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Starting Them Young

Old 12-28-05, 12:39 PM
  #1  
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Starting Them Young

I just got finished fixing up a 30-40 year old cruiser for my 10-year old brother. We'll probably ride together through the spring and summer, and then I'll ride to middle school with him next year (his elementary school does not have a bike rack ) before I ride an extra mile to my college. The route will be around 2.5 miles long and is on residental roads.

Does anyone else commute with their kids/siblings? Either in a trailer, on a trail-a-bike, or on a separate bike?
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Old 12-28-05, 12:43 PM
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You're an awesome older sibling, well done! Haven't ridden with anybody's little ones myself.
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Old 12-28-05, 12:53 PM
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Excellent job! You are making me look like a crappy brother.

I frequently take my 2 1/2 year old son biking in our child trailer. He loves it.
The last time the weather turned bad we were both in the garage while I worked on something. I turned around and he was sitting in his trailer with his helmet on (backwards of all things). Then my son said "Bye bye?" with a pleading look in his eye. For once I had to tell him no. Several inches of snow, negative temps, and a trailer do not mix. Poor kid.
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Old 12-28-05, 12:54 PM
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Yes.

It's my job to get our daughter to the school bus stop and my wife's job to get her home from school. During Christmas and Easter breaks when there is no school, our system provides day camp for the students. I use our Trail-A-Bike to drop our daughter off before continuing on to work. I also do this during summer vacation. This is my third year of commuting with her. We started out with a trailer, but switched to the Trail-A-Bike last summer.

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Old 12-28-05, 08:51 PM
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I'm pretty sure that I could ride with him on most days. The only thing that would stop me is having class past the time his school lets out and the only thing that would stop him is rain (maybe) and snow.
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Old 12-28-05, 09:38 PM
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When the weather is tolerable for my 5th grader I ride with him to school, then ride the rest of the way to work. He seems to count it as a very special time with mom as he often verifies that we're going to do it the night before. I think it's wonderful that you're setting your brother up and being such a potent role model. You never can tell how meaningful it might be to have one's big bro along.

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Old 12-29-05, 09:05 AM
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I've been riding with my sons since they were old enough to hold their heads up under the weight of a helmet. They started in the trailer until it got too tight (and the older one's head started pushing against the roof!). After that, we switched to what they like to call the "Bike Train." The older one is on the trail-a-bike and the younger one is in the trailer which is attached to the trail-a-bike. The first time I tried it (after twenty minutes of safety and brake checking) was a thirty minute ride. I almost died at the end as I remembered far too late that we lived on the top of a hill. Talk about a workout, but it was great training for the DALMAC. With another boy on the way, it looks like I'll finally have an excuse to buy a tandem so the oldest can help me pull the "train."
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Old 12-29-05, 09:14 AM
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Kids often have to put up with cheap-o "kids" bikes that are inefficient, poorly made and poorly maintained, too small or too big, and uncomfortable. You don't have to spend alot of money to get an appropriate bike for a kid, you just have to be a bit bike savvy (we are, aren't we) and creative. The OP did just that for his bro. What fun!

Last edited by tulip; 12-31-05 at 04:31 PM.
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Old 12-29-05, 09:31 AM
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I have 1 1/2 year old twins. I'm waiting to get them in the trailer. Tried to do it when they were like 10 months and they did not like the helmets too much. As soon as we took the helmets off, WHEEEE!! As soon as we got home, we haven't taken the kids out since.
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Old 12-29-05, 09:46 AM
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I taught my niece how to ride her first bike @ 4 years old.

She had a little tiny little lady-bug bike with like what seemed to be 10 inch wheels.

She had her training wheels on it from about the age of 3. she rode it like that for a while and one day I just grabbed a wrench and lifted the wheels up about an inch on each side and pumped up the tires ...

after about a week i saw her riding it square on the tires without using the trainers except for turns...

so a week went by and I decided to take her outside and pull the trainers off... i gave her a few pointers and paced her down the street while holding her back a little... then i gave her a push and she was off on her own !

=)

Now i'm trying the same thing with her little brother who just turned 4... he has not had as much practice as her since he never liked her bike and he never had his own .... but he's getting there !!

So far I can get him to ride without the trainers as long as i'm helping him along a bit but he is really scared of it for some reason...

=)

He'll catch on soon enough though... he does't like to get outshined by his older sister !!!
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Old 12-29-05, 11:03 AM
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I live in a very hilly place . The school for my 7 yars old is up hill. Because of this reason, not a single child take the bicycle to school, but some teachers do. Anyhow, when I pick up my son from school I always push 2 bicycles up hill by hand. My 1955 English roadster and his 20 inch mountain bicycle.
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Old 12-29-05, 11:50 AM
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Originally Posted by velogirl
My nine-year old neice has been riding bikes since she could walk. She's been interested in road biking lately, and she received a really cool cyclocross bike for a combination Christmas-Birthday present. It's a Redline Conquest with 24" wheels. First time out she shifted with no problem. I can't wait to go riding with her!

Kids often have to put up with cheap-o "kids" bikes that are inefficient, poorly made and poorly maintained, too small or too big, and uncomfortable. You don't have to spend alot of money to get an appropriate bike for a kid, you just have to be a bit bike savvy (we are, aren't we) and creative. The OP did just that for his bro. What fun!
I was looking to eventually get him an old used road or touring frame and maybe turn it into a single speed bike (his current bike weighs a ton and some features, such as bolt on skewers, make simple tasks, like changing a tire, lengthy).

Does anyone know a place that sells 24" road wheels/tires (I'm pretty sure that 27" or 700c will be too big without a step-through frame)?
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Old 12-31-05, 01:18 PM
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TCNJ -- congrats on your good deed. I ride with my son on occasion the 2 miles to his school. He seems to like it and other than rain and snow, we haven't really let the weather stop us.

Velogirl makes a good point that hunting around for a decent kids bike is well worth it and need not cost a lot of money. I think starting on an X-mart bike is fine, but if the kid starts to show an interest in going further or riding with you then a better bike is called for. A little diligence and some bike savvy and you can find a decent bike to encourage the kid in good riding habits.
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Old 12-31-05, 01:30 PM
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The thing to do is make sure he sticks to riding regularly. Most ppl end up having a 15 year + old break when they reach driving age...

p.s. You're real names Rayn Patrick ain't it?...
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Old 12-31-05, 03:09 PM
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Originally Posted by aadhils
p.s. You're real names Rayn Patrick ain't it?...
Close enough (My first name's Ryan). I figured that Arabic spelling was the best. I assume you have some knowledge of Arabic. I had two semesters of it during my freshman year of college (last year).
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Old 12-31-05, 03:44 PM
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Originally Posted by TCNJ2UofM
Close enough (My first name's Ryan). I figured that Arabic spelling was the best. I assume you have some knowledge of Arabic. I had two semesters of it during my freshman year of college (last year).
Ya well I'm Muslim, so I know how to read and write fusha (classical) Arabic pretty well. Understanding it is another story altogether...
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