Family Biking

Ride to a quiet beach just 10 miles away on a route that’s 80 percent carfree

by on August 1st, 2017 at 3:05 pm

Ride from NoPo to Kelley Point Park-31.jpg

This five-mile path parallels Marine Drive and connects Kelley Point Park with Smith and Bybee Lakes.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Did you know there’s a ride that’s 80 percent carfree and will take you from inner Portland to beaches on the Willamette and Columbia rivers on a mix of quiet residential roads, sidewalks, and paths?

View and download route at

We all know how Portland’s 90-mile network of neighborhood greenways are great at getting us across town; but they can also help us get away from town.

A Portland Bureau of Transportation staffer once referred to our neighborhood greenway network as a “bus system for biking and walking.” And similar to how some of us use light rail to expand the scope of rides (like taking MAX to Hillsboro to reach Stub Stewart State Park), our neighborhood greenways enable smaller journeys more suitable for riders of all ages and abilities but no less fun and adventurous.

This past weekend my six-year-old son Everett and I hopped on a borrowed tandem (thanks Peter!) and headed out to Kelley Point Park — an isolated, 100-acre stand of cottonweed trees and grassy meadows at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia rivers.
[Read more…]

Product review: The Islabikes Beinn 20 children’s bike

by on October 25th, 2016 at 10:44 am

Testing the Islabike Beinn 20-4.jpg

When a kid has the confidence to do little tricks, it’s a good sign they trust their bike.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

When he was finally ready, his bike was more than up to the task. That’s how I think about my five-year-old son Everett’s evolution to becoming a confident bike rider.

It wasn’t easy. He first learned to ride a regular pedal-bike (after learning on a balance bike) over two years ago. But for some reason he didn’t keep it up. He parked the bike and seemed afraid or nervous about it whenever we urged him to get back on the saddle. Even getting a shiny new red bike didn’t inspire him! I was completely at a loss. I was so frustrated that I just stepped back and stopped even talking about riding (absent dropping a few hints here and there).

Then one day while I was out of town, I got a text from Juli. It was a video of Everett riding his bike. “This just happened,” she wrote.

He got his bike out and just started riding it. All on his own. I guess he was finally ready.

And thankfully, his bike was too.
[Read more…]

This is what happens when you ask Portlanders to build balance bikes

by on December 5th, 2014 at 2:01 pm


Balance bikes for bid. See more photos below.
(Photo: CCC)

From the Bike Mechanic Challenge back in June to their successful Transportation Trivia Nights, the northeast Portland based Community Cycling Center has a knack for dreaming up great ways to support their cause.

But this one might take the cake.

In the spirit of the season when little kids dream of their first bike, the CCC challenged five of its staffers to compete in a “Balance Bike Build-Off”. For the uninitiated, a balance bike is a tiny bike for toddlers without pedals or gears and a seat so low it can be powered by running instead of pedaling. They’re simply the best way to learn to how to balance, and ultimately ride, a bike.
[Read more…]

LEED apartment building lacks cargo bike parking, so family rents an auto space

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 17th, 2014 at 11:07 am

cargo bike wide angle

The apartment building where the DeLaneys live was designed with lots of parking for small bikes but none for the sort that lets families with children live car-free.
(Photos: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When their name came up this year on the waiting list for a rare below-market two-bedroom apartment in one of Williams Avenue’s new apartment buildings, the DeLaney family was thrilled.

It had enough room for their growing family — Bijou, their second daughter, is four months old — and was a short walk to the 35 bus that carries Chris DeLaney to his job at the Bike Gallery in Lake Oswego.

But it lacked something else: a place to park the cargo bike that lets them avoid car ownership and thus afford to live where they do. So, after some negotiation, the DeLaneys are paying $40 a month to park their cargo bike in one of the building’s auto parking spaces.

[Read more…]

PBOT’s new guide takes the guesswork out of family biking

by on July 23rd, 2014 at 3:17 pm


Even in Portland, riding with infants and small children on your bike often elicits stares, questions, and comments.

At what age can we start biking with our baby? Which bike set-ups work best for toddlers? Is it better to use a tag-along or encourage kids to ride their own bike? These are just some of the myriad questions anyone who bikes with kids is used to getting. Now there’s a helpful guide from the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) that aims to answer those questions.

Portland’s Family Biking Guide (PDF) is a new, 16-page booklet created by PBOT’s Active Transportation Division. The new guide will be distributed through the city’s “SmartTrips Welcome” marketing program that targets new residents and encourages them to bike, walk, and take transit.

According to PBOT’s Active Transportation Division Manager Linda Ginenthal, the new guide fills a gap in the city’s available suite of bicycling information. “We have a tremendous amount of bike information on our website and in printed materials,” she shared with us today, “but we had nothing for families.”
[Read more…]

Babies, brains and bikes

by on May 16th, 2014 at 1:07 pm

(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The other day our former Family Biking columnist Marion Rice shared an interesting link. It was to a blog post by Suzanne Zeedyk titled, “How buggies shape babies’ brain”. I expected the post to be about the common question of how young is too young when it comes to carrying babies around in things other than automobiles.

However it turns out the post was about something I hadn’t thought about in all my years of being a dad: How the position of the baby’s face in relation to mine (while we ride) might impact language development. Here’s a salient excerpt from the post:

“Primary teachers have been witnessing a steady decrease in children’s linguistic abilities upon starting school, and they had wondered if the fact that so many strollers are now designed to face outward, rather than toward the adult, might be one of a variety of possible factors contributing to that decrease.”

[Read more…]

The Ride: A north Portland loop that’s perfect for the whole family

by on April 22nd, 2014 at 2:27 pm

Ultimate North Portland Family Loop-15

With half the mileage on paths completely separated from auto traffic, this nine mile north Portland/Columbia Slough loop could be the ultimate family ride.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

If you’ve been looking for a great loop ride in north Portland that’s perfect for novice riders and families, I’ve got an exciting route to share.
[Read more…]

When a child rides alone: A test of our kids and our streets

by on November 5th, 2013 at 8:15 am

Eleni rides home alone-1

On her own: Would our streets — and my daughter — pass the
solo biking test?
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

I recently — and surreptitiously — followed my daughter Eleni as she rode home from soccer practice by herself. She’s almost 11 years old now and we’ve just recently started to let her do this. I followed her because I was curious to know how she would ride without me or her mom offering that perception of protection that our proximity provides.

If you have children (or even if you don’t), I’m sure you can relate to the mix of emotions that occur when you allow your own flesh and blood to become a full-fledged “vulnerable” road user. I was also curious if our neighborhood streets would live up to their reputation as “family friendly.”
[Read more…]

Portlanders bike back to school (photos)

by on September 5th, 2013 at 12:28 pm

Trillium Charter School on North Interstate.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Schools in Portland are back in session as of yesterday, and that means the biking to school season is upon us once again. (That, combined with the Bike Commute Challenge and the all the regular Portland bike traffic, often makes September feel like the busiest biking time of year.)

Yesterday we asked readers to tweet us photos of the bike racks at their kids’ schools with the hashtag #bikebacktoschool. Check out a few of the images below…
[Read more…]

‘Fiets of Parenthood’ event returns this Sunday

by on July 30th, 2013 at 10:46 am

Fiets of Parenthood-44

Tackling the obstacle course at last year’s event.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Fiets of Parenthood is back for its 4th year and biking families all over the region are getting ready to strut their stuff at a new venue: The Portland Art Museum. As part of their ongoing Cyclepedia: Iconic Bicycle Design exhibition, PAM has partnered with event sponsor Clever Cycles for a “Free Family and Community Day” this Sunday (8/4).

If you’re curious about family biking, or if you’re already riding with kids in tow and want to connect with other families, this is an event you won’t want to miss.[Read more…]