Family Biking: Share your new bike stories!

Posted by on December 27th, 2018 at 4:37 pm

New bikes don’t care about the weather!
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

I don’t observe Christmas myself, but I’m happy to celebrate it with other people. One of my favorite parts of this season seeing kids and adults on new (or new-to-them) bikes.

Our Family Biking column is sponsored by Clever Cycles.

➤ Read past entries here.

Our first few years in the Pacific Northwest were spent in a Seattle neighborhood called Green Lake. The neighborhood’s most prominent feature is a lake surrounded by a three-mile multi-use path. I loved walking or biking to the lake on Christmas Day to watch all the kids trying out their new bikes. Seeing kids on their first bike — and remembering what it felt like myself — never gets old.

Nowadays our bikes are more for transportation and not just for fun (though also for fun, of course!). And as such, in our family we tend to get new bike stuff as soon as we need it (without waiting for the holidays). This means I don’t personally have any new bikes to share photos of. But I’d love to hear your stories of exciting new holiday bikes and bike accessories.


Hand-me-down bikes sometimes come with strings (or brothers) attached.

Have you seen any kids testing out new wheels over this holiday week? Did you gift your little one(s) the magic of a new bike? I hope to see many new pedalers in the coming weeks.

Happy holidays everyone!

UPDATE: Reader Tad Reeves just shared this great video and story via Twitter:

Remember, we’re always looking for people to profile. Get in touch if it sounds like fun to you. I’d especially like to feature families of color so please get in touch or ask friends of color who bike with their kids if they’re interested in sharing their stories. And as always, feel free ask questions in the comments below or email me your story ideas and insights at madidotcom [at] gmail [dot] com.

— Madi Carlson, @familyride on Instagram and Twitter

Browse past Family Biking posts here.

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Madi CarlsonToby KeithQqDavid Hampsten Recent comment authors
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Hmm, the tweet calls it Whistler but the video itself calls it Whitefish. I think it’s actually Whitefish.

David Hampsten

You know you live in a very mild climate when one talks about getting a new bike for Xmas. In the snowy Midwest, bikes are something you get when it’s warm enough to ride them, in spring or summer. I’m originally a Midwesterner but now live in a warm climate.

Our local police gave 450 brand new shiny bikes to eager (and surprised) elementary students in some of our poor black neighborhoods. Unfortunately all the bikes were Huffys.

Nice video of Whitefish Montana near Glacier NP (Big Sky?), but clearly not Whistler BC.


Next year hook them up with some place like Community Cycling Center, where all of the bikes can be repaired, maintained, and rebuilt, because that’s what they do. What a way to encourage a bad business model, and discourage a lifetime of biking. Probably a little better than nothing, but ultimately, sad.

David Hampsten

Yeah, we’re depressed about the Huffys too. You’d be surprised how rare places like CCC are out here in NC; they are common enough in the Midwest and West, and Portland has at least 6 bike kitchens. Wealthier Asheville has a couple, Durham, Charlotte, Carboro, and Chapel Hill have only one each, but Raleigh, WS, and here in Greensboro we somehow cannot pull it off. Too much distrust and sensitivity among the bike mechanics and advocates? We don’t have have the verve to get grants and/or free space? I don’t know why. There’s little opposition from bike shops, as long as we locate in poor sections of town where there are no bike shops; some shops are even willing to give us tools and parts. We also have no problem getting bike donations, police surplus, and bikes from our 7 colleges and universities. But we somehow can’t get cheap space nor enough cash grants/donations. And those who fix bikes for free aren’t willing to work well with others (play nice) – they all seem to offend each other all too easily and hold grudges forever.


You know you’re pretty well to do when one talks about children getting large gifts such as a new bike anytime other than Xmas, the only time of year many children are given gifts like this.

Toby Keith
Toby Keith

Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?


Best thing about seeing a park path from our windows is watching kids learn to ride bikes. Haven’t seen many since Christmas yet, probably because of frightful weather, but I’m sure they’ll be out soon. I love seeing kids progress from almost giving up, to going a few feet on their own, to a few more feet, to finally peddling madly around the loop leaving their parents in the dust. They just radiate joy.

Toby Keith
Toby Keith

And please wear helemts!