Family Biking

Below are stories about biking with your family. Click on a headline to read the full article.

Catching the Beach Elementary School ‘bike train’

Posted on May 24th, 2010 at 10:17 am.

A good sign.
(Photos © J. Maus)

This morning on my way to the office, a sign at the corner of North Michigan and Alberta caught my eye; it read “Beach Bike Train meet up spot – 8:30 – Join Us.” It was about 8:25, so I decided to wait around and see if anyone showed up.

A few minutes later I saw a line of kids and parents pedaling toward the spot. One of them was Laurie Paulsen, a Beach parent who I’d met last summer at a nearby farmer’s market.

As kids (and kid-like parents) zoomed in circles around a parking lot waiting for others to show up, I chatted with her for a minute.[Read more…]

Editorial: When it comes to family biking, size matters

Posted on March 4th, 2010 at 2:16 pm.

An impromptu group family ride led to realizations about the size and quality of our bikeways.
(Photos © J. Maus)

A few weekends ago my girls and I, and several other families, planned to attend a local event. Since it was a sunny day, the location of the event was fairly close, and we all tend to bike frequently anyways, it turned into an impromptu group ride. There were kids (youngest was age 7) riding bikes on their own, kids in tag-alongs, and adults with various types of family cargo bikes. There were about 13 of us in all.

While I enjoyed the company of friends and the pleasant ride, being the bike geek that I am, I also couldn’t help from noticing a few other things. [Read more…]

A new bike in the family

Posted on February 18th, 2010 at 11:06 am.

A new bike in the family-1

Eleni’s new Batavus.
(Photos © J. Maus)

My seven-year old daughter Eleni is the proud owner of her first city bike; meaning it came with fenders, a rack, integrated light, and more.

It wasn’t easy to find a well built kids city bike in local bike shops. Most kids bikes are just mini versions of adult bikes that aren’t really functional for getting around, riding in traffic, carrying stuff, and so on. When I saw this gorgeous, 24-inch wheeled, three-speed Batavus, I was immediately impressed. Eleni likes it too. Here are a few highlights:[Read more…]

Juggling work, life, and three kids — by bike

Posted on December 14th, 2009 at 1:02 pm.

Kidical Mass - August-11.jpg

Joe Hagedorn, with sons Cole
and Carter.
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Publisher’s note: This family biking profile comes to you from our newest writer, Alaya Wyndham-Price. Stay tuned for a bike-friendly business profile and other stories from Ms. Wyndham-Price.]

“We bike whenever we can,” Hau Hagedorn said. I sat with her and her husband Joe discussing their family’s commitment to bike commuting over tea this week. Hau and Joe are both professionals with jobs in downtown Portland, and are also parents of three young boys; Carter, age six, Cole, age four, and Hendrik, just 9 months.

This is the story of how they became a biking family.

The couple began easing into bike commuting about two and a half years ago, after Hau decided to participate in the Low-Car Diet by giving up the keys to the family car for two weeks while Joe was on a business trip. At the time, it meant balancing the schedule of her two older sons, her job, and doing regular errands by bike. [Read more…]

The best kid’s bike might be one you build yourself

Posted on December 8th, 2009 at 1:50 pm.

Our family biking contributor Marion Rice did a story this morning on the Front Page about finding the right bike for your kid. It made me think of an old email in my inbox from a friend of mine who made an excellent transportation bike for his son out of an old bike he found at a garage sale. Check out the bike (and its happy owner) below and then read more about the build from John below it:
[Read more…]

Need a transportation bike for your kid? Good options are out there

Posted on December 8th, 2009 at 12:41 pm.

Tour de Ladd-9.jpg

Most kids’ bikes available in the US,
like these spotted at Tour de Ladd this fall,
aren’t fitted out for city riding.
(Photo © J. Maus)

After an exhaustive search for a good city bike for my son, I have concluded that kids bikes in general are in a sorry state. Either they are poorly constructed and will last only a year or two or they are overengineered and just not equipped for a city-riding kid.

By the looks of the offerings on the US market, it appears bike manufacturers think that kids mostly go off road and need mountain-type bikes, or that all kids need is a way to cruise around their cul-du-sac with no gears and just foot brakes. [Read more…]

Portland rolls out its latest for family riding

Posted on November 20th, 2009 at 1:24 pm.

North Portland resident Joe Hagedorn rides a cargo bike from Joe Bike with his son and friends aboard.
-Slideshow below/Gallery
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Read more…]

Book Review: How to Live Well Without Owning a Car

Posted on October 26th, 2009 at 10:31 am.

Publisher’s note: Despite a recent BTA survey showing that 90% of respondents own a car, many people are finding that living without one (or several) is not only possible but enjoyable. Even the New York Times has noticed that in America, people are falling out of love with cars.

On that note, here’s a review of a very highly recommended book about how to take the carfree (or just car-light) plunge. It was originally published by Elisa Munoz on her Birmingham, Alabama-based blog Bike Skirt, and has been republished here with her permission. We’re looking forward to publishing more reviews from Munoz in the future.

[Read more…]

Manifest event will demystify family riding

Posted on October 20th, 2009 at 10:53 am.

Would a Dutch bike work for your family? Or would a bakfiets/Madsen/trailer/Xtracycle suit you better? Find out this Sunday.
(Photos © J. Maus)

[Read more…]

Work pants made for women work great on the bike

Posted on October 14th, 2009 at 11:17 am.

cycling workpants

Marion Rice and her new work pants in action.
(Photo © Elly Blue)

So, I just have to dish about my new pants. Red Ants Pants are work pants shaped for a woman. Designed by outdoorsy gal Sarah Calhoun, who lives in a ranching town of White Sulphur Springs, Montana, these pants are made for women who ranch, garden, fight fires and do the hard work of being a mom.

From the moment I put these sturdy pants on, I knew that I had found a new friend. Although I don’t plan on vaccinating any cattle in mine, they are PERFECT for biking my kids around Portland in the fall and winter. They have two layers which helped keep me more dry and warm as I rode around in the rain all morning.

cycling workpants

But what makes these pants really awesome is the gusseted crotch. Ahem, if you wear your Levis to bike in you probably have encountered that gnarly lump of fabric down there. Well these pants don’t have that. A diamond shaped piece of fabric replaces the four way cross junction which you find in most pants.

The pants come in two cuts, curvy and straight. My husband liked the way they fit so much he just ordered a straight-style pair for himself.

Learn more at