Green Zebra SE Division Store Now Open!

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.

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

  • Avatar
    Matt December 27, 2018 at 7:03 pm

    Hmm, the tweet calls it Whistler but the video itself calls it Whitefish. I think it’s actually Whitefish.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar
    David Hampsten December 27, 2018 at 9:34 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      mh December 28, 2018 at 10:27 am

      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.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        David Hampsten December 28, 2018 at 4:07 pm

        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.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Avatar
      Q January 2, 2019 at 9:13 am

      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.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Toby Keith January 2, 2019 at 3:53 pm

        Do they know it’s Christmas time at all?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist)
        Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) January 2, 2019 at 6:30 pm

        I’m glad you brought that up! I worry people might think biking for transportation is too expensive to even try. Bikes aren’t gifts for us, bikes are our sole method of transportation. I don’t have a car (or rent cars or use rideshare) which saves us thousands of dollars each year (the average cost to own and operate a new car in 2018 was $8,849 per the AAA Your Driving Costs annual report). I budget carefully so I can keep the kids on bikes that fit and they currently both have new bikes, but years ago when I had a car things were different: we borrowed bikes from friends while their kids were too big/too small for them and had a great succession of $20 bikes from the local nonprofit bike center.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Avatar
    q December 29, 2018 at 5:11 pm

    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.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Avatar
    Toby Keith December 29, 2018 at 5:32 pm

    And please wear helemts!

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Avatar