We live in an area that has four distinct seasons. This lets us explore different outdoor activities. The summer season always makes me excited for bicycling. You get to see your neighborhood at a different pace when bicycling as opposed to driving your car. We began sharing our love of bicycling with our daughter at a young age. She first experienced bicycling as a bike trailer rider. We tried pulling the trailer on dirt roads near our house and quickly realized her little 10-month old head was bobbing up and down quite a bit! Maybe that type of road might not be the best for her age (as a licensed massage therapist by profession, I tend to be a bit protective of that central organ, the brain!). All was good as we biked the paved roads. She enjoyed being a passenger and sometimes would bring along stuffed animals and dolls to ride with her.
On her own energy she began to pedal a tricycle, then got the hang of a two wheeled bike with training wheels by the time she was two or three. When she was about three or four, we got a tag-along (trail-a-bike, third wheel – they have numerous names depending on the brands) attached to our adult bike, and she rode behind either my husband or myself. This bike attachment was pretty safe yet made the adult feel like they were riding with a drunk…as our daughter loved to lean from side to side as she pedaled! Most of the time we made it safely through our town doing errands or riding just for fun.
Sometimes my husband would create what he and my daughter called “the triple rig”: she would ride along on the tag-along which was attached to his bike, and the bike trailer would be attached to her bike. This way they could pedal to our local gardeners’ farmers’ market and bring home lots of veggies, fruit and other treats! We were amazed that the years passed so quickly and before long, she was pedaling her own two-wheeled bicycle along with us. It’s been a fun process that we hope becomes a life-long pattern of exercise and enjoyment for all of us!
Where are you in the stages of bicycling with your kids – trailer, tag-along, tricycle, or 2-wheeled bike?