Juggling work, life, and three kids — by bike

Monday, December 14th, 2009
Kidical Mass - August-11.jpg
Joe Hagedorn, with sons Cole
and Carter.
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Publisher's note: This family biking profile comes to you from our newest writer, Alaya Wyndham-Price. Stay tuned for a bike-friendly business profile and other stories from Ms. Wyndham-Price.]

“We bike whenever we can,” Hau Hagedorn said. I sat with her and her husband Joe discussing their family’s commitment to bike commuting over tea this week. Hau and Joe are both professionals with jobs in downtown Portland, and are also parents of three young boys; Carter, age six, Cole, age four, and Hendrik, just 9 months.

This is the story of how they became a biking family.

The couple began easing into bike commuting about two and a half years ago, after Hau decided to participate in the Low-Car Diet by giving up the keys to the family car for two weeks while Joe was on a business trip. At the time, it meant balancing the schedule of her two older sons, her job, and doing regular errands by bike. (more…)

The best kid’s bike might be one you build yourself

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009

Our family biking contributor Marion Rice did a story this morning on the Front Page about finding the right bike for your kid. It made me think of an old email in my inbox from a friend of mine who made an excellent transportation bike for his son out of an old bike he found at a garage sale. Check out the bike (and its happy owner) below and then read more about the build from John below it:

Need a transportation bike for your kid? Good options are out there

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009
Tour de Ladd-9.jpg
Most kids’ bikes available in the US,
like these spotted at Tour de Ladd this fall,
aren’t fitted out for city riding.
(Photo © J. Maus)

After an exhaustive search for a good city bike for my son, I have concluded that kids bikes in general are in a sorry state. Either they are poorly constructed and will last only a year or two or they are overengineered and just not equipped for a city-riding kid.

By the looks of the offerings on the US market, it appears bike manufacturers think that kids mostly go off road and need mountain-type bikes, or that all kids need is a way to cruise around their cul-du-sac with no gears and just foot brakes. (more…)

Review: Bridging the independence gap with the FollowMe

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

[Publisher's note: This review is by our Family Biking columnist Marion Rice. Marion's last column explored safety and cultural issues around carrying infants by bike.]

On test- Follow-me Tandem-2
Griffin and dad test riding the FollowMe.
(Photos © J. Maus)


Meet the ‘Wheelburro’, a new cargo trike from Eugene

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
The WheelBurro with a carriage attachment.
(Photos by H2M2)


New Xtracycle child seat eases kid/cargo compatibility

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009
Easily carry kids, cargo with the PeaPod LT
(Photo by Xtracycle)

If you want to carry your groceries on your bike, or pick up a load of lumber from the hardware store, there are a lot of bikes out there for you on the U.S. market, particularly longtail bikes — particularly the Xtracycle, the Yuba Mundo, and the Kona Ute.

But wait, you also want to carry a child or two along with all that orange juice and cat litter? That’s a little more tricky.

But times are changing, with Xtracycle’s release this week of the PeaPod LT, the first child seat that is fully compatible with its longtail bikes. (more…)

Carrying your infant by bike: How young is too young?

Monday, August 24th, 2009
Kidical Mass!-22.jpg
A baby seat in a bakfiets is not
a rare sight in Portland.
(Photos © J. Maus)

A reader contacted us with a dilemma — she is about to have her first child, she doesn’t own a car, and she travels primarily by bike. In preparing for her new life as a parent, she had some questions.

Is it safe to ride with a newborn? Is it legal? Are there important age benchmarks she should know about? She was particularly concerned about the impact of vibration on a child’s brain development. (more…)

My City Bike: A mama’s perspective

Friday, July 31st, 2009
Marion Rice and daughter Gleneden on
Marion’s city bike: an Xtracycle conversion
with a rear child seat and front basket.
(Photo © J. Maus)

[This is the first in a series of "My City Bike" interviews with Portlanders who ride bikes intended for urban transportation. The first interview is with our family biking columnist Marion Rice.]

BikePortland: What kind of rider are you?

Marion Rice: A very experienced city bike rider.

BP: Describe the bike you ride every day. (more…)

7 kids, 6 adults, and an unforgettable carfree camping trip

Thursday, July 16th, 2009
Bike camping at Champoeg St. Park-4
Heading out of town.
Slideshow below/Gallery
(Photos © J .Maus)

On the July 4th weekend, my girls and I joined two other families for a camping trip unlike any other we’d ever done. Instead of loading up the mini-van and driving for a few hours to the mountains or the coast, we loaded up our bikes and pedaled our way to family camping bliss.

We rode from North Portland to Champoeg State Park (south of Wilsonville). It was about a 40 mile trip (each way) and the journey was definitely just as much fun as the camping itself.

The folks who joined us had also never done a bike camping trip, much less one with their little loved ones in tow. There were six adults and seven kids. The kids ranged in age from three months to eight years. They were all troopers, especially baby Hendrik, whose sweet little cry hastened our pedals to the next rest stop more than once. (more…)

Now rolling on Portland streets: Zigos with Child Pods

Monday, July 13th, 2009

[*UPDATE: We had a review of this bike planned, but it is currently on hold. Our test bike had a major part malfunction, which was then replicated by the dealer (Joe Bike). Following that, the dealer has pulled the product from their lineup. We'll publish the review when/if the bikes are available in Portland again.]

Furthering Portland’s reputation as a cargo/kid-carrying bike test laboratory, a local shop is now selling the Zigo family bike.

The bike’s main selling point is its versatility. It can be used as a trike with a child carrier in front, a jogging stroller, a “Child Pod” (in jogging or stroller mode), or as a stand-alone bike. (more…)

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