Commute By Bike isn’t only about commuting to and from your work place. It is anytime you chose your bicycle over a car, or other form of transportation, to get from point A to point B.. You could be commuting for many different reasons.. The library, groceries and school are three top reasons that are often mentioned behind commuting to work.
Carrying Your Child by Bike
Children come in play with these reasons, and others. Maybe you are one of the forward thinking parents that take their children to work everyday by bike, or to the library. I nod my head to you as you are not only improving today’s congestion but teaching your children healthy living habits.. There are many different ways to have your child tag along for the ride and today I’ll be covering my favorite ways to carry your child on or behind your bike.
Bicycle Child Seats
One of the most affordable ways to take your child on a bike trip with you is a bike mounted seat. There are different varieties of these including the rear mounted ones that mount directly to a special rear rack or there are the ones that mount in front of you.
One of the most popular that I have seen over the years, and normally your local bike shop carries a variety of child seats in stock. Another popular brand is the Co-Pilot Taxi & Limo series. These seats range from $100-150 depending on brand and features.
I haven’t personally installed an iBert, but world renowned mountain biker Tinker Juarez has his son in one all the time.. Your child is now within eye sight and you have them safely tucked between your arms. This is also one of the most affordable styles at there at $95.
Pros: Child close to you for ease, you feel safer and the child may feel more comfortable being within arms reach. Prices for seats start around $95.
Cons: If the bike tips over, as does the child.. Getting on and off the bike with the child on board requires a great deal of skill. The child is exposed to the elements. Weight limit of 30-55 lbs.
Child Bike Trailers
The bike trailer is by far my favorite way to carry a child with a bike. I am biased towards the bike trailer, even over my beloved Xtracycle that is next up.. You’re able to carry up to two children in most popular trailers. They often come with a mesh sun cover, and rain fly. Put snacks, a book and a pillow in the trailer for the child and keep them entertained. For safety there is a 5 point harness, roll cage and a pivot point near the bike so if your bike was to tip over the trailer doesn’t quickly follow. (It is possible to tip a trailer, but not as easy as the child seats.)
The tried and trued Burley trailer has been around for years. If you remember I am reviewing the Travoy which carries belongings, not children. Starting at $249.99 for the basic Burley Bee that holds two children. There are many models between, but the Burley line ends at the Burley Cub at $589.99. This is the do all trailer, converting into a jogger or stroller. If you purchase this at the right time in your child’s life, you won’t need any other type of stroller unit. I’ve heard stories of people taking these to Disney Land as two children can be tucked away under the mesh sunscreen.. Pack your snacks, groceries or pocket book behind the children in the storage space available.
Pro’s : High weight limit, able to use in other parts of daily life, child is safe from user error
Con’s : The child is 3+ feet behind you, trailers are low to the ground so a blinky light and large flag are highly encouraged
The Xtracycle is the vehicle of choice of skilled bike commuters carrying large cargo or children. Many people have made their own versions of carrying children, but Xtracycle does have the Peapod. You are able to haul tons of groceries, and a couple children easily.
Pros : Capacity, expandable, ease of use.
Cons: Cost, addiction