Commuting - Any of you here take your kid(s) to day-care with your bike?
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I don't have kids yet but I'd love to. ;)
I'd like to know about your routine. What gets on your nerves, what do you like, what you wish existed, what could be improved in your opinion? Whether it be with a back or front seat or with a trailer.
03-24-08, 01:35 PM
I take my 3 yr old to her daycare in a 2-seat trailer. A couple years ago she was sharing the ride w/ her brother to the same place but he is now riding his own bike to 1st grade. I leave the trailer at the daycare, in the breakroom. Break it down, fold it up, stand it against the wall w/ other strollers that parents leave there during the day. Would be nice if I could leave it up front where there is more room, but fire code mandates that space not be blocked, so to the back I go.
I've been doing this shuttle for 3-4 yrs now and I have yet to settle on the best route. Currently I am taking one that has a really steep but short hill. It has low traffic in the morning (going down hill) but more people trying to drive fast through sidestreets in the pm (right when I'm going my slowest, uphill at the end of the day; and this time of year there is a brutal headwind blowing down that hill in the pm, channelled between tall buildings on both sides).
There was another route w/ a more gradual hill but more consistent traffic going both ways, and yet another route on a 4 lane main drag with a long straightaway where I can build up speed past 30mph downhill and keep up with or beat traffic (from light to light), but go slower back, obviously (but there is a passing and turn lane people can use to get around me).
There are various sidewalk options when traffic is too fast and thick for how beat up I am feeling at that time of the day.
I occasionally take my kids (5 and 3) to daycare in a trailer. Most days we just walk, though, since their daycare is only a couple hundred yards from the house. :-)
FWIW, they love riding there in the trailer - it's a big treat for them compared with walking. I don't do it all that often because of the extra hassle of having to ride back to the house to drop off the trailer. It seems silly to take it to work with me, since I'm all of 200 yards into a five-mile ride.
The father of a little girl in my son's kindergarten class frequently brings her to school in a trailer as well, although I don't know if he's commuting on to work from there or not.
03-24-08, 02:59 PM
I don't take my kids to day care but I do take them other places like church, the park, the swimming pool, or to friends houses on the back of an old beater bike I pulled from the trash. I put a rack on the back of it and the twins age 6 can both ride on it. I put a pair of pegs on the back too so they can rest their feet. They really enjoy riding back there. I would use a trailer but I don't have one, however sometimes we put the little red wagon on the back with a rope, but it's not too pratical, it's just kind of for fun.
03-24-08, 04:00 PM
I take my 5 yr old to school in a bike a long (one of those looks like a BMX bike with the front cut off and a trailor tongue on it things). No troubles, she likes it alot. Use alot of flags, lights, reflectors, be visable, be predictable.
03-24-08, 04:05 PM
I used to but then his daycare shutdown. That and my wife started working early so his grandma watches him.
Riding busy streets with a 4 year old was scary. Not to mention adding 10 more miles on a long commute was not amusing. So, I purchased a van and when I was commuting I would park it at a trailhead and then pick him up after my commute.
I used to take my daughter to summer day camp with a trailer. We did this for about six years.
1 People loved the thing. They were forever waving and asking where they could get one.
2 Into a headwind or up a steep hill took me right to my physical limits.
3 No good way to attach a blinkie, save with duct tape.
4 When the trailer was empty, wind gusts over 30 mph would flip the thing, leading to holes in the cover.
5 She vastly preferred it to riding in either of my cars or my airplane.
6 Once she got to ride the Trail-A-Bike, her love for the trailer instantly vanished.
7 A good thing, too - the Trail-a-Bike is much less work up hills and into headwinds.
03-24-08, 04:45 PM
My kids are 10 and 16 now, but we live 6 miles from town and you have to go down 55 MPH 2 lane roads for most of the way, so cycling wasn't an option for them early on, plus the town where they go to school is in the opposite direction from where I work.
Also there's a perfectly functional school bus.
I have 4 year old twins and last summer I would occasionally trailer them to daycare. Now that the weather is warming up, I may start again soon. The only problem is that my son has since learned to ride without training wheels and I doubt he'd be willing to get back in the trailer.
03-24-08, 08:39 PM
I take my two-year-old by bike most days- if it's really cold (around here that's below 35degF) or rainy we'll take the car. If I'm not sure I'll give her the option & let her decide which vehicle to take.
I have a rigid MTB setup for city use- Albatross handlebars for upright positioning and better control due to width- both of which help with the Bobike Maxi Plus a.k.a. Peapod seat- I haven't tried a trailer before but will have to in another year when #2 is old enough- I do like having the seat on the bike as it's less to think about while riding. The ride is about two miles one way, about half bike-laned and the rest normal streets- we use one pedestrian crosswalk which shortens the route and uses a couple of less-traveled side streets.
•be sure your child is dressed appropriately as a inactive rider- he/she won't have the benefit of pedaling for heat
•if you use a bike-mounted seat you may not be able to wear a backpack as it may hit your child in the face (thus the Nashbar mini front rack & bag on our ride)
•double up on the rear lights- I run daytime front & rear blinkies and add a solid rear light if riding near dusk or on dull days
•ESGE double kickstand- never let go of the bike when loaded, but this makes it a lot easier...
03-25-08, 08:08 AM
I have 2 kids that go to different daycares within a mile of my house. I have rear mounted seat that I primarily use if I take or pick up only one. Occasionaly I'll ride home and hook up the trailer and pick them both up.
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