Who is using cargo/utility cycles for transporting kids?
Wanna talk about it?
I have two children, ages 6 and 2, and recently got an Xtracycle. I LOVE it. I cycled 14km with them on it today, longest ride I have done. It was a lovely ride, although I do find the bike tricky to maneuver when I am not on it, especially with the babe in the seat. I got into a situation today where I needed to physically lift the bike sideways up a curb (sidewalk had ended or I would have just walked it up in the forward direction) and that took two people. So I am getting used to those kinds of characteristics of the bike, which I think are the same as any bicycle with a child riding aboard probably.
But wow has my riding improved in the few weeks I have had the bike! The first few rides I found really hard physically, as my kids' combined weight is just over 80 lbs. But I think my muscles have toughened up a lot because lately it feels much, much easier and very doable. Also learning balance while riding has greatly improved for me with practice. I found it quite tricky at first, but now I am in that 'smooth sailing' territory while riding where I am enjoying my bike, and oh yeah I have two children aboard behind me. LOVE that.
I am hoping to use the Xtracycle for commuting us all to our various schools come fall, at least several days/week.
Dutch folks .. Bak-Fiets are another fine family / cargo bike, a long front wheelbase, with a Box [bak] in front of a steering mast,
connected to a wheel, in front of the box. room for child seats and can be made into a covered passenger space.
And the Danes, .. Christiania bikes, a box with 2 wheels, on the sides,
there is steering of the box as a whole, from behind, a conventional bike drivetrain,
on both of these examples..
But it is a whole bike to own, rather than add-ons to an existing bike.. like Xtracycle kit, and a bike trailer ..
I have a Kona Ute that I use for carrying my two children, ages 7 and 2. My two year-old rides in an Xtracycle Peapod and the seven year-old just perches on the deck behind her seat. I love it. I can haul both my kids and a week's worth of groceries in the bags.
I have found that it is very stable when riding and I have no difficulty controlling the bike unless my son decides to try to lean way off to the side. The only issue we've encountered is when my son tried to hop off before I had both feet firmly on the ground. The bike started to fall with my daughter still in her seat. I managed to keep from dropping it, but only because the pedal ran into my leg, leaving me with a very deep bruise that has just now started to fade three weeks later!
Here's a picture of both my kiddos posing before we had the Peapod mounted. She never actually rode this way, it was just a photo-op for Grandma.
This is my little girl in her Peapod, enjoying some wild blackberries on a ride to the beach.
Just got the first picture of my full setup, and had to share. So far, a few rides to the park have gone well, ~15 miles there, 3 mi home after lunch and playing. My wife carried the lunch and blanket. Not exactly conducive to getting groceries. IMG_4207_1600x1200..jpg