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Biking with Kids: Our 1st Trip to School

We are on our way to Badassity. Monday we move on to a new challenge. Biking long distances with kids on a time constraint schedule with only one parent! The time part  and the 1 parent here is the new piece.

We spent time preparing for this trip by talking about it for a few weeks before hand and getting some of the logistical information. Like is there even a bike rack at the school?Answer. YES.

Minnie Roamer letting me know she is ready to ride her own bike.
Minnie Roamer letting me know she is ready to ride her own bike.

So we woke up early got ready and set out. We rode the route we usually drive since it has a bike lane in some areas. The only adjustment we made was taking some different streets so we wouldn’t have to take on the lows and the highs of an underpass.

Trip Stats

:) :) :) all smiles
🙂 🙂 🙂 all smiles
  • 4 mile bike ride to school each way.
  • Ride took about 50 min one way.
  • School starts at 7:30 am
  • Left home at 6:50 am
  • Arrived at about 7:37
  • No stopping( except for lights) but did slow down pace
  • Mixed riding:  street and sidewalk

Ride back

As I rode back lots of thoughts ran through my head. I was happy we made it. I was bummed we were late. I was trying to think of ways to facilitate future trips. Which led to a train of thoughts.

  • I should check out other routes.
  • I can try again to see if I can transfer him to the other closer elementary school which also offers the DLI program.
  • We can move closer to the school and shorten the route
  • We really should just be moving closer to work ( over 10 miles away)
  • Ugh if I didn’t care about the DLI program we could move closer to work and enroll him into the closest school too.

All these thoughts cause me to not peek back at the trailer as often as normal. When I finally did look back at Minnie Roamer I nearly had

A small heart attack

Minnie Roamer had Houdini escaped her straps. She was sitting in the foot nook in the trailer looking out the cover. The top cover is held in place by Velcro so pretty much she was not safe. Hence small heart attack. I was shocked and scared by the sight. I stopped and took her out. Looked at the straps and was confused to find them still buckled.

Minnie Roamer now Minnie Houdini
Minnie Roamer now Minnie Houdini

I understand Minnie Roamer’s motivation, I mean she had been stuck in there for over an hour. Still I don’t understand how she got out. Specially with her helmet on. So now a shorter trip is important for multiple reasons and I also need to worry about Minnie’s safety during these adventures.

After some free movements on the sidewalk I strapped her in, gave her a talking too and proceeded with the trip. She endured the rest of her captivity much better, but still managed to wriggle her arms free. This could pose a problem.

Goals

Monday will be our biking day. This allows me to get to sleep early to be able to handle waking up early. As we get better I might test out doing it an additional day. I’m probably going to be the one holding us back on that since all other weekdays I am pretty exhausted from getting to bed around 1 am.

As of today my son has said biking to school is his favorite thing and that “its so fun”.

Guess what?

Writing this post actually prompted me to do some research. What I found out was that because I wanted to use the bike lane I knew existed I was adding over half a mile to my route. Now I will reassess our route so that we can arrive to school earlier. Next Monday we will try the suggested route and see if it makes sense for the bike trailer.

You might not believe this but there is some poor planning where sidewalks are reduce to a persons shoulder length. Much too small for a bike trailer.

I try to ride on the street and I am trying to get my son comfortable with the idea but it’s not always feasible. So like I said earlier we do mixed riding. Street and sidewalk for us.Roamer boy bike

Well this was fun, and doing it, even though we did get to school late, just reinforces how we don’t really need to drive there. It was a new challenge and we took the first step and got it done. Now we just need to tweak it and optimize.

It’s a win win win. We save up on money and wear and tear on the cars, we get to exercise, we all have fun.( well maybe except for Minnie Roamer)

Now its your turn

Do you ride with your kids long distances? What is the best placing with only one parent and a trailer in tow? Behind you? In front? next to you? Seriously tell me everything! I want to hear from you.

4 thoughts on “Biking with Kids: Our 1st Trip to School”

  1. I love hearing about this experiment! I grew up in a small island fishing town where a 5 minute drive would get you anywhere (only 17 miles of road). Half of the town would walk or ride wherever they wanted. Now I live in a sprawling town and it takes us 20 min by car to get most anywhere. We bike for fun, but not for life. I still dream of someday living where we can bike to the coffee shop (where the waitress knows our name) and roam around town. Thanks for bringing back the good memories!

    1. Thanks so much fr stopping by Janeen.

      It’s been fun and we are still going strong. Haven’t missed a Monday since we started. The amazing and funny part is how smaller spaces get when you walk or bike them.

      Like my son’s school it takes us 25 min to get there from the moment we lock the door. Because is getting kids in car seats and hitting all the lights and traffic. It takes us 40 min on the bike. But it doesn’t feel bad.

      Well I hope you can work it in as you can.

  2. Our boys’ school had designated walk and bike to school days earlier this year. It’s about a mile away and was a lot of fun. There are no bike lanes, but there are sidewalks the entire way. They usually take the bus, though I wish I could ride with them more often.

    1. It’s great that you do ride with them when you can. I’ve never heard of a school doing that but what a great idea. We just recently moved so now the school is a mile closer. Looking forward to getting back on the bike.

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