I’m going to try something different this week. I’d love to hear from you:
If you don’t bike with your young children, why not?
I’ve often wondered what (or if) my family biking experience would have been like had I lived in Seattle before having kids. I moved to Seattle with an 18-month-old I’d already been biking with for six months on quiet Las Vegas trails and streets. Our Seattle house was one block from Green Lake and its lakeside multi-use path so it was easy to stick to routes that felt sufficiently safe as I explored our new neighborhood. I ever so gradually increased my range, not even discovering the Burke-Gilman Trail, a terrific multi-use path, for months.
But what if I’d been a “strong and fearless” bike commuter zipping through downtown Seattle and elsewhere, used to traveling quickly? I would’ve assumed I’d be adding a baby to that and felt completely intimidated…and quite possibly not biked with my kids for transportation. Although I owned a road bike and was occasionally talked into taking it for rides with fast friends, I mainly got everywhere with my comfy beach cruiser and was used to moving slowly. Back then I considered biking a faster alternative to walking rather than a suitable replacement for driving, and that made sticking a baby on the bike no big deal.
Now I’m curious about your experience. If you don’t bike with your young children, why not? And what resources would help make it easier (either now or in the past, if your children are grown)?
Thanks for reading. Feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.
Browse past Family Biking posts here.
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Madi Carlson (@familyride on Twitter) wrote our Family Biking column from February 2018 to November 2019. She’s the author of Urban Cycling: How to Get to Work, Save Money, and Use Your Bike for City Living (Mountaineers Books).
In her former home of Seattle, Madi was the Board President of Familybike Seattle, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting bicycling as a means for moving towards sustainable lifestyles and communities. She founded Critical Lass Seattle, an easy social group ride for new and experienced bicyclists who identify as women and was the Director of Seattle’s Kidical Mass organization, a monthly ride for families. While she primarily bikes for transportation, Madi also likes racing cyclocross, all-women alleycats, and the Disaster Relief Trials. She has been profiled in the Associated Press, Outdoors NW magazine, CoolMom, and ParentMap, and she contributed to Everyday Bicycling by Elly Blue.