Friday, May 29, 2009

bicycle touring - with kids?

Right now I'm reading this book - it came to me by way of a latent endorsement from a friend and fellow bicycle enthusiast.  I'm really really enjoying it.  I've tried a couple of books as my "before I fall asleep books" and none of them stuck.  I had kind of been in a rut since reading East of Eden - which is so amazing that it's somewhat difficult to immediately transition to another work.

There is something so honest and endearing about Barbara Savage's account of her bicycle trek across the world with her husband.

Then when I read on the back of the book that she had been tragically killed while training for a triathalon... it quadrupled the "sieze the day" - ness of the book.

The one issue I continually think of when reading this book and considering whether or not Ashley and I could do something like this is, "what do people do with their children?"

Obviously adventures aren't just for the childless - so what are we to do?  While the once in a lifetime trip might have to wait untill all the little-ns are out of the house - how can we/I scratch the bicycle-touring itch with young children?

Paul Cooley over at CarFree Family has taken several-day trips, with his two children, with much success.

I'm kind of hoping to get out as soon as the end of the summer on a little overnight bicycle trip.  George will only be 5-6 months at this point, so it will need to be something pretty mild.  But by next summer you can count on a real hum-dinger of a trip.

Just wanted to get this out of my system cause I've been thinking about this a lot lately and when I put it in writing, somehow... it makes me more accountable.  Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

getting the little guy on a bike

So George may not be ready for the training wheels just yet, or to try out the new helmet that a friend gave him - but I see little point in waiting until George is one before we hit the road. I was reading the most recent issue of Momentum and there was a little blurb about biking with children. Mostly it was run of the mill advice about waiting until they can hold their head up, and how most child helmets are only for kids aged 1 and up.

I think we are going to get the Burley Bee. The BikeTrailerShop has them for a very reasonable price, and they seem to be safe and easy to use.

The Momentum article also mentioned the Burley Snuggler -a nice adapter for infants to fit inside trailers. While the Burley site says that they aren't specifically for bicycling, they can be used for jogging and walking. See - if it can be used for jogging then it can definitely be used for leisurely rides around the neighborhood. We'll just take it slow.

In other news - look at this contraption, the Taga.

According to the Taga website, the Taga is Taga is a multifunctional urban vehicle, uniquely designed to suit the needs of today's parents and children. Taga combines the benefits of a premium stroller and a carrier bicycle to create a new transportation modality.

Leave it to the Dutch to come up with something innovative and cool looking to tote children around. It'd probably cost you an arm and a leg to get it shipped over here - but man you'd be the envy of the block in one of these bad boys.

Well, maybe not your whole block, but I'd envy you.