I really want to cycle the kids to school - it's just under a mile and they are in YR and Yr1 so it makes it a manageable 10 minute journey rather than 25 minute slog.
The thing is they can easily have 8 bags between them and no way of carrying them on their diddy bikes, also none of the bags is wearable by a 4/5 year old:
We have 2 each of - School A4 bookbag with shoulder strap - large gym bag with shoulder cords but much too big for DC's to wear. - lunch bag with handle - often swim bag, spare coat etc.
I was thinking of getting a big messenger bag (a real one like bike couriers use) and chucking everything in. Where would I get one? Are they comfortable for cycling with? Ideally it would be suitable for DH to wear on the morning run, and his bike doesn't have a carrier.
I felt a right twit this morning festooned with bags all over me and a tottering pile bungeed onto my carrier.
I reckon you need panniers - could your dh put a carrier on his bike? I've done school run with 2 kids (mine plus friend), and I really wouldn't have wanted to be carrying all their stuff in a messenger bag. Especially on gym days I used to end up with both panniers stuffed full. They're not that expensive (mine are the cheapest Altura ones & I think cost a bit over twenty quid for the pair).
Thank you Takver. I had some old panniers but gave them to my dad - they weren't expensive you're right. DH's bike is an old super-light drop handlebar racer, he will have to be talked round into a carrier.
Why on earth do schools produce this proliferation of bags?
Rear panniers would be better for your balance than a shoulder bag, and also something to clip extra lights to. If you can, put the basket on the back too. Have you got a local bike shop you could talk to? Otherwise places like Halfords will probably have inexpensive panniers.
Yes I used to use panniers and also a pannier briefcase in my cycling to work days. Because the school run is so short I liked the idea of a big sack to chuck everythng in. None of the stuff is heavy, just bulky.
I am thinking of customising the bookbag with rucksack straps so the DC's can carry their own.
A slight complication is that DS2 is struggling with the ride home after a long day at school, he is v. young and tiny, and just started Reception - we might need to use the rear child seat for a few weeks.
My 4 year old boy has just started school and is cycling with everything in his rucksack. I got it from argos for about £6 and chose it because it has a chest strap. To make it small enough, I had to tie everything to its tightest and then tie up all the long straps, but he is cycling with it no problem. hope this helps
Could they wear the bookbags like rucksacks, using the shoulder strap, in the way we used to wear satchels in days of yore? Then everything else in panniers, but at least the DCs are responsible for something.