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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would really like to start biking, but I'm not sure how to get started. I have my best friend's bike (she moved away and didn't want to bring it along), so I could take it to a bike shop for a tune-up and some remedial instruction for me (really! I don't know really know how gears work, and one of the wheels pops off somehow but I don't know how...).<br><br>
My 4.5 yo ds just got his first two-wheeler. He rides it quite well (it has training wheels). I would like to be able to bike with him and his 17-month old brother. My dh isn't interested in biking, at least for now, so I'd need a bike seat for the baby on my bike.<br><br>
I wouldn't want to bike around streets, since ds is obviously not ready for that, so I'd need to be able to pack everything up in the car and go to a bike trail or something. Is 4 years old OK for a bike trail? We live in Chicago and they get pretty crowded, but I figure if we go during the day it wouldn't be as bad. What sort of instruction would he need before I set him loose?<br><br>
Is there anything else I'd need to buy besides this stuff?:<br>
-bike tune-up<br>
-child seat (does it just fit directly on the bike or do I need some sort of saddlebag frame thing?)<br>
-helmet for me<br>
-helmet for the baby (4 yo already has one)<br><br>
Any advice on suitable baby seats? Obviously I want something safe and good for a "beginner" such as myself. When I was in the Netherlands this summer with the baby I rented bikes for a couple weeks and loved both the upright "granny" bikes and the seats on the front for younger kids, but I think one in the back is probably more suitable since they're more common here and I assume the age limit goes higher.<br><br>
I'm not 100% sure that I could fit both bikes in my trunk, so I might need some sort of frame for the outside of my car. This is starting to sound really expensive! Should I just wait a few more years until everyone can ride on their own? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:<br><br>
Thanks, mamas!
 

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I wanted to comment on using a bike seat for your baby. DH and I are long time bike riders, and even so we found that having the child seating on the back of the bike makes your ride very unstable. Maybe it's just me, but I never felt completely safe carrying ds like this. This year, we bought a trailer, and that has made all the difference in the world. It's more money, but a lot of advantages: baby can comfortably sleep, read a book, be covered with blankets, have a snack or drink available AND you could possibly carry both kids (usually up to 100lb) and a lot of their stuff (picnic, toys). One disadvantage I also see for the seat is, having a 4yo riding with you, I anticipate a lot of stops along the way, and stopping/getting on and off the bike with the baby on it is not something you want to do very often.<br>
I've never tried one of the front mount seats, but I probably like them better than the back ones.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I'm really concerned about the instability factor, as well. I know seats on the back are supposed to be less stable than front ones. Hmmm...<br><br>
The baby really liked being *on* my bike in Europe - at first we rented a trailer (for ds and his buddy around the same age) that my friend pulled since I was freaked out about having him on my bike, but he was scared in there and cried, thus making the other baby cry (plus I think there might have been some eye poking and toy grabbing going on in there), so we returned it after a couple trial runs and ended up with the front seat. I thought that getting off the streets would make a trailer less necessary, but I totally see your point about stopping frequently. Thanks for your input!
 

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Maybe a park nearby with cement jogging paths? We live in a nice suburb with little traffic so I'm able to just let ds ride on his own with me and not worry about cars and stuff. I usually push the stroller and walk the dog and he tags along on his bike <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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Our kids learned to ride their bikes in a big cemetery near our house. The roads are good, there are few enough cars, and they drive slowly enough, that it is safe, but there are enough cars that the kids get the idea of how riding on a road will be. They can practice their understanding of the rules of the road; they can become a little more street savy before they actually get out on the street.<br><br>
Plus, we LOVE our trailer. If I could do it all over again, I would spring for the Burley.<br><br>
Lori
 

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We went front seat in the US, dd LOVED it. Nice advantage is the immediate contact between you and babe, no other system offers that. The Dutch brand Bobike sells seats plus windshields (good in your climate) online. They go up to about 40 lbs.<br><br>
I will ship you one if you like.<br><br>
I'll pm you anyway. I mostly lurk. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Moving this to childhood years forum<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/hippie.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="hippie">
 
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