Cycling for dummies

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Cycling for dummies

Postby Lily » 15 Oct 2015, 13:07

Humour me. I haven't cycled since I was very small, but I'd like to start again and am totally clueless. Izbiz is outgrowing his balance bike so we're getting him a proper bike for Christmas. My plan is to get myself one too, and hopefully we'll be able to cycle to school together when he starts next autumn.

I will need to be able to carry the baby, and I guess maybe Izbiz too, at least on an occasional basis. So what will be better for a novice rider - one of those little trailers, or a child seat? We live in a quietish town with wide roads. The trailers seem to me safer and more stable, but DH thinks they're just asking to be run over.

What I'd really like is a Scandi-style cargo trike but we just don't have the budget.
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Re: Cycling for dummies

Postby emzit » 15 Oct 2015, 19:35

We have a bike trailer which is great but a faff to pack up and down - we live on top of a steep hill so don't use it from home, and I'm looking for a bike seat at the moment. But the riding I want to do witu squish isn't compatible with a trailer. I don't think they're any more likely to get run over than a bike on its own.

One thing to think about is what will happen if the baby falls asleep while riding - with a trailer they're ok, even when you stop, with a seat you won't be able to leave them there to keep sleeping and can't let go of the bike, with a front seat like a wee ride they have a place to rest their heads and sleep and if it's a rear bike seat their head will loll about which isn't great as you won't be able to stop and wait for them to wake up.

Also worth mentioning that they should have a helmet and the recommendation is they are a year before they start riding so their necks are strong enough to hold up the helmet weight.
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Re: Cycling for dummies

Postby Lily » 16 Oct 2015, 10:31

Thanks emzit. Good to know about the age recommendation - that gives me a bit of time to practise on my own before I venture out with Bee. I think a trailer will suit us best, for the kind of flattish town riding I'm planning and also from the point of view of comfort and weather-proofing for LO.
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Re: Cycling for dummies

Postby busmother » 16 Oct 2015, 20:08

Having the same dilemma, as my balance isn't brilliant and I'm not the most confident cyclist, but DH has done lots with the buses and I was really starting to enjoy going places with them on our bikes before I got pregnant with No3. We had a trailer for the buses and the main downside of it was that it's not easy to wheel along in places where you'd let the little ones ride along the pavement but wouldn't be able to ride alongside them - it's unwieldy and pretty much blocks the pavement (though a single one would be better than our double).
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Re: Cycling for dummies

Postby ches » 17 Oct 2015, 01:41

I'll go against the grain here and say that I found a trailer much, much, MUCH easier than a bike seat (rear). I contemplated a handlebar seat (easier to balance), but my boys were giants. It's pretty tricky with the rear seat because you pretty much need the double kickstand or there's no way to prop the bike while you strap them in and out. Also it slowed me down a lot (possibly because) and I always got flat tyres to the point it was never worth riding. With the trailer I was quick and it didn't slow me down at all. The trailers also double as strollers - not ones that are in any way convenient for every-day-use, but handy if you ride somewhere and then someone needs a nap or you want to go for a walk.
BLPT Guidelines thread: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=4477&p=48324
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Re: Cycling for dummies

Postby Lily » 17 Oct 2015, 07:48

Looks like it's all adding up in favour of a trailer!
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