Family Biking with Madi Carlson

Each week Madi Carlson shares insights and adventures gleaned from raising two kids on two wheels.

This content is made possible by Clever Cycles, a family-oriented bike shop located on SE Hawthorne at 9th.


Family Biking: Here’s how to ace Walk + Roll to School Day

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on September 10th, 2019 at 10:11 am

The parties and parades will be much more fun if you plan ahead and get involved.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Family Biking: Two tweens on a family bike (part one)

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on September 3rd, 2019 at 11:49 am

160 pounds of carefully-placed 12-year old and 10-year old. Not easy, but doable!
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

I just realized I can still carry both my kids on my bike! But just barely. The barely part is due both to my ability to carry them and the amount of space on my bike. The ability part isn’t about not having an e-assist (though that would certainly make it easier and more fun), but being able to muscle the bike off its kick-stand and to hold it upright when stopped.

This has me thinking about biking with two tweens in general — as a single unit, that is — and how/if it’s really feasible.[Read more…]

Family Biking: Food cart pods are almost the perfect spot for bikes, kids, and pets

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on August 27th, 2019 at 12:07 pm

The Lot at Scout Beer has great food, great bathrooms, and great kiddie play area, but zero bike parking.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

There’s a lot to like about Portland. Our plentiful bike lanes (for an American city, that is) and our high percentage of bike commuters (again, by American standards), our temperate weather, and one of my favorite Portlandy things: our food cart pods!

While I love hanging out and eating at food cart pods, lately I’ve realized there are a lot of them that aren’t exactly bike-friendly, which downgrades them to almost perfect spots.[Read more…]

Family Biking: Go beyond parks and campgrounds with these bike camp hacks

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on August 20th, 2019 at 8:48 am

The best camp-hacking comes with a pool, cake, and karaoke.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Did you know house sitting is now called (by some at least) “rent hacking”? It sounds cool, but I prefer “camp hacking,” a term I coined for camping options beyond the usual parks and campgrounds. If you’re looking for a quick-and-dirty way to camp with your bikes, maybe it’s time to think outside the box.[Read more…]

Family Biking: The ABCs of a summer bucket list

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on August 13th, 2019 at 9:42 am

We just biked to the last Portland Pickles baseball game of the regular season. I love biking to sporting events in the summer!
(Photo: Madi Carlson)

For those of us following the Portland Public Schools calendar, there are just two more weeks of summer break. I don’t know about you, but I’m hoping to sneak in a few more fun things on bikes before we’ve got to get back to the books. I’d like to hit a few new locations and maybe revisit a special spot or two.

How about you? Any last-minute summer flings planned? If not, here are three little bits of inspiration…[Read more…]

Family Biking: Time to start planning your bike-to-school route

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on August 6th, 2019 at 9:12 am

I can’t wait to see if the new lanes on SE Foster feel safe at 8:30am once school starts.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

Yikes, August has snuck up on me and the school year is just three weeks away. That means it’s time to plan out your bike-to-school route. [Read more…]

Family Biking: You can’t go home again, but bicycling helps

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 31st, 2019 at 9:11 am

First glimpse of the ocean! Three Arch Rocks in the background at Netarts Bay.
(Photos: Madi Carlson)

This week’s column will be a bit more introspective than usual, so please bear with me…

I think a lot about my kids and my own lost youth in the summers.
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Family Biking: Reassuring relatives about biking with baby

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 23rd, 2019 at 8:52 am

(Photos: Madi Carlson)

How do you handle well-meaning concerns about biking with little ones?
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Review: ‘Motherload’ film gives cargo bikes their due

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 16th, 2019 at 9:57 am

Motherload takes us on a journey through cargo bike history and use.
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Join us for ‘Motherload’ film screening and bike parade this Thursday

Madi Carlson (Family Biking Columnist) by on July 9th, 2019 at 10:52 am

Eight years in the making, a most exciting film about cargo bikes and family biking is finally here! Fresh off the film festival circuit, the first non-festival showing of Motherload will be here in Portland this Thursday at 7pm at the Clinton Street Theater.
[Read more…]