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Ok I want us to become a Cycling Family. Where do I start?

(90 Posts)
FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 08:36:45

Right bit of a brain dump here but very interested in other peoples thoughts

am about to sort out and sell vast swathes of baby crap (oooh whole other thread about Issues here) so I should have some cash . Enough to spend about £300 on my bike, plus fixings for car, helmet for dd, etc.

I have ds 3.5 who will have a decent xmas money bike, and dd 21 months who has around £50 to spend on something like a decent trike or similar (PIL into such things. can sub a bit more here)

I have the world's crappest bike, it is too big for me and very heavy and putting me off cycling. I need a new one, preferably one for women. I do have one of those kids seats that go on the front but I hate it oooh so much, its impossible to cycle properly with it.

dp has no bike but can sort himself out given cash. he is a low priority really, he can have my old bike for a bit.

The ideal is for us to use the bikes to get round and about and also to head off with them in the car on occasion.

So I need

1. A bike that I can have on the road, with some method of conveying dd. I don't do bike trailers for numerous safety neurotic reasons so she needs to be on a seat.

2. Thoughts on adult trike

3. Thoughts on whether it is acceptable/safe for a 3 yo to be on the pavement while I am trundling along the road (we are talking quiet back streets in the early afternoon-the back from nursery run, which is about 2 miles-not the M4 in rush hour, btw). He has a bell and is trained to use it.

will come back and witter more as I google for stuff.

Any more thoughts

oh and can I take ds running with me on his bike, do you reckon? Through the park and so on?

FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 08:41:06

oooh maybe this is what i need

though their spelling mistake disturb me

FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 08:42:46

pmsl at chopper trike

frogs Wed 11-Apr-07 08:47:02

Is he old enough for a trailer bike (the kind that looks like half a bike)? If so, then the scenario is: You + bike seat for little one, + bike trailer for ds. That's the setup I currently have for ds (7) while dd2 (3.5) is on a bike seat. Depends how strong he is, how much stamina and how long the distances you wish to travel. I do think 3.5 is very young for a child to be cycling by themselves, even on the pavement.. My dd2 is in no way ready to bike any serious distances for the purposes of actually getting somewhere, as opposed to piddling about, so once she outgrows the bike seat, she'll be on the trailer and ds on his own bike.

Alternatively, I do know very serious biking families who have a tandem. And a trailer bike that attaches to it. But you may feel that's going too far.

FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 08:50:08

ds does 3-4 miles on his likabike so am assuming 2 miles would be okish? There's a starbucks to refuel part way

am worried about trailer bike on road

if need be i can forget the nursery part of plan-dd and i can walk. its the general getting out and cycling with them that is what i want to do

glitterfairy Wed 11-Apr-07 08:52:08

I agree with frogs. I also dislike kids riding along on the pavement and wont you be going too fast?

It does get so much easier and my youngest (8) can now just cope with a five mile bike ride. We are going to start riding the bikes two miles or so to school every day this term which should be fun but not on days when we are carting around full sized cellos etc. My real problem is places on bikes to put shopping and stuff etc.

FrannyandZooey Wed 11-Apr-07 08:56:00

OK they must have their OWN bike

not go on yours or you will never get them off

what are you like, pandering to them, carrying them about on your bike, you great freak

<gives up bad attempt to make co-sleeping joke analogy thing>

Ds has just outgrown his seat so we now have a trailer (the sort they sit in) and we're hoping he'll graduate to a tagalong later in the year. EBay is good for second hand bike bits IME

frogs Wed 11-Apr-07 08:56:47

Personally, if I want be to get somewhere, I want to get somewhere, not messing about sweet-talking my recalcitrant 3yo into pedalling, and stopping every 10 yards to answer some urgent query about ladybirds. I just wouldn't. [Aaaargh] at the very thought. But your ds may be much more compliant and robust, and you are probably more tolerant than me. 'Fraid I just can't think myself into a headspace where 3yo + own bike = going anywhere.

You can buy great long flags that attach to trailer bikes to increase visibility. I don't really have an issue with the trailer bike on any road where I'm happy to have dd2 on the bike seat, I can't see it's much different to having a rear-mounted child seat.

ScummyMummy Wed 11-Apr-07 08:57:38

why adult trike? So dd can go on/in the basket or something? They are a bit unwieldy, I think. Suspect you wouldn't get a great ride but have never been on one and LOVE my 2 wheeeler so am not the best judge, probably. Any good bike shop should sort you with good bike and seat and let you have lots of goes on different models. You would get a great bike for what you're prepared to spend on the trike and a bike has a much longer shelf life than a trike, unless you are a trike enthusiast, as you can use it with or without kids. I would feel a bit conspicuous and embarrassed using a trike without kids, tbh, even though I know that's a bit pathetic!

We do kids on pavements, adults on roads and it seems to work fine. Am v impressed that your son can manage a 2 mile cycle ride at 3 though. Both mine would have struggled and got bored about 0.25 miles in at that age (one is a bit dyspraxicish tending I think, though). Ditto with the running. I would have had to stop every two minutes to chivvy and encourage them and so wouldn't have managed any great distance, I suspect. But I think running with child alongside on its bike or scooter is great in principle- definitely worth giving it a try if you have an active physically fluent kid.

frogs Wed 11-Apr-07 08:58:55

Er yes, and agree with Scummy, that's a No, No, No to adult trikes. Yuk.

FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 09:01:08

well yes, really re the basket. can i not put kids in a basket nowadays? days of yore big volvo and that? am i just making a rod for my own back?

Twiglett Wed 11-Apr-07 09:01:42

I think you need a trail-gator for the older child for when he can ride his own bike

Twiglett Wed 11-Apr-07 09:02:40


FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 09:03:49

francoise how big is your ds?

I really want advice on women's bikes also.

our local bike shop is all hardcore touring stuff, not good for kids bikes/women. I want to be prepared before i go thusly.

FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 09:04:33

ooooh trailgator,


see I don't think he'd go for that, he's rather independent

FrannyandZooey Wed 11-Apr-07 09:07:59

He is bloody huge

and will grow out of it shortly

FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 09:09:49

ah feck.

i mean good that he is huge but...ds is still in 24 mo clothes. Inside leg is 36 cm

how does he feel about not steering?

fennel Wed 11-Apr-07 09:10:07

IME you don't really go on cycle rides with the children on their own bikes til they're big/competent enough to go on a 16" wheel bike. My dds at 3.5 were riding little 12" bikes but at that speed you can keep up with a brisk walk. And at that age when we went on family cycle rides they went in the child seats on an adult bike. Their speed will double when they reach the size for a 16" bike - at about 5, or 4 if they are very large and competent. That's when you can realistically cycle along besides them.

So with a 3yo I'd have them riding on the pavement with us walking alongside, more or less, keeping them safe. With a 5yo I'd have them still riding on the pavement or a cycle path wherever possible, with us riding on the road.

We found the trailgator very good for a 4yo.

On distance, it really depends on the child. My dd1 could easily do 10 miles plus cycle rides at 5.5, but we do a lot of cycling as a family so she had a lot of practice.

Twiglett Wed 11-Apr-07 09:10:49

the point about the trailgator is that its so you can go longer distances and then you unhitch them somewhere safe and they have their own bike again and then you hitch them back

I found when DS was younger he loved being my turbo booster and helping mummy ride .. because mummy is not that good on a bike

we used to ride along and all of a sudden I'd say Turbo Boost

"Turbo Boost on duty" says DS ... little legs a peddlin'

"Turbo Boost off duty" says DS .. and stops

you could really feel the difference too

FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 09:12:11


actually I reckon I could run beside ds on his likabike. but i am not a very fast runner atm, being too wobbly

DumbledoresGirl Wed 11-Apr-07 09:13:01

We bike a bit.

Ds1 and ds2 are obviously independent (and rarely seen once bike ride starts as they shoot off so fast!)
DD (aged just 7) only learnt to cycle without stabilisers last summer so she has her bike for when she is up to it and then we have a devise on the back of my bike which can be brought out and attached to her bike, lifting her front wheel off the gournd so that she can be towed when she is tired.
Ds3 (aged 4) is proving very resistant to leaving his trike and taking on a bike with stabilisers so at the moment, he sits in a child seat on the back of dh's bike.

Sorry, can't help with technical questions about which model to get, but just wanted you to know we have muddled along for a few years now biking with the children.

Twiglett Wed 11-Apr-07 09:13:05

DH bought my bike .. he is ardent cyclist and cycles to work in the city

do you want me to go and check what it is?

FillyjonkIsMilitantAboutFruit Wed 11-Apr-07 09:13:10

am thinking on the trailgator twig

so i would have

dd in yet to be announced front thingy

ds in trailgator

me on Posh Bike

whats the stabilty like on trailgators btw?

fennel Wed 11-Apr-07 09:13:22

Trailgator is also very good for when you have some road traffic, and the child isn't good enough to cycle on a road, then you can detach them when you reach a safer cycle path.

DumbledoresGirl Wed 11-Apr-07 09:13:44

Oh, yes, I see from Twiglett that our devise is called a trailgator. It is great.

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