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Old 08-20-13, 09:56 AM   #1
PatrickGSR94
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Do you bike with your kids to school? Younger kids?

I'm cross-posting this here and in Commuting so I can get more of a response.

My wife and I just took our 3-year old son to his first day of K3 this morning. We had to sit and wait in the car drop-off line for probably 15 minutes before someone from the school came out and opened the door to the building, and one-by-one the kids would get out of each car. The whole ordeal was just dreadful, sitting in idling cars, fumes and pollution everywhere, wasting gas, etc. etc.

I would really love to bike with my son to school to drop him off, but at this point I'm not sure if I can make that happen, and also bike to work twice a week like I've been doing since May. He has to be at school by 8:15, but they don't open the door to the building until 8:15 on the dot. If you're there early, you have to wait in line in the car. The earlier you get there, the closer you are to the front of the line, but you also have to sit and wait longer obviously.

My son is going to school on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Normally I leave the house early and get to work by 7 on Tuesdays and Thursdays so I can leave the office around 4 and bike home (between 60 and 70 minutes each way on the bike). My son is not riding a bike yet, but loves riding in the trailer. I could bike with him in the trailer to get him there at 8:15, then take the bike/trailer back home, then drive to work with the road bike on my car and get to work about 9. My wife would then pick him up. But getting to work at 9, I'm not sure if I would be able to leave at 4 to ride home, and I really don't like the idea of not getting home until after 6 on the bike.

I only bike home on T/Th because my wife teaches Zumba classes on M/W and I have to be home a little earlier.

What about when he starts riding his own bike? I'm not sure if the school even has a place for kids to keep bikes (I'm certain NO ONE else there bikes), and then with my wife picking him up a bike wouldn't really fit in her car I wouldn't think.

Thoughts or suggestions?
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Old 08-21-13, 10:27 AM   #2
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Do you bike with your kids to school? Younger kids?

Nope. I have 4 and the logistics like you are talking about, I just drop them off or we all walk. Mornings are enough of a rocket launch.
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Old 08-21-13, 11:36 AM   #3
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I was chaining trail-a-bike to the school fence post to avoid dragging it with me to work. I even did it few times with a trailer when I took more than one kid.
Even when my wife dropped kid(s) in the minivan, she would take the TAB and chain it to the fence, so I could ride there and pick up the kids in the afternoon.
Also - we would not wait in car lane during the drop off, we would chain the TAB (and the helmet) and walk to the door using sidewalk.
Our chosen fence post was on the way out of car lane - so we were away from idling cars.
Also - for a 3 y.o. you might consider a bigger child seat (maybe Bobike Maxi or similar) to avoid trailer/TAB problems.
Good luck!

Last edited by sailor2; 08-21-13 at 12:37 PM. Reason: messed up morning/afternoon
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Old 08-21-13, 11:40 AM   #4
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My kids are not allowed. They cannot walk, nor ride. They can only sit in some form of vehicle.

Given the level of obesity here in NC, and the rate of CV issues, there is no way riding could be a higher risk.

But then they don't enforce the speed limits, not even in school zones, as I have had people weaving back and forth flashing their lights IN THE SCHOOL ZONE because I was not speeding enough. So in the logic of the south, the problem is with people walking/riding, not with the speeders...
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Old 09-01-13, 04:00 PM   #5
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Just thinking about this for my kids this fall. My biggest problem is finding cheap bikes that I don't think will be stolen while they are at school. No way their road bikes will last more than a month chained outside a school here in NY. Also an issue is they highway like road we have to cross on the way. We'll see.
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Old 09-01-13, 08:46 PM   #6
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I am very fortunate, I get to ride my 7yr old to school whenever I am home (not traveling for work) The school is just about a mile away and all residential streets to the back of the school. They have a large area for bike racks. I bet there are 30-40 kids bikes on any given day, and not a one of them chained up.
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Old 09-05-13, 12:01 AM   #7
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I ride with 8yo (on her own bike) and 6yo (tagalong) when I can convince them it will be fun. I guess that's about once a week. It helps that school is only about 1.5km away and it's on the way to work. Streets are pretty quiet. The school has racks for about 50 bikes. Usually there are about 5 parked there.
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Old 09-05-13, 06:31 AM   #8
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I ride with 8yo (on her own bike) and 6yo (tagalong) when I can convince them it will be fun. I guess that's about once a week. It helps that school is only about 1.5km away and it's on the way to work. Streets are pretty quiet. The school has racks for about 50 bikes. Usually there are about 5 parked there.
Do you leave the tag-along at the school or just ride it empty to your work?
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Old 09-05-13, 04:42 PM   #9
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Do you leave the tag-along at the school or just ride it empty to your work?
I chain it up to the bike racks at school. On the rare occasions I have ridden with an empty tagalong I feel like a bit of a doofus. I keep expecting people to ask me if I have lost a child.
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Old 09-06-13, 10:15 AM   #10
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I chain it up to the bike racks at school. On the rare occasions I have ridden with an empty tagalong I feel like a bit of a doofus. I keep expecting people to ask me if I have lost a child.
+1 - I get a lot of "did you loose a kid?" comments from co-workers when I ride with an empty TAB
And I just chain my TAB & little dude helmet to the fence post at the school's parking lot.
Occasionally I ride with an empty TAB to school, if my wife dropped the kid in the morning, but not the TAB.
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Old 09-06-13, 01:55 PM   #11
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haha I feel kind of weird riding with an empty trailer, though I know people will likely give me a wider berth because they think there's a kid in there, which is kinda nice.

I'm still trying to figure out how I'm going to make something work. Normally I drive into work T/Th and then bike home. I could bike in T/Th, take kid in trailer, leave trailer at school, wife picks up kid in car, then I swing by T/Th evening to get trailer. However that would make my T/Th days extremely long. Also I would have to *GASP* haul a trailer with my road bike! I tried commuting on my roadified MTB once, and it was pretty much crappy, so I'm not doing that.

Other option is to use MTB to haul kid to school, then go back home and leave bike and trailer, and drive to work with road bike, then bike home.

Either way would have me getting to work pretty late in the morning, and I usually like to get to work early on T/Th so I can leave earlier to bike home. Plus there's the issue of how sweaty I would get taking my kid to school and then riding back home again, then jumping in the car to drive to work. If I biked to work from the school, there's the shower at work.

I dunno, not too sure about it yet.
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Old 09-16-13, 01:23 PM   #12
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A story from the trenches:
Today my 4.5 y.o. son did not want to ride the trailer bike to school with me. After much questioning from me, he confessed, that he was not going near the local high school. I asked why? He said, that all he hears from high school girls is "How cute!!" and he does not like it at all
So we looked at Google maps to find a good alternative route not near the high school and we found one about a mile longer than our regular route (5.5 miles instead of our usual 4.5).
The ride was bliss afterwards, even when I cautioned him, that we'll not stop for road finds this morning, because we were running little late.
We still made it on time with 3 minutes to spare.
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Old 09-16-13, 02:00 PM   #13
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A story from the trenches:
Today my 4.5 y.o. son did not want to ride the trailer bike to school with me. After much questioning from me, he confessed, that he was not going near the local high school. I asked why? He said, that all he hears from high school girls is "How cute!!" and he does not like it at all
HA! Great story.

Unfortunately, my son is very used to being called cute and doesn't mind it at all...
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Old 09-17-13, 01:36 PM   #14
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Yes, look at this picture: fun & safe until the kids are big enough to ride themselves. I take my daughters everywhere with my Dutch bike. \
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Old 09-23-13, 01:29 PM   #15
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My son is almost 3, he does "school"(2-3K) tuesdays and thursdays. I generally bike him as it is only 2 miles from home, however I work from home so I don't have anymore of a commute. I do know that a few other parents bike and leave their trailers at the front door, might be an option?
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Old 10-06-13, 08:13 PM   #16
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I ride my 7yo daughter and (almost) 3yo son to school on a Santana road tandem from the late 70's that has been upgraded extensively over time. My daughter uses child stoker cranks. My son rides in a really nice bike seat with his own handlebar. (He totally demanded a handlebar of his own.)

Even when there are cars in the car line I'll ride past them down the alley. It's not that I dislike waiting in the car line but rather because I think it's unsafe as too many people running late to school haul @ss around the corner.

It's about 16 miles round trip and we do it 2-3x a week.
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Old 10-07-13, 08:10 AM   #17
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I ride my 7yo daughter and (almost) 3yo son to school on a Santana road tandem from the late 70's that has been upgraded extensively over time. My daughter uses child stoker cranks. My son rides in a really nice bike seat with his own handlebar. (He totally demanded a handlebar of his own.)

Even when there are cars in the car line I'll ride past them down the alley. It's not that I dislike waiting in the car line but rather because I think it's unsafe as too many people running late to school haul @ss around the corner.

It's about 16 miles round trip and we do it 2-3x a week.
Wow that's cool, what's your timing like? Do you take them, come back home, and then head to work?
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Old 10-08-13, 11:33 AM   #18
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Wow that's cool, what's your timing like? Do you take them, come back home, and then head to work?
I work from home. We leave at about 8:40am, do 4 miles in 16 minutes to drop my daughter off by the car line at school. I then swig some water and ride another 4 miles at a fairly leisurely pace (12.5mph). The last 1/2 mile to my son's school is a 50mph road without shoulders. I really crank up the speed on that road. So far my top speed there is 32.2mph. I figure if I'm moving as close to the pace of traffic as I can, there's less likelihood of some car hitting us from behind.

I get through my son's transition at school and then ride home. I don't always take the same route home but it's always a minimum of 8 miles home. Some days I feel like doing more hills, some days I feel like stopping at a grocery store and bringing some stuff home with me. (I have an Ortlieb Vario backpack/pannier.)

I average 16-17mph on the way home usually until I get to the last hill. It has a decent grade..
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Old 10-24-13, 02:55 PM   #19
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I used a trail gator (tow bar for a full size kid bike) w/ my single speed (with high gear).....last friday. took me 30 minutes to ride 4 miles. i disconnected her bike and we rode separately home. i was too tired to reattach and pull her too. flash forward to today and i swapped smooth tread tires onto my mtb and i'll be ready for tomorrow. was going to today, but she wasn't expecting me to pick her up on the bikes.... we'll see how it goes tomorrow...
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