Category Archives: family biking

Breakfast in the Bike Trailer

Avery and Oliver with breakfast in the trailer.


We accomplished many things yesterday but we didn’t get eggs from our local pick up spot. Once a week a farmer about an hour away delivers dozens of dozens of eggs to a porch cooler downtown. Four Season Farms also has been supplying us, and many other Huntingtonians, with organic basil, raw honey, grape tomatoes, and chives. We love that we get to work directly with a farmer, although we haven’t met yet, and it’s with in biking distance from the house. First thing this morning we grabbed hamburger buns from the refrigerator, the bags I set aside just for biking, an empty cooler bag, and then took off.


The little ones just couldn’t wait to eat, they ate their buns in the bike trailer. We grabbed the buns simply because they were available. The big kids could hold out for an hour. It was just under three miles round trip, but we stopped for water, a couple laps around the park for fun and we ran into our good friend Ashley who was the recipient of the basil we ordered and were picking up.


London preparing to cross Hal Greer.

The BR in the back is where we waited for the bus yesterday evening.




London on her cruiser.

Smart car in the back, the children’s favorite vehicle right now.


This stretch of Washington Blvd is smooth, another child favorite.

Traveling three miles on a bike during the morning traffic was a bit trickier. We took side walks around the park to avoid slowing down the cars, but as you can see, we ran into a minor problem. Many of the side walks were also lifting and cracked. I hope to better document the holes in the roads at some point. It is a constant area complaint, and the city has made many good gestures toward repairs, but the structural issues are overwhelming and funding too short. We are very happy with the ramps they are installing at the intersections, this alone has improved our strollering, walking and biking.


Our obstacle. Marshall University president’s home on the right ahead of us.


Ashley crossed the street to go pick up basil and eggs with us.


Eggs, basil and grape tomatoes in the cooler. Oliver asleep. We headed home. The dinky hill up to our home is always dreaded. It’s really not much of anything, but it always wears us out. Any tricks to climbing long shallow inclines with an extra 80lbs in tow?


Critical Mass

Our local Critical Mass ride was celebrating it’s second anniversary tonight. We were all so exhilarated to be there with the 120 riders. This is an approximation of our route.

View Larger Map


We biked from home with our friend Ashley and her one year old daughter. It was their first ride. We had all sorts of troubles getting out of the house when trying to hitch our second trailer to her bike. We decided to use the rear bike seat instead. When we finally headed out, it was with 5 minutes till start time, but the crowd didn’t leave us behind!



This was Elliot’s first CM. He was amazing out there tonight. The other riders were very concerned about him on the down hills and he was smokin’! He made it up all the grinds, even the one I couldn’t. We are all sort of basking in a bike high.



The New Family Caravan

As part of our efforts to trim the fat, financially speaking, we are driving less and biking more. I have whittled our car miles down to less than 20 one day each week for the past several weeks. We have been working down our errands and appointments to places with in walking/biking distance or in proximity to places we need to go in our van, which we are trying to sell (hint, hint).

The most troubling thoughts and planning has been on how to transport four children when there is only one adult. The past week and a half has put this scenario to the test. There were many different ways this problem could have been solved. Our 9 year old can ride independently but needs an escort for traffic areas. Our 7 year just got his training wheels off a couple weeks ago and has no experience on the streets. We didn’t even consider having the 4 and 1 year old on bikes. We looked at trail gators, triple tandems, follow me tandems, a double tandem and a single with trailer, and Xtracycles amongst other things. We didn’t have big money to invest initially so here is what happened.

Elliot learning to ride without training wheels at the park, June 2011.  

Last year someone loaned us a small Fisher Price bike trailer. We had one adult bike, the trailer, a toddler rear seat and bikes for the older children. Brent would take the little boys out in either the seat or the trailer depending on where they were going and how many were needing to go. Elliot and I stayed home and London rode along side.

My neighbor got wind that we were a bike short and offered up one in her basement that needed some work but wasn’t being used. Wonderful! I took it to Huntington Cycle and Sport for a tune up, rear tire and crankshaft adjustment. $50 and 60 minutes later I had a bike. Another friend heard about what we were doing and saw how small the trailer was for our 4 year old and gifted us a beautiful Yakima trailer. I have some of the most generous caring friends.

With Elliot getting better at riding and shortening our errand distances we started out. Our first single parent ride was to a local community garden to volunteer. Elliot and London rode independent. I hauled the little boys in the trailer. It worked wonderfully. It was a great practice trip to see what we needed to get packed, where every one would sit, how helmets and tools and first aid kids were going to be used, etc. We were now a family caravan on the streets of downtown.

Our caravan parked at the community gardens, July 2011.  
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