Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Biking...with Kids

Dreaming about bikes with The Conscious Shopper

As Envirambo wrote about yesterday, it's Bike to Work Week. I haven't been on a bike in years, but still I dream about being able to bike around town instead of driving, hauling my three kids and our groceries in our bicycle "minivan." Does such a thing really exist? As a matter of fact, yes. Bike designers around the world have taken away that age old excuse "but I've got kids!"

With three kids under six, I've had my eye on the ingenius Madsen - the only bike I've seen that can fit more than two kids. In fact, the Madsen can carry four kids, or two adults, or two kids and lots of groceries.

If you have fewer than three kids, you might enjoy the Xtracycle, an extra long cargo bike that can fit up to two kids plus a whole lot more.

not big enough b/w fixed from Kate Oshea on Vimeo.

Both of these bikes are in the neighborhood of $1500, plus I'd need an electric assist if I had any hope of biking up North Carolina's hills with three kids in tow. If you've got $3,000 to spend on a bike, you might consider the BMW of bicycle minivans, the Bakfiet, a Dutch-designed bike because of course the Europeans figured out the whole biking thing ages ago.

Of course, you could also consider the classic routes: a bike trailer, a child's bike seat, or a tandem bike.

If you are planning on participating in Bike to Work Week, be sure to share your photo or story on's Facebook page for the Bike to Work Facebook Throwdown!

Do any of you take your children on your bike rides? How do you do it?


Rosa said...

We got a used Burley 2-kid trailer when my son was an infant. Couldn't use it til his head got big enough for a helmet, which took forever. But we've used it the last 3 years or so.

Now he's turning five and he wants a ridealong, but I need something with good haulage - the Burley has been a godsend for groceries, gardening supplies, thrift store runs, and dumpster diving.

I'm thinking an extracycle with a ridealong - they are expensive, but compared to a second car, not so bad :)

Around here I see a lot of multi-kid families with an adult on a bike hauling a big kid on a ridealong hauling a little kid (or 2) in a trailer. It seems to work, but I'd like something that was more maneuverable.

panamamama said...

We have a bike trailer and it doesn't work well with the sizes my kids are now. We would like to go on longer rides but they get tired riding alone. I think that dutch bike would be great for mine.

brenna said...

When my oldest was young, I would put him in the bike trailer all the time. Then we moved. Here there aren't very safe places to bike with kids, and hills that are hard for the car to get up, so I don't do so much biking anymore. Wish I could though.

Kathryn Grace said...

When my kids were little, we biked everywhere. I had a big grocery basket on the front and the baby seat on the back. Great fun! I'm shocked to see that none of the people in the videos are wearing helmets, though. Helmets save lives! Worth every penny.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

@Kathryn Grace - you're not alone in wondering that. A lot of the comments on YouTube say, " Where's your helmet!"


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