Recreational & Family - Trailers-V-Back Seat Driver
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04-14-03, 01:28 PM
I have a 2 year old who enjoys going out on bike rides with the folks. We have borrowed a Burely type trailer from a neighbor and have had some good success.
I wanted to see what others experiences have been.
As she grows older, I know that she'll want to either have a seat behind me or one of those bikes you hook onto my seat post.
Not quite sure how old she'll have to be before we go that route.
I guess before I go and spend a couple of hundred dollars on a trailer - I thought I'd see what others had to say.
So have at it.
04-14-03, 06:06 PM
I started taking my son with me on rides starting at 9 months on a child seat. He out grew that at 13 months and I put him in a trailer, a Burly Cub. He absolutly loved it. We used to ride all over town with it (pathways only). Then I took the big chance and got him a tag-along (Adams Trail-a-Bike, folding type) when he turned 4 years. After some adjustment, he loves riding with me. We moved to another town without bike paths, but live in a quiet neighborhood and can ride for up to an hour without getting too bored. Sometimes we even venture down to a nearby state park and ride the light trails together just fine.
Take your time with her and kind of let her guide you on what she wants to ride. Consider her size and ability before jumping into something new like what you are currently doing with the Burly. Borrow or rent a tag-along so she can get used to one before buying one.
05-13-03, 11:02 PM
I started hauling my children in a rear bike seat made by Rhode Gear when we lived in California. We moved overseas and I continued to use the Rhode Gear seat. Then, the older child graduated to a Hitchhiker/tag-a-long because we felt the Burley or other brand type of trailer didn't allow the child to participate. Sure, we had the same FAQ's as other parents that revolved around the child falling asleep on the tag-a-long (never happened) or falling off (never happened). Being that neither of those two major concerns ever happened, we were pleased with the tag-a-long decision. My wife and I switched off who road with the bike seat and who pulled the other child on the tag-a-long.
Then the older child started riding his own bike at a very early age which meant our travel speeds were slower and shorter. He eventually graduated to a 20" wheel bike, then a 24" bike and now is on a 26" bike at age 10. Length and duration of rides increased along with his wheel size. His little sister didn't make it to her own solo bike until she turned 6. So we were back to slower speeds and shorter distances again last year and this year, but due to an upcoming bike tour I recently picked up a used tandem for the youngest to ride along with me. Travel speeds and distances are back up to the "challenging level" now with the family as we train for that event. She still rides her 20" solo bike on some rides, but is right at the age and size where she is about to fit the 24" wheeled bike her brother was riding the past two years.
Whichever route you choose (seats, trailers, kids bikes, tag-a-longs, tandems) I think the expense is well worth the effort to make family cycling an important event.
I sold the tag-a-long last fall to a colleague of mine who pulls his oldest child to school while his middle child (on her way to daycare) sits on a Danish made handelbar seat (common here in Europe, but probably outlawed in the states due to safety reasons) on his way to work. He leaves the tag-a-long at day care and then reverses his route at the end of the day and picks both kids up while his wife is at home taking care of a new baby.
So there a few options available and one can avoid the "non participatory" version via a trailer, but we are happy we bypassed those trailers and got our children spinning as soon as they had outgrown the Rhode Gear seat.
05-14-03, 08:51 AM
Thanks guys -
We did buy a trailer - which we call Anna's Chariot.
She loves to go for rides. Doesn't always keep her helmet on, but we're working on it.
My wife is now taking up the horse role, allowing me the option of continuing a workout while she heads home.
When she is old enough we will look at a tag-a-long and then a real bike. She like her small tricycle, so I have hopes that she'll enjoy the family outings on our bike as she grows older.
05-14-03, 01:30 PM
The good news is that Anna is out and about with Mom and Dad in her "chariot". That gets her in the routine of family rides and once she is older and large enough for a tag-a-long, the transition will be easier.
Enjoy your trailer and once Anna has outgrown it - you can use it to bring along the family dog or use it to go grocery shopping/errand running.
05-14-03, 03:46 PM
The family dog - is a 100lbs Yellow Lab who would love nothing more than to ride around in the "chariot"... and then frolic in the park, eat the family lunch and nap the afternoon.... Oh... sorry about that last bit, I was talking about me...
Unfortunatly he exceeds the max. weight limit...not to mention me.
As fast as the used trailers go, I'm sure we could sell it to a good home with no trouble. (When the time arrives)
Another consideration- having a trailer makes any bike a touring bike, provided you have either the gears or the legs. No need to sell the trailer when the kids outgrow it.
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