How safe does our bike setup need to be? How can I make it safest? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 34 Old 11-27-2012, 04:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

My husband may be getting a job on Kwajalein, a tiny military base island in the Marshall islands. I really don't want to go, but we might, so I'm trying to wrap my head around how we might be able to do this before we find out. (Please don't make us go! uhoh3.gif)

 

The island is TINY! You can walk from one end to the other in minutes. There are no cars (except a handful of official vehicles). Everyone rides bicycles. I have a 4 y/o and an 8 m/o. How would you do this most safely? I was thinking that since there isn't far to go and we would be going very slowly and with no cars around, I could just put both kids into a bike trailer and pull it behind me. Not sure how I would do that, though, since my son is still a baby and won't fit a helmet. Can I just put him in a bike trailer anyway if we are going very slowly and there is no traffic anywhere and there's never far to ride? We would have to ride to the mess hall maybe three times a day for meals, to the store and to the beach and no trip would ever be more than 1/2 a mile.

 

I had considered putting my son in a car seat in the trailer and have my daughter ride a bike with her helmet, but she is a terrible rider and a biiiiig complainer about riding, so I don't see that as a feasible option, either.

 

Thanks!


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#2 of 34 Old 11-27-2012, 07:27 PM
 
lightforest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 593
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

It is tricky to figure out a feasible bike solution for a little babe. But since the island doesn't have car traffic, I'm thinking your primary safety issue would be the bumpiness of the roads (those bumps are dangerously jarring to a little baby with a big/wobbly head). In a situation like yours, I'd honestly attach a car seat securely inside a bike trailer. There are definitely, obviously safety issues to consider, but that's the choice I'd personally make.

 

I've also seen hammock-like seats for young babies - these are made to fit in some European style bike trailers and cargo bikes. But if you don't have one of these particular brands of bikes/trailers then the baby seat wouldn't be very useful. I don't know how useful they'd be for a baby as old as 8 months anyway. He's sitting on his own by now and will very soon be able to wear a helmet and fit in normal seat in a bike trailer.

 

My last thought: if the walk will never be more than a half mile, then it may just be easier to put the kids in a jogging stroller (something with big air filled tires to take bumps, as I assume there are few sidewalks there, and something with a big basket underneath for hauling home sundries). I have a fancy schmancy cargo bike for transporting my kiddo, but if our outing takes us only a half mile from home I NEVER use the bike. I find it easier to use a stroller instead.


Mama to A (08/10) & E (03/13).
lightforest is offline  
#3 of 34 Old 11-27-2012, 08:33 PM
 
Erin77's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Kailua, HI
Posts: 275
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I started putting my son in the rear bike seat (not trailer) when he was a year old, that was the youngest the toddler helmet was approved for. So if he's 8 months old, that's not long! I'd use a jogging stroller til then, then after that either a bike trailer for both or a bike seat for the baby and have your daughter ride her own. Her complaining would probably taper off when she got used to it. Half a mile is really not far, I even used to walk that with my son in his Ergo at that age, you just get used to it (we moved to Hawaii and my husband took the car every day, so I walked everywhere.) I know lots of people who go to the Marshall Islands, btw, and it sounds like a neat opportunity! I hope you like it, if you end up going. 

Erin77 is offline  
#4 of 34 Old 11-27-2012, 09:46 PM
 
DahliaRW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Near the beautiful Cascades!
Posts: 6,675
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3 Post(s)

I would probably invest in a bakfiets (type of cargo bike).  http://bakfiets.nl/eng/ You can put your 8mo in his car seat in the box part (it looks like they even make an infant car seat adapter for it if you wan tot be super safe) and your 4yo can ride in it too.  Or you can get a trail a bike and hook it to the back fo the bakfiets for your 4yo (http://www.trail-a-bike.com/) if you need space for baby and cargo.   


Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
DahliaRW is offline  
#5 of 34 Old 11-27-2012, 10:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks, everyone! Yes, I thought about a bakfiets, but it would be a huge waste. Bicycles literally dissolve in the islands. I could never afford to buy a new bakfiets every year or so. I also considered getting a pedal car, but I think it would be too expensive as well.

 

I've never really seen a jogging stroller. Can you get umbrellas for them for the rain?
 


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#6 of 34 Old 11-27-2012, 10:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

WHOA! While I was Googling family bikes, I found this rickshaw. How awesome would this be?!

 

http://www.aokbike.com/images/tricycle/Adult%20Tricycle/ATS-011R.jpg


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#7 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 07:23 AM
 
Fillyjonk's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 826
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)

Can I ask a really, really dumb question? If its a half mile distance you are talking about, why not just walk? What would you need a bike for? Certainly, til your girl is older and your baby can wear a helmet, what's the problem with walking everywhere?

 

I have to say if the island has no traffic I would not worry overmuch about the wearing of helmets. The reason me and my kids wear helmets is a. we go pretty fast and b. the older two do ride on the road, and the youngest usually is on a seat on my bike. So there is a real danger on impact. On a trailer your baby would be very close to the ground. I'd say if you are happy to use a pushchair on the terrain, a bike trailer should be fine. You won't be speeding about with a trailer attached anyway-they are HEAVY!

 

Re the rain-uh-waterproofs? We live in a wet, wet place and I've never bothered with umbrellas because the rain always gets in from another angle.

 

I am sorry if I am missing something, aside from it being a Pacific island where nuclear testing has occured, I don't know too much about the Marshall islands. It seems like a tiny distance and either a bike with a trailer or a pushchair or a sling would all be fine. Um-why are bikes dissolving? That's an unusual thing for a bike to do. 


Raising Geek_Generation_2.0 :LET ds= 10 ; LET dd1= ds - 2; LET dd2=dd-2; IF month=0.67 THEN LET ds = ds+1; 
Fillyjonk is offline  
#8 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 11:26 AM
 
lightforest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 593
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post

Thanks, everyone! Yes, I thought about a bakfiets, but it would be a huge waste. Bicycles literally dissolve in the islands. I could never afford to buy a new bakfiets every year or so. I also considered getting a pedal car, but I think it would be too expensive as well.

 

Yes I agree that a bakfiets wouldn't be worth the expense. On top of the price, they (well, mine at least) would be rather bumpy to ride on uneven terrain like dirt roads or whatever (again I'm just assuming there aren't nicely paved roads there for riding?). I wouldn't want to subject a kid under age two to those types of bumps. If going the bike route I'd probably choose a very cheap mountain bike and cheaper bike trailer with good shocks and a lot of head/leg room for the 4 year old.

 

A child bike seat (attached to the front or rear of you on your bike frame) and a tagalong bike (attached to the back of your bike) would also be an option. The 4 year old wouldn't have to pedal if she didn't want to. But you mentioned rain protection -- and this option isn't going to give you any protection from the elements at all. A bike trailer with a good, waterproof cover (and/or waterproofed seams) would be the best way to keep both kids dry while biking, I think.

 

Quote:
I've never really seen a jogging stroller. Can you get umbrellas for them for the rain?

 

Jogging strollers definitely do have rain covers. Just as with any other stroller, some are fantastic and some are lousy. Sometimes the cover comes with the stroller and sometimes you have to pay a ton extra. Not to sound like a commercial (I promise I have no affiliation with the company!), but my jogging stroller's rain cover is absolutely awesome, and it came with the stroller. I have a Joovy Zoom 360. I highly recommend this one! Its cover is roomy enough that my 2.5 year old still has tons of leg room with the cover on. And the cover has a huge front window - in crummy weather I leave the cover on and lift her into the stroller seat through this window. The cover is also great because it contains anything that she drops, keeping blankies/snacks/toys from falling on the ground.

http://www.joovy.com/p-63-zoom-360-jogging-stroller.aspx

 

The jogging style of stroller is also SO EASY to push with one hand, which means that you can use your other hand to hold an umbrella over yourself, hold your older child's hand, etc.

 

If your 4 year old isn't into walking you might attach a wheelie board to the stroller, so that she has a hop on/hop off option.


Mama to A (08/10) & E (03/13).
lightforest is offline  
#9 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 03:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightForest View Post

 

Yes I agree that a bakfiets wouldn't be worth the expense. On top of the price, they (well, mine at least) would be rather bumpy to ride on uneven terrain like dirt roads or whatever (again I'm just assuming there aren't nicely paved roads there for riding?). I wouldn't want to subject a kid under age two to those types of bumps. If going the bike route I'd probably choose a very cheap mountain bike and cheaper bike trailer with good shocks and a lot of head/leg room for the 4 year old.

 

Jogging strollers definitely do have rain covers. Just as with any other stroller, some are fantastic and some are lousy. Sometimes the cover comes with the stroller and sometimes you have to pay a ton extra. Not to sound like a commercial (I promise I have no affiliation with the company!), but my jogging stroller's rain cover is absolutely awesome, and it came with the stroller. I have a Joovy Zoom 360. I highly recommend this one! Its cover is roomy enough that my 2.5 year old still has tons of leg room with the cover on. And the cover has a huge front window - in crummy weather I leave the cover on and lift her into the stroller seat through this window. The cover is also great because it contains anything that she drops, keeping blankies/snacks/toys from falling on the ground.

http://www.joovy.com/p-63-zoom-360-jogging-stroller.aspx

 

The jogging style of stroller is also SO EASY to push with one hand, which means that you can use your other hand to hold an umbrella over yourself, hold your older child's hand, etc.

 

If your 4 year old isn't into walking you might attach a wheelie board to the stroller, so that she has a hop on/hop off option.

 

I think everything is nice, smooth paved blacktop streets everywhere from all of the photos I have seen. I like that stroller! Where can I find a wheelie attachment for it?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fillyjonk View Post

Can I ask a really, really dumb question? If its a half mile distance you are talking about, why not just walk? What would you need a bike for? Certainly, til your girl is older and your baby can wear a helmet, what's the problem with walking everywhere?

 

I am sorry if I am missing something, aside from it being a Pacific island where nuclear testing has occured, I don't know too much about the Marshall islands. It seems like a tiny distance and either a bike with a trailer or a pushchair or a sling would all be fine. Um-why are bikes dissolving? That's an unusual thing for a bike to do. 

 

Thanks! I would rather not walk because it is VERY hot because the sun is directly overhead and I'll have to carry a lot of gear for the beach and being out in general, not to mention I'll be carrying the baby. I would rather get where I'm going in 1/4 the time with a breeze than baking miserably in the sun all the way. At least a stroller would speed us up a bit and take the weight off of me. A bike would get us to the water or indoors fastest.

 

The salty air dissolves the bikes into rust faster than you can keep up with, so bikes are usually one-speed and replaced regularly. They just won't last. Our bike trailer has an aluminum frame, at least.

 

 

Looks like I'll probably do a stroller until the baby fits well in the bike trailer. Then I can tow the kids.Hopefully we won't decide to go at all and I'll have worried for nothing! :)


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#10 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 04:49 PM
 
lightforest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 593
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by amberskyfire View Post


I think everything is nice, smooth paved blacktop streets everywhere from all of the photos I have seen. I like that stroller! Where can I find a wheelie attachment for it?

 

The thing to look for is a "stroller board." A number of different companies make them. I don't know of one that fits the Joovy jogging stroller, but I recommend that you call their customer service to ask if they can recommend anything. Seriously, their customer service is awesome so it might be a good place to begin.

 

Considering you'd be riding on blacktop, forget what I said about bumpiness being a huge issue. Smooth blacktop on a tiny island without cars? Dang, I'd not bat an eyelash at putting a baby in there with a 4-year old, as long as the baby's old enough to sit up very very well. I'd probably invest in something like this option:

http://www.burley.com/home/bur/page_98_21

It's a snuggler type thing made by Burley to fit in their bike trailers.


Mama to A (08/10) & E (03/13).
lightforest is offline  
#11 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LightForest View Post

 

The thing to look for is a "stroller board." A number of different companies make them. I don't know of one that fits the Joovy jogging stroller, but I recommend that you call their customer service to ask if they can recommend anything. Seriously, their customer service is awesome so it might be a good place to begin.

 

Considering you'd be riding on blacktop, forget what I said about bumpiness being a huge issue. Smooth blacktop on a tiny island without cars? Dang, I'd not bat an eyelash at putting a baby in there with a 4-year old, as long as the baby's old enough to sit up very very well. I'd probably invest in something like this option:

http://www.burley.com/home/bur/page_98_21

It's a snuggler type thing made by Burley to fit in their bike trailers.


That baby snuggler really looks like the way the seats and belts in the baby trailer are already. My one issue is that there is no chest clip on it (on the snuggler or the bike trailer seat) so the baby can slump forward out of the straps if he bends over. Now that I think about it, I could probably solve this whole issue by just removing the chest clip from our old car seat and putting it on the bike trailer straps. Obviously this would not be anything that would save him in an accident, but it would keep him from slumping forward. He would still need a helmet. But if I'm not going to be going more than a few miles an hour, maybe I won't need the helmets at all. I surely won't be riding much faster than I'd be going if I were pushing a stroller while jogging.

 

Hmm...


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#12 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 05:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

And UGH. They just contacted my husband and showed interest and want to talk to him some more about the job. greensad.gif


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#13 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 06:35 PM
 
quantumleap's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Atlantic Canada
Posts: 1,864
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)

I know this is not an acceptable thing to say on here, and the safety monsters are going to come eat me in my sleep, but, I really, really don't think you need to worry about helmets. Really. Get a trailer with a 5pt harness (or do your chest clip thing - it doesn't need to hold up to car accident impact, it only needs to hold the kid in place in the extremely unlikely event that you flip the trailer or bonk into something), and a roll bar and call it good. We have a Chariot, and I never put helmets on my kids in it. And we've been using it since they were about 7 months old. I worry about head control, but once they're solid there, I buckle them in and get on with life. You can get inserts that add wings beside their head too, which might help with your head flopping concerns. Ours has a suspension system, but I have read studies that debunk the whole shaken baby issue with bike trailers that don't have a suspension system too. I'll see if I can dig one up and link it here. 

If this is going to be your primary method of transportation, I'd also be really, really tempted to do the bike seat and trail-a-bike set up in addition to having the trailer. Trailer would be nice for nasty weather, but the seat and the trail-a-bike mean that you have better access to your baby, and your 4 year old has the option of being more involved in things. We have a wee ride (http://www.costco.ca/WeeRide%E2%84%A2-Kangaroo-Ltd.-Front-Centre-mount-Child-Carrier.product.10325304.html ours is not this exact model, but you get the picture), that requires one screw to put on and off. It's not a requires a screwdriver screw either, it's got this nice big easily twistable knob. You install the bar on your bike, and then put on or take off the seat as you need. So, you could just have the bar on there all the time, and then use the seat as you want without being stuck with it 24/7. 

Sorry you're not loving the idea of a move to these Islands. It actually sounds really cool to me! I'm assuming it's a temporary posting though...

swede likes this.

For greater things are yet to come...

quantumleap is offline  
#14 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 06:40 PM
 
lightforest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 593
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think the snuggler thingey lets younger babies sit in a more reclined positioned? I really don't know - wonder if there are any photos of it being used online?..... There might at least be some user reviews on amazon or something... I think the Burley bike trailer seat is more of a bench then a bucket type seat, if that makes sense, so the snuggler looks like it would cradle the baby better... I agree that a chest clip would be a nice addition to keep the straps from slipping off the shoulders.


Mama to A (08/10) & E (03/13).
lightforest is offline  
#15 of 34 Old 11-28-2012, 09:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Mahalo!

 Quantumleap, I am moving there from Hawaii, so it is a huge step DOWN. I would be excited if I were moving here from some place cold or miserable, but I'm living it up in paradise and am sad to lose it. Also, I have been here seven years and finally made some close friends and started projects here. I'm heartbroken at the idea of moving away. On top of it, my best friend is expecting a baby in February. She was here to take video of my daughter being born. I don't want to miss her birth. :(

 

LightForest, the bike trailer I have right now has hanging hammock seats. There are two. The one I have is an older model InStep, but it basically looks exactly like this one:

http://www.amazon.com/InStep-Quick-Bicycle-Trailer-Blue/dp/B00006JHVN/ref=sr_1_20?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1354168465&sr=1-20&keywords=bicycle+trailer+instep

 

It has a metal frame, but no roll bar. Honestly, I can't imagine what I'd have to do to roll this thing. It would have to be some pretty serious stunt biking! You can't even push the bike over when it's hooked up. The trailer holds the bicycle up all by itself. It's pretty wide at the base and sits low to the ground which makes it hard to tip over. If I were going to be concerned, it would be that someone on another bike might run into the kids back there somehow.


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#16 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 12:13 PM
 
KwajBob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Amberskyfire,

 

I just found your thread while searching for stuff related to "Kwaj" and "Kwajalein".  The other members have given you some great advice on the bicycling situation, but I would like to tell you a little bit about Kwaj itself.  Although you may be leaving paradise, you'll be arriving on an incredible new paradise.  I lived there for two years and my experience was so compelling that I created a website as a dedication to my stay and to raise awareness of the unbelievable opportunities that await people there.  It's called Kwaj-Net and strongly encourage you to visit the site as well as the sister site on Facebook: http://facebook.com/KwajNet

 

We have an awesome membership of Kwaj-Netters!  They are made of people formerly or currently on-island or who are seeking information about life/jobs on Kwaj. I firmly believe that when you start interacting with the membership that you will find your fears fading away very quickly and they will actually change to excitement. When you get on-island you will make friends very quickly, if you are the social type.  There are always beach and house parties going on.  Teens are readily available to baby sit.  The island is small, but it's not as tiny as you perceive. All of the places that you NEED to go to are within a ten minute bike ride, but it will take you a little over an hour to bike from tip to tip at a casual pace.

 

In addition to getting vast information from the Kwaj-Netters, I encourage you to find out what Kwaj-Net is all about.  You can learn more from our first blog post here: http://kwaj-net.blogspot.com/2012/04/inaugural-kwaj-net-blog-post.html ...and don't hesitate to email me directly if you have any questions: KwajNet@gmail.com

 

I wish you the best in your new journey.  I strongly believe you will like your new paradise.  smile.gif

 

 

Thanks and best regards,

 

Bob Raymond

Kwaj-Net Founder and Sr. Administrator

KwajBob is offline  
#17 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Thanks, KwajBob! I'll check it out.

 

I know Kwaj is still paradise, I just don't want to move from here. I have friends, my kids have friends, I'm in love with my gorgeous house, I have so many projects here within the community that I'm passionate about. I wanted to pursue midwifery. I can't be a midwife on Kwaj. You can't give birth there. :( Plus, it's incredibly expensive to leave the island and I don't know how we would be able to afford to take the kids to see family. I hear the price of a ticket to Honolulu last year was $2000 per person! Yikes! And then another $1000 to get each of us to Texas to see grandparents. I eat a special diet and don't think I can get all organic food on Kwaj. I need so many things fresh that I doubt I'll be able to get there. I'm assuming it's all or mostly conventionally grown foods. My kids are unschooled which the school system on Kwaj does not allow. I'm claustrophobic and Kwaj is so small. It's hard enough not to get island fever here on the BI. Also, I make handmade toys to sell for a living and I can't do that from a place where the mail back to the mainland is spotty at best. My clients need their packages guaranteed within a week for birthdays and Christmas and the like.

 

It's just a huge shift that would turn our lives upside down. I don't want to give up every single aspect of my lifestyle. I moved to Hawaii because this is where I wanted to raise my children. It would be giving up my life's dream...all for a job. And not even a well-paying one.

 

Anyway, I'm derailing the topic now. I'll head over and read up on the community and wait patiently to see if hubs got the job out there. *crossing my fingers he doesn't!* They emailed him AGAIN today asking for more info. :(
 


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#18 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 01:04 PM
 
kwajkid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I grew up on Kwaj. You'll probably start receiving lots of posts from Kwaj kids. Once you've lived there you are forever changed. We are one big family. You may consider Hawaii paradise but that's because Leaj is Heaven. You need to take a big breath and relax. Your bike issues will all be solved when you arrive. You get loaner bikes. You go to Macy's West and buy a bike and lock. The lock is cuz people borrow- lol. Nobody steals. You will have people greet you and show you around. You are embarking on one of the best times of your life. If I could trade places, I would in a heartbeat. You need to go on Facebook and talk to more of us.
kwajkid is offline  
#19 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 01:17 PM
 
kwajkid's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Wow, just saw your reply to kwajnet. You have a lot of unfounded worries. Your company pays for you to travel stateside every year. The Mac flight is for military families. You have very little expenses on island. The school system is awesome. The testing scores and number of kids who go on to top colleges will demonstrate that. I graduated w 29. You get way more individual attention than you want as a kid. Lol back in the old days fresh food was not as frequent but this is not a third world island. You need to wait and pray that your hubby does get the job cuz there are a lot of advantages you are unaware . If u r interested in midwifery, Ebeye, the neighboring island with the Marshallese deliver plenty of babies. The mail service is efficient.
kwajkid is offline  
#20 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 01:41 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I don't want my kids in a school system, though. I mean, if I lived a conventional lifestyle, life on Kwaj would be amazing. I don't. I live a natural lifestyle and do natural and attachment parenting. I unschool my kids. The school system on Kwaj will not allow me to unschool my children. See, it's a WHOLE different world for us and someone living a conventional lifestyle can't quite understand how difficult it would be for someone who is trying to completely stay away from all of that to be forced into it.

 

That is what this website - Mothering - is all about. Natural parenting. Which, of course, is not leading conventional lifestyles most of the time.

 

I know Kwaj has fresh food. I want 100% organic food. I eat an organic diet. I don't eat foods grown with pesticides. I don't eat GMO. Kwaj isn't a third-world country, but it is definitely overly-conventionalized. I understand all of this is to make life comfortable for those who live there, but since I'm against that kind of lifestyle, that's why it would be so hard for US.

 

We'll survive. It's just not how I want to live.

 

Delivering on Ebeye would be GREAT! :) I'd have to learn the language. Not sure if I'd need a license to practice there or anything. We'll see.

 

I have heard that mail service there is awful from those that live there. Some say up to 11 weeks to get mail, most say it's about one to two weeks.

 

Dunno. Anyway, I'm reading KwajNet now! :)
 

swede likes this.

Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#21 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 01:55 PM
 
Unidude29's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi, I'm definitely not a mother or even a parent. I'm a 19 year old college student. But, I have lived on Kwajalein from 2006 - June  2012 and I can promise you there is no safer place to raise your young children than this island. A "burly" bicycle trailer is much safer than a car for your children to ride in. You probably will rarely exceed 8 miles per hour while you pull your kids in the trailer. (I would pass bikers when I went jogging). As for your four year old, It might be a good idea just to teach him how to ride a bike (if he doesn't already know). The best way to teach a kid to ride a two wheeler is to get something called a "strider." It's basically a bicycle with no pedals. That way, the kid can push himself along with his feet, getting the hang of the balance. When he gets the balance down, the adjustment to a normal bike is fast and easy (with minimal accidents). There are plenty very young children riding around Kwajalein and serious bicycle accidents are very few and far between. If you are nervous about putting your 8 month old in a trailer, you could easily put him in one of those baby carriers that attach to the handlebars or mount up just behind your seat (just make sure you never leave your baby in the seat when you get off your bike - if it tipped over, you would have a bad day). Bottom line is, there are lots of families with small children on Kwajalein who do just fine, and there are many solutions to everyday problems for those families. So don't worry so much about it I'm sure you and your family will love the island. Out of all the things you have to worry about with moving to Kwajalein, safety should be your least concern. I was happy to get off the island because it was too safe for me. If you would like to see some videos of Kwajalein, I have posted a bunch of them on YouTube. Just search "Jarem Erekson" every video that comes up was uploaded by me because my name is so unique. Check it out.

Unidude29 is offline  
#22 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 02:01 PM
 
garribeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi there--I am coming here from Kwaj-net.  I very, very reluctantly moved to Kwaj in 1998, pregnant with my first baby and scared to death of what we were getting ourselves into......7 years and three daughters later, my husband had to convince me to move back to the States, and hardly a day goes by still (we've been in CO for seven years now) that I don't daydream about going back to Kwaj.  When I was there, they still delivered on island, so all of my babies have Marshallese birth certificates (we had the most fantastic experience each time, I promise you, and I'm a Mothering kind of mama!).  My oldest, who is now 13 but was 6 when we moved to CO, just posted pictures on facebook of our time there, with the title "home sweet home".  That tiny island has a profound effect on its inhabitants!  Please, please, please feel free to contact me (you can email garribeth at yahoo dot com, and if you'd rather talk via phone I'll pass that along to you via email) if you would like to chat about your concerns or about what it's like to be there with young children. Things have changed a bit since we left, but I am happy to offer my experience with you as you make your decisions.  Kwaj isn't right for everyone, but it turned out to be just perfect for me, even though I went there certain that I'd hate it.  :)

garribeth is offline  
#23 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 02:11 PM
 
kwajkid72's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I know that it seems scary to go to a place like Kwajalein, but I can promise you, as an adult who spent 4 years of her childhood on the island, it can be the best experience of your life and your children's lives.  It is a community that is located on an island --what could be better?  When I was there, there was no tv, no internet, and only island phone calls (we had to use ham radios to contact the states).  Now there are many more modern conveniences and the school is excellent!  Traveling around the island will not be difficult whether you bike or walk.  Count your blessings that you are getting this opportunity.

kwajkid72 is offline  
#24 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 02:15 PM
 
42wolves's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 2
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I grew up on Kwaj.  My family moved there when my brother was 3 and I was 4.  We loved it.  We used to play outside after school and come home when the six-o-clock whistle blew.  Our parents didn't have to schlepp us around in cars from activity to activity. 

 

It's 3 miles long and 1/2 mile wide.  There are tons of opportunities to be outside getting exercise and there is way less pollution than you encounter in the states; so maybe that will make up for the lack of organic food. 

 

Bikes are way safer than cars and your baby will only be getting bigger.  Use a car seat for awhile if necessary, and then the trailer should be fine.  I used a trailer with my one-year-olds in Eugene.  Most people don't even bother with the helmets on the island, but that's your call.  

 

Why will you be eating at the mess hall?  The houses have kitchens, and there is a grocery store. 

 

I understand you don't like conventional school systems, but when we were there the schools were excellent with small classes and plenty of resources.  I interact with hundreds of former Kwaj Kids, and none of us has anything bad to say about our school experience.  Those who also went to state-side schools, too, said that Kwaj had much more challenging classes. 

 

I hope things turn out for the best for you and your family. 
 

42wolves is offline  
#25 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 02:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
amberskyfire's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Hawaii
Posts: 2,248
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

LOL! Looks like I need to move this discussion to Kwaj-Net! :)


Mama to a bright 5 y/o girl dust.gif and a beautiful boy born 03/10/12 fly-by-nursing1.gif Loving unschooling, 2xuc.jpgfamilybed2.gif ecbaby2.gifand natural living in Hawaii.rainbow1284.gif
amberskyfire is offline  
#26 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 02:33 PM
 
Kwajkid2's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi! Im another Kwaj Kid...I was six years old when my family moved out to Kwajalein. Lived there for ten years. I would give anything to go back! I have the same In Step trailer, and that would be fine for the baby. Ive been using mine since my son was 6 months old. Your four year old would be an amazing bike rider in no time! Practice makes perfect! The ride is smooth and the island is flat so its easy to keep a slow and steady pace. Helmets are not really necessary, but for peace of mind, maybe get one for the four year old as she learns to ride. The baby in the trailer, though, I don't see the need. Good Luck! Btw, I  lived on the Big Island for a year so I know how you feel. But the Big Island will always be there and only the very luckiest people get to experience life on Kwaj! 

Kwajkid2 is offline  
#27 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 02:50 PM
 
kwajalinda's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Oh, my gosh, your kids are the perfect age for a trip there! Good luck. FWIW, I had a bike with a burley on the back (everyone does ... even if you don't have kids, you have the burley, or at least  trailer), but I hated riding the bike, because it was like riding a bike dragging a huge parachute in back of you! I walked everywhere with the double stroller ... and the other thing we did often was to drag the kids along in the red ryder. In fact, the only time I had the kids in helmets was when they were in the wagon. We've been home 10 years, so the on-island rules may have changed, but helmets, I don't think, were required except maybe under 12. At least, I only knew one adult who wore a helmet.

 

My older son, at about 4, would ride his bike to the airport to meet his father when he'd come back from Roi on his daily commute. And his absolute favorite thing to do would be to get on his bike, ride alone to the library, and get a book recommendation from the librarian.

 

Burley or no burley, make sure you get raised handlebars. They are a thousand times more comfortable, esp since I had not completely recovered from the carpal-tunnel you get when you're pregnant. And the island is flat, so you think you won't need the gears, but the gears will help a lot during the windy season, which is wild!

 

You're going to want to get your 4yo a 2-wheeler with training wheels if you haven't already, and you'll be astonished at how fast he outgrows the training wheels. Bring a helmet for him, and an extra, if you can, because they get a lot of use. Also, the sun there does a wicked number on the plastic, so you can expect it to degrade faster. Although, if you're in HI, you're probably already a little familiar with this phenomenon.

 

You'll love it. Your kids will love it.

 

Oh, and one more thing: yes, it is hot, but you get used to it. And holy heck, humid. Believe it or not you get used to that, too. But regarding walking in the sun, except for the heat of the day, once you ARE used to it, it's really not that big of a deal. We pretty much stayed inside from about 10-2, but walked a lot. With sunscreen and hats (we were never, ever, ever without a hat and sunscreen) I'm sort of proud to say that in the whole time we were there, my kids never got a sunburn.

 

Oh, and HI BETH! As soon as I saw moved to Kwaj pregnant in 98 I knew it was you!

 

Hmmm ... my edit about sun and heat doesn't seem to have taken. I saw that you mentioned your concern about the sun and the heat and walking around, and that's totally legitimate, but we didn't have any issues and we walked a lot. We pretty much stayed inside (our house or playdates) from about 10-2. When we were outside I was fanatical about sunscreen and hats. We were never without them. It's actually not THAT hot there -- 90 +/- pretty consistently; we've had hotter in Boston since we've been back, but holy heck the humidity is, well, indescribable. But you get used to it. You learn, for example, to keep your camera in a ziplock bag and bring it outside for a few minutes before you'll actually use it to let it fog up and clear off. But I'm actually pretty pround of the fact that in the whole time we were there, my kids never had a single sunburn.

kwajalinda is offline  
#28 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 02:52 PM
 
garribeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Ha!  I probably should have said something about the transportation issue, since that is the point of this thread, after all.  :D

 

Most kids on Kwaj, if they have lived there for any amount of time, are off of their training wheels sometime between 4 and 5.  My oldest daughter was just over 4 when she was done with training wheels, which worked well since baby number three was born shortly after that.  I was one of the safety mamas who made my child wear a helmet on her bike, but most people didn't.  Having a wreck is the only safety concern, really, as it's flat and not bumpy, and the step-vans and other vehicles go literally 10 miles an hour or less.  They are ALWAYS on the lookout for little kids on bikes.  

 

I highly recommend the Burley brand of trailers.  Our never rusted, and the canvass lasted a long time.  (It is BEYOND corrosive out there!)  We had two burleys over our 7 years, with a less-than-one-year time with another brand since I was trying to save money, but it didn't even make it for a year.  We had "uppy seats" on the back of our bikes, too, and I did put helmets on babies by 9 months in the uppy seat.  I never used a helmet in the bike trailer, just strapped them in.  For infants, I strapped the infant carseat into the burley and that worked perfectly.  

 

Hope that helps.   :-)

garribeth is offline  
#29 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 02:54 PM
 
garribeth's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Hi, Linda!  XOXOXO  Miss you!  (Linda was one of my playgroup mamas!)

garribeth is offline  
#30 of 34 Old 11-29-2012, 03:05 PM
 
brigala's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 192
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I have no advice, but you all are making me want to move to Kwaj. LOL. 

swede likes this.

~*~ Full time mom ~*~ Hobby Sheep Farmer ~*~ Child Passenger Safety Technician ~*~ 

brigala is offline  
Reply

Tags
Strider Prebike Balance Running Bike

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off