I have recently started to ride recreationally again. I currently have a recreational road bike (I think it's a Giant OCR3) and a Trek 800 mountain bike. I have three children ages 6, 5, and 2. The two oldest have been riding their two wheelers for over a year now and they enjoy riding a lot. Currently we just ride around our neighborhood, but I'd like to take the two big kids on some longer rides this spring and summer. I am thinking about splurging and purchasing a "tag-along" type of bike that I could use to convert my bike into a tandem.
Does anyone here have some experience with these tag-along bikes? In your opinion, would it be a wise investment for me to purchase such a bike? I want my kids to be able to pedal and work a little during the ride, but I also want to be able to help them out so we can ride on some more challenging roads (with more hills) safely. Would I be better off just buying my oldest kid a bike with a few gears on it so that she can use the low gear to chug up the hills? Also, I've seen some tag-along bikes that have 3 speeds on them - are these worth the extra money?
I' d like to do some easy bike tours with my oldest child, but I don't know if she'd be able to make it own her own bike, even if it had some gears. I live in NH and the roads near us are very hilly.
Thanks in advance!