[This article was written by our Carfree Families columnist Marion Rice. For previous articles in this series, and for links to other articles and photos on family biking, check out the Carfree Families Page.]
My kids love it when I pick them up on the bike with a cold drink and yummy snack in hand.
(Photos © J. Maus)
But it can be challenging for toddlers to hold a sippy cup and a snack while riding on the back of your bike.
What to do?
I have devised a simple Sippy Cup Tether and instead of making millions on the idea, I am giving all of you the open source plans to make your own (see below for instructions)!
For kids who are old enough to ride their own bike (or even on a tag-along or tandem), I don’t recommend that parents encourage them to have a snack on the go; kids need to be in control with no distractions. In that case, it’s better to have your snack before you ride or, find a nice place to stop and do it picnic-style.
But for little ones — like my 2 year old Gleneden — she’s content to have me hand her a wax paper bag (which are 100% biodegradable) with something yummy in it and have access to her sippy cup tethered to the bike seat.
Why tether it to the seat? A flying sippy cup can be a hazard to you and others. And why not? It’s easy to do and will give you that secure feeling knowing that your child can’t ditch their cup overboard (which we all know some toddlers take great delight in).
To go along with the drink, try these easy, yummy, transportable, earth and waste-friendly snacks…
Peanut Butter and Apple Sandwiches
- Peel an apple (or not depending on your kids taste)
- Cut it in rounds, I can usually get 4 sandwiches out of one apple
- Put a bit (not too much because it spreads when hot) of peanut butter in the center of the apple slice and cover with another apple slice of the same size.
- Place in a wax paper bag
Highly Transportable Healthy Snacks Great in Wax Bags:
- Rice Cracker Mix
- A French Baguette (my kids routinely chew on hunks on the bike)
- Baby Kosher Dills
- Hard Boiled Egg
- Smart Puffs
- Pirate Booty
- Tamari Almonds
How to Make a Sippy Cup Tether
- Get about a yard of ¼ inch diameter shock cord at a mountain shop
- Get two double feed cord locks
- Get one small carabiner
- Put one end of the shock cord through one hole of the double feed cord lock.
- Put the other end of the shock cord through the other hole and squish the cord lock together to make it easy to pull the shock cord through. Stop when you have created the right size hole to make a snug fit around the sippy cup.
- Put the long end of the shock cord through both holes of the other double feed cord lock to create a loop for your carabiner.
- Attach the carabiner to the loop and secure the sippy cup tether somewhere to your bike.
What are your family’s favorite, on-the-bike snacks? Share them in the comments below.
And, if you’ve got questions about the Sippy Cup Tether, I’ll be happy to answer them in the comments. See you (and your family) out in the streets!