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#211 of 237 Old 05-23-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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back to bikes. what does everyone do about older children that can not ride a bike saftly beside you? Yes I under stand a bike trailor but dont those only hold so much weight? dd #2 is 5 but weighs almost 60 lbs. she can not ride a bike safetly anywhere besides the drive way. do you just wait to do errands when they are not with you.
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#212 of 237 Old 05-23-2008, 11:25 PM
 
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I think a "trailer bike" might work for you:
http://southjersey.craigslist.org/bik/691056150.html
http://www.bicycletrailers.com/For-C...ikes/index.cat

I haven't used one, but I've seen them on trails around here.

Bridget. Momma to DD (4), expecting DS - 9/09, wife to SAHD. Gardener, coffee addict, urban dweller.
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#213 of 237 Old 05-23-2008, 11:26 PM
 
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back to bikes. what does everyone do about older children that can not ride a bike saftly beside you? Yes I under stand a bike trailor but dont those only hold so much weight? dd #2 is 5 but weighs almost 60 lbs. she can not ride a bike safetly anywhere besides the drive way. do you just wait to do errands when they are not with you.
My son is a little over 50 lbs. He rides in his trailer, which is rated for 100 lbs, but would hold more. He would really rather ride his own bike, but we're not there yet. He's learning to ride safely on the street...I'd say in another year he can ride with me to the store.

I'm looking into an Xtracycle, so he could ride on the back. Or we could get a trail-a-bike.

He'll be five in September.
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#214 of 237 Old 05-23-2008, 11:43 PM
 
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yep we use our trailer for our 4.5 and 2 yo. it's rated to 100lbs as well and their combined weight is just over 80 lbs so we have a bit of time yet before it's outgrown. we will always be able to use it hauling stuff though, I don't forsee us selling that one any time.
but, when we go for groceries he rides his run bike and I push the 2yo in the mountain buggy double stroller. we use the empty seat as a cart for all of our groceries. its much less complicated than taking the trailer to the store.
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#215 of 237 Old 05-23-2008, 11:56 PM
 
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back to bikes. what does everyone do about older children that can not ride a bike saftly beside you? Yes I under stand a bike trailor but dont those only hold so much weight? dd #2 is 5 but weighs almost 60 lbs. she can not ride a bike safetly anywhere besides the drive way. do you just wait to do errands when they are not with you.
With a little practice and not many other options DD's biking skills will increase quickly.
What really helped my DD was not having a 'girly' bike with the streamers etc, just a plain bike and she can keep up with the adutls now
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#216 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 12:12 AM
 
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Gas prices rising so fast makes me triple grateful that we've been working steadily on cutting down on driving for several years.

We've already traded in our truck and minivan for a small car and a motorcycle. We moved last winter to a house just a few miles from DP's job, so he usually bikes, and we're w/in biking or walking distance of most of the places we go regularly. I take the bus to get to the university several times a week, and our mayor is hard at work to expand the bus system. Bus ridership is up 30% in my city, just in the past 2 MONTHS!

So my goal (and I think we'll be there w/in a few months) is to be at the point where we are only driving to church or my parents' house (the only things we moved further away from last year), and for unusual stuff, like my youngest DS's doctor's appts. (he sees several specialists), or when the weather is very bad (thankfully rare here in the desert SW). One sticking point for us will be my DP's and youngest DS's asthma, which is sensitive to cold, so we'll have to drive in cold weather.

Now for me, I'm having a fine time getting the hang of my new bike. Whoo hoo, is that fun! It takes some work to learn because that front wheel is waaay out in front! I actually fell down this evening and skinned my knee. But with a trailer, I'll be able to run my youngest to school, buy groceries, take the dogs to the vet, etc. We're saving now to buy me a little assist motor to make this more practical as my primary transportation, esp. when I have a heavy load in the trailer.

So, we're working toward one tankful of gas per month, which I've actually achieved three times in the past year. Of course, my DP broke his foot in four places last weekend so I'll have to drive him to and from work for the next 8 weeks. Still, though, when we started working toward this, we were filling both our vehicles with gas every single week, so we've come a very long way!

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#217 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 04:25 AM
 
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I have zero experience with this bike trailer, but thought I would put it up for others in similar situations.

A bunch of different trailers, including Special Needs and Adult trailers at: http://www.cycletote.com/index.html

Mom to 10yo Autistic Wonder Boy and 6yo Inquisitive Fireball Girl . December birthdays.

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#218 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 06:55 AM
 
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"SUVs are an endangered species"

Article says used SUVs and trucks aren't selling at any price.
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#219 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 07:15 AM
 
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I have already stopped driving to a neighboring city to visit friends and have play dates for my kids. I don't have any friends in this small town, so I'm becoming a bit of a hermit. But that's ok.

I'm also buying things locally that I used to buy 20-30 miles down the road. I realized how DUMB it was to drive all the way to a discount store to save quarters and dimes, when I was paying $8/round trip in gas alone just to get there. (No judgment... in MY situation, it was dumb.) I was being penny wise and pound foolish for a bit there and had to re-evaluate.

I stopped visiting the whole foods coop once a week, and now I am lucky to get there once a month to stock up on the things I can't get here in town. If gas were $10/gal, maybe I wouldn't even do that.

When we took a trip a couple weeks ago for a relative's wedding (and to see both my grandparents for most likely the last time), we borrowed my mil's Prius. It made all the difference in the cost of that trip.

One thing this thread has definitely got me thinking about is where we will buy a house. We're finally paying off our very last debt (happens to be our minivan) and then our next goal is to buy a house. I've been wanting to move into a residential neighborhood in easy driving distance of the things we need. But then I've been thinking, maybe better to be in an area that is "country" enough that it allows big gardens and keeping chickens, and is also a very short drive to the grocery store. If the next "great depression" hits, I'm not so sure I want to be sitting on top of my neighbors.

I think my dh has already stopped doing one of my pet peeves: "going for a drive." For no reason. I HATE THAT!!! Doesn't it make you want to pull your hair out just thinking about it?!? (He's a really wonderful person, really, even if that small detail is just MESSED UP.)

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#220 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 08:19 AM
 
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I think my dh has already stopped doing one of my pet peeves: "going for a drive." For no reason. I HATE THAT!!! Doesn't it make you want to pull your hair out just thinking about it?!? (He's a really wonderful person, really, even if that small detail is just MESSED UP.)
Heheh, I can relate, my DH used to do that too. "Let's go for a drive!" Me: "You want to just ride around? Going nowhere? For no reason?" : After about a hundred rounds of that particular exchange, he doesn't suggest it very often anymore. Really now with our son and all our activities, we're too busy to spend time just riding around anyway, it was more an issue when we were childless.
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#221 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 09:57 AM
 
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I would have to quit the gym (we go everyday) and get fat (well more fat ) I would probably have to sell one of our vehicles to pay to fuel the other. My husband has been thinking about selling his truck and getting a motercycle already.

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#222 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 10:42 AM
 
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So, I replied to this before saying I'd probably buy a Prius. But my husband and I sat down and talked, and here are a couple things we decided.

1. If it doesn't hit $10 a gallon until 2010, we would love to wait until the Volt comes out and buy one, if it is somewhere around twice our current car payment. 100 mpg would be awesome! Not to mention, drive less than 40 miles and you use no gas. So yeah, the Volt. We're going to try to hold out and keep our car (we have an 06, so that shouldn't be a problem) for two more years.

2. We're already planning this, but it would make it just that much more important: live closer to work. We're moving out to San Diego soon, and we're hoping to get military housing very close to the base to cut down on gas costs.

3. I would need to make extra money. I'm already planning to open my own little business, but it would be that much more important.

4. Car pool/ take bus to the market. Currently, neither of those are options. But once we're living in the city it will be, and that will cut down.

A few posters have questioned why everyone wants to wait to do these things. For my family, it makes economical sense to. Right now, the cost of a Prius would be out of our price range once you add in gas savings. I need to look at what will save my family the most money.

We can't move right now (it would be dumb for us to, anyway) since we're waiting on our orders.

As for public transportation, it's just not an option here.

I think for a lot of families they'll have to make big sacrifices once gas gets more expensive, but currently it's in the best interest of their families not to make those changes until they have to. At least, that's the way it is for us right now.

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#223 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 11:01 AM
 
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1. If it doesn't hit $10 a gallon until 2010, we would love to wait until the Volt comes out and buy one, if it is somewhere around twice our current car payment. 100 mpg would be awesome! Not to mention, drive less than 40 miles and you use no gas. So yeah, the Volt. We're going to try to hold out and keep our car (we have an 06, so that shouldn't be a problem) for two more years.
That's what my DH wants to do too. But sometimes these cars just never make it to market. I remember hearing how the hybrid Toyota mini-van was coming out in 2007. Well, it's 2008 and I never heard anything else. So I don't know if I should keep driving the old van (1999 with 100K+ and starting to rust), get a gasoline car, get a hybrid, or what.
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#224 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 12:08 PM
 
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I have zero experience with this bike trailer, but thought I would put it up for others in similar situations.

A bunch of different trailers, including Special Needs and Adult trailers at: http://www.cycletote.com/index.html
Interesting, I'd not seen those. Weird for the trailer to hitch at the seatpost. I had a cargo trailer that attached that way, and it was not more stable, and you could feel stress on the seatpost, so you couldn't pull it with just any old bike. I much prefer the hitch at the rear wheel. The way they're designed, if the bike pulling goes down, the trailer generally doesn't. But the trailers have sturdy construction and nice design otherwise.

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"SUVs are an endangered species"

Article says used SUVs and trucks aren't selling at any price.
That was already happening when I was looking for my first car three years ago. I haven't looked at craigslist recently, but I can only imagine.
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#225 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 12:39 PM
 
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buy a bike trailer. (one of the big ones by burley). you can carry 1-2 kids and stuff. plus, it keeps you in shape. we live in a good town for biking. big enough to have a coop and a trader joes, small enough to have a 25 mph speed limit on most streets.
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#226 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 12:44 PM
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3. I would need to make extra money. I'm already planning to open my own little business, but it would be that much more important.

But if gas is $10 a gallon, no one may want to buy what you are selling.

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#227 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 12:50 PM
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We knew that gas was going to hit the wall in our lifetime, but we didn't think things would get so bad so fast.
:

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#228 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 01:06 PM
 
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I would move. I live in the Phx area and the public transportation is not the best, plus I can't see being outside in 100+ degree weather with my LO waiting for the bus...so I would move to a city with a better pub transportation system and keep my car for probably trips 1-2 times a week or long trips only.

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#229 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 01:18 PM
 
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I would move. I live in the Phx area and the public transportation is not the best, plus I can't see being outside in 100+ degree weather with my LO waiting for the bus...so I would move to a city with a better pub transportation system and keep my car for probably trips 1-2 times a week or long trips only.
Phx wouldn't be a very livable place, anyway, because with oil that high, electricity is also going to go way up. It's hard to even predict how much infrastructure will fail, and that area is not able to sustain that many people without it.

I have friends in Phoenix, and I'm trying to convince them to move here.
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#230 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 02:19 PM
 
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I've been down sizing and working towards living on less for the last 6 months. ( not that we had much before...so drive less. my gas budget has been $15 a week for ages and if the price goes up ( and it will) then it stays the same.

We have sold our home and now are moving 4 people into a one bedroom (cute) ol farm house...

How would you all feel driving bikes on country roads with kids? I think I would feel better with a horse and buggy rather then bike...I only ask because people go 80 on the country roads sometimes (50/50) and that makes me nervous.
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#231 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 02:36 PM
 
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How would you all feel driving bikes on country roads with kids? I think I would feel better with a horse and buggy rather then bike...I only ask because people go 80 on the country roads sometimes (50/50) and that makes me nervous.
Honestly, the thought of having my kids on bikes or even in a bike trailer scares the crap out of me, unless we were in a very quiet neighborhood.

Me riding a bike on a country road is also very frightening.

I just keep thinking about how easy it would be for someone to be driving along sending a text message or some crap and to just mow into us. Same thoughts apply to any mode of transportation besides car.

I think the same thing about living on a country highway (which seems to be where most country houses are located, probably due to the cost of making roads). I worry that my kids are going to be playing in the front yard and someone driving 80 mph will lose control of their car and careen into our front yard.

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#232 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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Honestly, the thought of having my kids on bikes or even in a bike trailer scares the crap out of me, unless we were in a very quiet neighborhood.

Me riding a bike on a country road is also very frightening.

I just keep thinking about how easy it would be for someone to be driving along sending a text message or some crap and to just mow into us. Same thoughts apply to any mode of transportation besides car.

I think the same thing about living on a country highway (which seems to be where most country houses are located, probably due to the cost of making roads). I worry that my kids are going to be playing in the front yard and someone driving 80 mph will lose control of their car and careen into our front yard.
I think as gas prices go up, we're going to have to learn to let go of a lot of those fears. When you have to go out, you have small children, and you can't drive, your options are limited. DH had the same fear of bike trailers but as we're looking for other transportation options biking with the kids is one we just can't afford to ignore anymore. He's started doing some research and is feeling better about it as he goes.
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#233 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 02:55 PM
 
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Honestly, the thought of having my kids on bikes or even in a bike trailer scares the crap out of me, unless we were in a very quiet neighborhood.

Me riding a bike on a country road is also very frightening.

I just keep thinking about how easy it would be for someone to be driving along sending a text message or some crap and to just mow into us. Same thoughts apply to any mode of transportation besides car.

I think the same thing about living on a country highway (which seems to be where most country houses are located, probably due to the cost of making roads). I worry that my kids are going to be playing in the front yard and someone driving 80 mph will lose control of their car and careen into our front yard.
I worry about the same things. There are so many inattentive and drunk drivers around here. I lost count a few years ago how many times our mail box has been hit. Most people around here have boxes set up so they just fall over and you have a better chance of not having to replace it.

We were going to sell, but the market in our area is flat. No sales at all. If things continue to get worse, we'll just have to figure it out somehow because we can't move if there's no market activity.
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#234 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 03:56 PM
 
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I think as gas prices go up, we're going to have to learn to let go of a lot of those fears. When you have to go out, you have small children, and you can't drive, your options are limited. DH had the same fear of bike trailers but as we're looking for other transportation options biking with the kids is one we just can't afford to ignore anymore. He's started doing some research and is feeling better about it as he goes.
There are some fears that I don't know I'd let go of. I'd sooner get over my fear of leaving my kids home alone than I would get over my fear of putting them in a trailer next to cars driving over 30 mph. I'd walk them to the neighbor's and leave them there, or I'd wait until one adult could stay w/ them while the other did what needed doing. I'd re-evaluate if we really needed to go anywhere. I would make a lot of sacrifices before I'd do a bike trailer with traffic.

This is based on my fear, though. I'm not saying that a bike trailer isn't a reasonable choice. I don't know enough to make a blanket statement about the safety of it. I just don't think it is the one I will end up making. Unless we're talking, like I said, in a quiet residential neighborhood with very little and slow traffic.

Maybe by the time we really are forced to make decisions regarding braving heavy traffic on bikes, so many people will have had to make similar decisions that there will be more bikes than cars on the roads, and to accommodate, the speed limits will be drastically reduced and every driver's awareness will be heightened.

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#235 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 08:41 PM
 
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How would you all feel driving bikes on country roads with kids? I think I would feel better with a horse and buggy rather then bike...I only ask because people go 80 on the country roads sometimes (50/50) and that makes me nervous.
Right now I do not feel safe enough to do this. We live in the country. If I were to ride to the bigger town near us (the town that actually has a store ), we have 2 options: a 2 lane state highway with a gravel shoulder and a speed limit of 55mph or a winding country road with little shoulder and speed limit of 55pmh. If my kids rode their bikes to school, the only option is the state highway. People drive REALLY fast on these roads and there are often large dump trucks (we live near a gravel pit), but I do sometimes see people running or walking on the road. I felt unsafe enough on these roads that I bought a treadmill for exercise, rather than risking a walk on the highway. At this point, I don't feel that my kids are old enough to ride on the road.

Every once in awhile I do think about trying the ride with the kids, but I worry that they'd be tired and crabby. It's about 8 miles to town, with a large hill down and then up again through a river valley. So at this point I prefer to drive to town, but if the price of gas skyrockets we might make different choices.

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#236 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 09:07 PM
 
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Thanks that makes me feel better I was wondering if I was the only one that felt that way.

Ive been interested in finding a small electric car or golf cart but really the roads are windy and hilly and I know if I had a high flag it would help to warn other motorists but with kids if we were to get hit and I lived...I would blame myself.

I live in the city right now and I do use my bike ( or did I just got rid of it) but after we move I cant see that I'll use it....I'll just stick to my gas budget
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#237 of 237 Old 05-24-2008, 09:09 PM
 
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How would you all feel driving bikes on country roads with kids? I think I would feel better with a horse and buggy rather then bike...I only ask because people go 80 on the country roads sometimes (50/50) and that makes me nervous.
This, I think, is a significant problem. Not just regarding country roads, but bicycle awareness and safety in general. I'm very fortunate that my city has some great bike paths, and many street have a bike lane. Even so, when I have my youngest in the trailer, I stick to residential streets. I also installed flags on both back corners, and added some extra reflective strips. We've never had any trouble, but again, we're fortunate to live where we do, and able to get most places on side streets.

Honestly, I think some things are going to take some time. Cities WILL get on the ball eventually as more people demand things. My city is expanding its bus fleet and just a year ago, people were screaming that the mayor was wasteful for wanting more buses. I hope to see more roads with full-fledged bicycle lanes as time goes by. For now, I can leave my house and travel north or south on a bike lane, but not east or west!

One option we've used at times is to drive partway, then bus or bike partway. That's kinda unrealistic when you're traveling with a trailer, though. Doable, but pretty difficult and time-consuming.

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