Marion and her daughter Gleneden.

Welcome to Carfree Families, a column about biking with kids written by Marion Rice.

Marion is a mother of two (ages 5 and 2) and she’s full of ideas and tips about how to be a confident and capable carfree mom or dad.

If you’ve got kids and you want to drive less and ride more, stay tuned for articles on everything from exploring family bike options, to cycling with babies and toddlers.

For more inspiring examples of family riding, view BikePortland.org’s Family Riding Photo Gallery or browse the Family Biking story archives.

Read the latest Carfree Families articles by clicking the headlines below.


Family biking: Moving towards bike independence

Posted on May 21st, 2008 at 4:51 pm.

[Note: This article was written by Marion Rice. See the other articles in her Carfree Families column.]


Sauvie Island Strawberry Ride

When are kids ready to go it alone?
(All photos © J. Maus)

My son is five (turning six in August) and has had his own “big boy bike” for about a year now. It mostly sits in the garage. He’s just not ready.

As much as I would like him to be, he just isn’t.

Every once in a while, I check in and see if he wants to ride around the block on his bike, and I walk/run along beside him. Even though he can ride by himself and gets a lot of positive reinforcement from his parents, it hasn’t been a very good experience. He gets frustrated easily, drops his bike, kicks it, declares he would like it if it were yellow and storms home. [Read more…]

Top tips for biking with babies (and toddlers too!)

Posted on April 24th, 2008 at 12:16 pm.

[Please note that we’ve changed the name of our family biking column from “Carfree Families” to “Car-Less Families”. This is the third article in the ongoing series written by Marion Rice. Read the others here.]


A family ride to IKEA-5.jpg

(Photos © J. Maus)

From my perspective, there is nothing better than tooling around town with my toddler on the bike. We have a great time. She sees so many things she can relate to: Choo Choo’s, kitties, doggies. We bump into people we know and often make new friends along the way.

Here are a few important things to make biking with babies and toddlers safe for you and for them…[Read more…]

Riding with kids: Which bike set-ups work best? [Updated]

Posted on April 15th, 2008 at 2:16 pm.

[Note: This article was written by BikePortland.org’s Carfree Families columnist Marion Rice.]

The Folz family (Allan, Carie and Cody) used their tandem/child-seat/trailer combo to participate in a bike move last summer.
(All photos © J. Maus)

[Read more…]

Car-Less Families — a new column on BikePortland.org

Posted on April 3rd, 2008 at 9:47 am.

Editor’s note: I am excited to introduce Marion Rice (you might remember her from this story back in November). Marion is a mother of two (ages 5 and 2), is married to “the coolest guy ever who bikes as much as he can and is into Xtracycle dating”. She’s full of ideas and tips about how to be a confident and capable carfree mom or dad. She’ll be writing regular stories on everything from exploring family bike options, to cycling with babies and toddlers.

Take it away Marion!…[Read more…]