to think I can give up my car and survive using a bike/trailer?!

(42 Posts)
arwen110578 Mon 10-Dec-12 00:08:50

My second AIBU in as many minutes smile

Not returning to work after having second DD. Will be relying on DH wage which should be fine except that when I was working we both brought in similar amounts so we are dropping approx 45% salary!

DH coincidently has a new job which has started same time as I have ended mat leave and finished work. I don't think we can afford to run two cars and so I am thinking about getting a bike and trailer to take kiddies to pre-school and into town.

We are lucky that we live on a good cycle path, if I leave my house and cycle 2 miles left I get to pre-school, if I cycle 2 miles right I get into town. I can do online shopping for food and we use DH's car at weekends. And there is a bus service which is quite frankly bloody expensive Any emergencies I would call an ambulance for and we live 10 minutes from the A&E department..

DH and most of my friends think I am being ridiculous. I think it is a necessity as times are going to be tough and people did survive before cars and I might stand a chance of shedding some baby weight

Am I being ridiculous? DDs are 8 months and 2.10yrs

BrittaPerry Mon 10-Dec-12 07:40:32

How much IS the bus? Now it is cold, we have got season tickets. For us, the most expensive all zones bus, metro and ferry one is £20 a week. Less if we just use buses or just stay in one zone. It is free for under 5s and 5yo dd1 gets a pass by living in the area so she never pays more than £1.10 a day.

But then even people with cars quiteoften public transport into Newcastle from here (10 miles) as that is cheaper and easier than parking in the city centre.

Even buying new, you only really need to spend £150 on bike and trailer, much less second hand. If I were you, I would also buy a foldy buggy for aout £60 (the very cheap ones for £20 are rubbish) and a sling (find your local sling library on facebook for advice). You can take double buggies on the bus, but at busy times you will appreciate being able to fold up. Saying that, I used a double buggy for a year or so and it was fine.

BrittaPerry Mon 10-Dec-12 07:42:30

I should add,the £20 weekly ticket replaces £5.50 a day for the same zones and transports. So it is well worth looking at, especially as your kids are too young to pay.

RillaBlythe Mon 10-Dec-12 07:45:11

We do this. DP commutes by bike & I take the kids around by bike trailer or bus. Works really well for us, the only thing I've found now dd has started after achool activities is it means I have to be careful with the locations in a way I wouldn't if we used a car.

maillotjaune Mon 10-Dec-12 07:54:48

Of course it will be fine. I've never driven, have 3 children and walk everywhere with occasional bus or tube - and would only ever use tube for work in C Lindon anyway.

We walk just over a mike to school, it's just over and just under 2 miles to each of the places with supermarkets etc in either direction, and get main shop online.

Children all used to walking / scooting / cycling will just get on with it. And good waterproofs mean rain is a minor annoyance.

I wish I could say I had lost all the weight put on in pregnancy though...smile

VivaLeBeaver Mon 10-Dec-12 07:55:41

You need to think about what will you do when kids are too old to go in the trailer? They're going to need to bike or walk it themselves. Though you could use a tag along/trailgator for the youngest.

What about when they have friends coming for tea?

What about when one does an after school club and the other doesn't? You'd have to make the trip twice.

CanIHaveAPetGiraffePlease Mon 10-Dec-12 07:59:24

I've been carless twice. First time I used a sling for that year and walked everywhere and lost weight. It was great. However I wasn't able to get to my nct or post natal groups very often as people's houses weren't on the bus routes.

I moved back down south, had a car until it died and fully intended to go carless again but it was a nightmare. We couldn't get to music group or the farm or other places we used to go. One friend that was 20mins away by car turned out to be nearly 2 hours by 3 buses.

I guess if we'd never had a car we wouldn't have started the music,ballet etc but we did end up getting a car for managing to get out and about.

It depends on your area and if you can get to all the places you want to realistically by public transport.

lljkk Mon 10-Dec-12 08:09:26

It's not carLESS, it's Car-Free. grin

I don't think 2yos have mates back for tea. I may be wrong, though. Even at 4yo I find half the parents prefer to drop them off after school rather than risk them walking half a mile to our house in the wind & rain, (like mine do). So I don't need to give any lifts, after all. And they don't stay that long, anyway.

I find they can go in trailer until about 6yo depends on your size child & trailer, though).

How much is your road tax & insurance on the vehicle you'd be giving up, OP? Plus you have to consider what loss you'd be selling the car at. Might be cheaper to keep it available than to only give it up for 1-2 years.

I'm still carrying my kids on my bike, and they are 8 and 11. Granted, if we were somewhere with decent cycle paths, I'd have them biking on their own, but as we are in London ...

At any rate, as others have said, in your shoes I'd consider a normal cargo bike - either Bakfiets or Christiania, or you could go with a Yuba Mundo if you wanted something a bit lighter - you'd need seats for the kids with a Mundo, while the Bakfiets and Christiania have buckets to put the kids in.

The one 'gotcha' about biking places with an 8-month-old is, you won't have a pram when you get there. So going to town and wandering from shop to shop requires some sort of infant carrier. But a backpack would work, and if you get a bucket-style bike, you'll have somewhere to store the backpack in transit, for example.

TeWisBeenNargledByTheMistletoe Mon 10-Dec-12 08:17:39

We don't have a car.

If we have a playdate we all walk together. I get the bus a couple of times a month and a taxi every few months.

You will find there are places you just don't go weekdays, because you haven't got the time. That doesn't really bother me though.

Weissdorn Mon 10-Dec-12 08:22:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Caerlaverock Mon 10-Dec-12 09:02:40

You can get trailers that double as a pushchair. I would do it.

milkymocha Mon 10-Dec-12 09:09:25

I cope just without any car smile
How far away does DH work? He could cycle in somedays leaving the car free for you and the DC?

maillotjaune Mon 10-Dec-12 12:55:00

Re. after school clubs, my older 2 (mainly) do things on the same night even if it's not the same activity.

OP you've said it's pre-school in the opposite direction to town - will that change when they go to school? Although our house is only 15 mins walk at child's pace (about 7 at mine) it's a bit far to walk home and back when only 1 is at a club (timewise it's fine, but hard to get them back out of the house if you go home sometimes), but our library is only 5 mins from school so we do library visits which combine toys, books, and somewhere to finish any outstanding homework.

As someone else has said I think you do end up not doing some things in the week - so I never got in with the post-toddler group thing of outings to soft play thankfully but don't feel we've missed out

ChiefOwl Mon 10-Dec-12 13:05:32

My only question is how far will school be? As that is a trip you will have to do come, rain, snow or shine!

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 10-Dec-12 13:18:32

There are a few important considerations. Is it flat or hilly? A flat 2 miles is easy a hilly 2 miles not so much with a double trailer. How will you cope when the DCs are too heavy for a trailer but (maybe) too small to cycle, is there an alternative? Is there somewhere to leave the trailer so you can go off on your own while DCs at pre-school? How will you manage in bad weather? Warm dry clothes obviously but what about icy and snowy conditions? Can you manage on the bus on days when cycling out of the question? Can you get to other places easily including school in due course?

I think YANBU at all but I would want to be clear how I'd manage in the longer term and in less than great conditions.

GhoulWithADragonTattoo Mon 10-Dec-12 13:21:31

Also I'm guessing for a while you'll have 1 DC at school and 1 at pre-school - will that be feasible also?

RillaBlythe Tue 11-Dec-12 12:31:03

You can take kids in a trailer for quite a while though - I have a croozer for 2, & I carry my 4 yo & 1 yo with ease. I think dd1 (who is big for her age) could stay in till 6+ but she can already ride a bike & I expect her move out next summer. My croozer also v quickly can be turned into a pram but I generally just take a carrier along.

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