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  1. #1
    *****es love tarck kemmer's Avatar
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    Hauling three kids on one bike?

    I have been bike commuting for over a year now and have all but abandoned my poor VW in the driveway. It hasn't been driven in months and last time I tried to start it I couldn't. My wife on the other hand is still doing a lot of driving. We have 3 young small children and transporting them all by bicycle is a challenge even for me. I'm currently using a bike+trailer-cycle+trailer for kid hauling duties and I think it all adds up to about 300lbs. She is not a very strong rider (yet) and I don't think she would be able to do it for any practical distance. I was thinking of using an electric assisted bike and a free radical. Has anyone carried 3 kids with an xtracycle? How do they fit? How is the handling? What other problems might I run into with this set up?

  2. #2
    Biscuit Boy Cosmoline's Avatar
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    How small are you talking? I used to ride up front until I got too big-that's me in my avatar.
    ''On a bicycle you're not insulated. You're in contact with the landscape and all manner of people you'd never meet if you were in a car. A fat man on a bicycle is nobody's enemy.''

    Tom Vernon.

  3. #3
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    I saw an article somewhere on the Internet about a guy that commutes 33 mi. each way hauling 2 toddlers in a trailer. He commutes from Corrales in the Rio Grande Valley just west of Albuquerque to a daycare near UNM. After he drops off the kids there, he cycles back downtown to his job as a public defender at the court house. He says everyone thinks he's crazy, but he just refuses to participate in the car culture.
    In this age of mindless consumerism, of atomized populations living in boxes, working in boxes, and traveling in boxes, almost always alone, with only the electronic voices of their new feudal lords to guide them through life, the bicycle becomes an instrument of gentle revolution. --Richard Risemberg

  4. #4
    *****es love tarck kemmer's Avatar
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    Sorry, I guess ages of the kids are important. The are 5, 3, and 1. The 5 year old does great on the trailercycle but she doesn't contribute much. I think the 5 and 3 year olds would do good on the snap deck, the little guy would need a child seat of some kind. Maybe I could use a child carrier for the youngest and secure the other two side saddle on the snap deck somehow. I just don't know if there's enough room. Trailers work ok, but my oldest is too big for the trailer and for a carrier. The trailer cycle and trailer system we are using now works, but it's unwieldy and not at all practical for daily use. It's very hard to get through the gates to the MUP and you need a ton of space to turn around. Don't even get me started on how much of a pain it is to hook up. Here's a picture of the whole family, imagine that but with a regular bike instead of the tandem:


  5. #5
    Senior Member cooperwx's Avatar
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    Great fam, Kemmer. They all look like they enjoy it. My kids are 4, 2, and 11 months. My carport looks like your avatar (with the minivan, not the tallbike). My wife does not ride, but my oldest is on training wheels and middle is on a trike.

    Good luck in your carfree effort. Car-lite seems to be the best we can do right now.
    06 Trek 7.5 FX

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    that is such a great picture. My 3 year old thinks our car is broken. She just got her first bicycle the other day and today I'm going to make her ride it to the store with me, in the rain.
    Horse-free.

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    Would an electric assist with the existing trailer set up work?

    We mostly walked and used the bus when the kids were smaller.

  8. #8
    ****** squegeeboo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by le brad
    She just got her first bicycle the other day and today I'm going to make her ride it to the store with me, in the rain.
    Thats so evil

    Is it uphill both ways and are you making her do it barefoot?
    In the words of Einstein
    "And now I think I'll take a bath"

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    Unbelievable. Unless your wife really wants to do this I would have her use the car. Asking your wife to pedal around 3 toddlers full time is crazy. Also I would keep your car for emergencies (ER visits for the kids, tsunamis, etc).

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    You can out run a tsunami if you recognize it. However, I don't think tsunamis are likely in Utah anyway. Earthquakes are possible, but a car wouldn't do you much good.

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    Could you do an xtracycle with a kid in the peapod seat, one on the snap deck, and one in a trailer?

  12. #12
    Master of the Obvious
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by squegeeboo
    Thats so evil

    Is it uphill both ways and are you making her do it barefoot?
    no, just pouring rain. It went well except training wheels are effing cheap crap. One of the wheels broke and I had to carry the whole thing home.
    Horse-free.

  14. #14
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kemmer
    Sorry, I guess ages of the kids are important. The are 5, 3, and 1.
    Think ahead just 2 years. The kids will be 7, 5 and 3, according to my math. The 7 year old will be on her own bike, the 5 year old will too, maybe even off training wheels, and you'll only have to schlepp the 3 year old. Things will be easier!!!


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  15. #15
    Seņor Mambo
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    Here's your inspiration:
    http://xtracycle.com/gallery/view_ph...blic&id=Final1
    http://xtracycle.com/gallery/view_ph...d=P1010063_001

    The worst thing about an Xtracycle (besides the squeaking) is that there really is no off-the-shelf kickstand solution for precious cargo. You'll have to buy a custom kickstand that will set you back either $120 for a Rock Sturdy stand, or $210 for Val Kleitz' stand. Completely shameful on Xtracycle's part if you ask me. The Greenfield kickstand is not sufficient, but you'll see that for yourself.

    Even though your kids are old enough to hold on to a stoker bar (as are my two oldest), if you go on longer trips, they'll get tired because they're not doing anything. That's why a seat solution of some kind, at least to me, is still the best option.

    My third one's coming in a few months, so I might try making a custom deck similar to picture 1 for the older ones. The new baby will have the trailer all to himself; carseats are freakin' huge!

  16. #16
    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    I haul 2 four year olds plus junk in my trailer.
    I hate cars,

  17. #17
    Senior Member Nycycle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kemmer
    . Here's a picture of the whole family, imagine that but with a regular bike instead of the tandem:

    My hat is off to you.
    I hate cars,

  18. #18
    tired donnamb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockmom
    Could you do an xtracycle with a kid in the peapod seat, one on the snap deck, and one in a trailer?
    My thoughts exactly, with a Stokemonkey for pedal assist.
    "Real wars of words are harder to win. They require thought, insight, precision, articulation, knowledge, and experience. They require the humility to admit when you are wrong. They recognize that the dialectic is not about making us look at you, but about us all looking together for the truth."

  19. #19
    *****es love tarck kemmer's Avatar
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    I'm was hoping to avoid using a trailer, but it sounds like there's no way around it. The MUP in our neighborhood has gates that are a little difficult to get through with a trailer. A solo trailer might be easier though, so that's a possibility. Also, I was hoping to keep the option of taking the bike on the light rail if she has mechanical trouble or something. I suppose she could always lock the bike and trailer at the station and ride the light rail home if she had to. Thanks for all the input!

  20. #20
    Tossed some weight Redrom's Avatar
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    I've been riding my Xtracycle for almost two years with two boys on the back (now almost 3 & 4 years old) using one childseat mounted to the snapdeck and a peapod behind my saddle. I have to say that while I have gotten pretty good at it, this setup is tenuous enough without adding a trailer. Look, it's a lot to manage balance wise; I got the rock steady stand and I am able to load them on the bike by myself, but just barely - there's no way I could add a trailer to the mix.

    We picked up a used tandem trike last year, and mounted two childseats to it, one behind each pedaler. I could see you letting the 5 year old pedal with you on this setup, using extensions for the pedals, and when the wife wants to come along, put the youngest into the trailer. This is going to be a lot more stable for you - you don't want to risk your cargo...

  21. #21
    *****es love tarck kemmer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Redrom
    I have to say that while I have gotten pretty good at it, this setup is tenuous enough without adding a trailer. Look, it's a lot to manage balance wise; I got the rock steady stand and I am able to load them on the bike by myself, but just barely - there's no way I could add a trailer to the mix.

    That's what I was worried about. Our current set up works fine for me, and pretty much any set up I could think of would be fine for me. I'm really trying to find something that works for my wife, and it doesn't sound like this would. *sigh* back to the drawing board I guess.

    Maybe a trike could accommodate 3 kiddies. I should add that I have no reservations whatsoever about fabricating something, I have a welder and lots of huffys to chop up. The only constraints are that the end result must be fairly stable and reasonably maneuverable.

  22. #22
    Tossed some weight Redrom's Avatar
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    Yes, I would strongly recommend a trike for your wife to handle 3 kids. I just bought pedal extensions and will be setting it up tonight for my 4 year old to start stoking for tomorrow's ride. Take a look at our vehicle (on vacation at Hilton Head). I'd offer to let you give it a spin, but I'm not going to UT again. The next step up from this is the Rhodes Car, but then she'll feel compelled to always ride it on the road and never on the bikepath or sidewalk. If you're going to build it yourself, put the two wheels on the back instead of the front to keep from having to deal with steering alignment issues. Also look here to spark the creative juices... http://www.organicengines.com/
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