine rode her own bike. The only problem with the bike seat is that it means we can't hitch the trail-a-bike to the bike with the bike seat, because the trail-a-bike hitches to the seat post, which is obscured by the bike seat.
Babies and Bikes
The biggest problem with all of this bike gear is that none of it is suitable for Jade. We've looked into all three modes of transporting kids on bikes and all of them recommend that babies don't go on the bike until they are at least a year old. So for this summer, we're stuck taking turns on the bike while one of us watches Jade. Next summer, though, I'm looking forward to exploring more of the island via two wheels and maybe even finally riding the Galloping Goose from Sooke to downtown Victoria.
Do you ride bikes with your children?
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