5 Tips for Successful Cargo Biking with Young Children

 

Image: Shelby Sanchez

For local transportation with young children a cargo bike is freedom! Life feels that much simpler transitioning from a car to a cargo bike for local transportation. It is so much easier to get the kids in and out of and the ride is much more leisurely and enjoyable for everyone. I have a 3 year old and a 1 year old and we are loving our daily adventures with local travel. We’ve had our bike for four months now and I thought you might like to know some tips for successfully operating a cargo bike with young children. Here are 5 tips to support you on your daily journey with you little ones in a cargo bike...

  1. Establish a rhythm. Get into a rhythm of riding the bike with your little ones so they know what to expect day to day. It might take them some time to get used to wearing their helmets and sitting in their seats. We ride every morning and afternoon most weekdays.

  2. Comfort is key. Make sure they are comfortable and dressed weather and seasonal appropriate. For example for the summer season dress them in light clothing, lather them up in sunscreen if they have fair skin and it might be worth it to invest in a shade cover.

  3. Pack snacks. Bring snacks and water for them.

  4. Take breaks. Take breaks in riding if you plan to go on a ride for more than 30 minutes. When they start to fuss, stop at a park to let them run around.

  5. EnJOY the ride. Take your time. Soak in your surroundings. Giggle with your sweet ones. Our favorite things to do while getting from point A to point B are to stop by local book swaps http://www.littlefreelibrary.org/ and forage for local fruit http://fallingfruit.org and visit our local farmer’s markets http://www.localharvest.org/.


What tips would you add to this list from your own experience? Would love to hear them! Please leave a comments below.

 

Reflections on Manifesting a Cargo Bike!

Shelby Sanchez with both of her daughters out enjoying a beautiful day in Long Beach.

The Mothership has arrived! Our little family is so excited to be the proud owner of a Babboe Big cargo bike. Here's how our journey has unfolded so far...

One evening while searching the various brands on Craigslist I stumbled across a Trio Bike available in Santa Monica. I contacted the owner and requested that friends and family energize my intention to purchase a cargo bike for me and my two girls. The Trio Bike had already been purchased...but that same evening an even better cargo bike made itself available...a Babboe Big bike. I jumped on it and contacted the owners who were located in Venice. I made an appointment to see them the next day. They were a sweet German couple with two young children who had lived in Los Angeles for two years car free! They told me all they used were bikes and public transportation. The couple had made a last minute decision to move back to Germany and would not be taking the bike with them. I purchased the beautiful 6 month old bike that afternoon and scheduled a time to pick it up to bring to Long Beach

We’ve been the proud owners of the Babboe Big for a week and I couldn’t be happier. My three year old, Mila and one year old, Sage and I love riding down the Long Beach bike path allowing all the elements to contribute to our being...allowing the salty wind run through our hair, enjoying the warmth of the sunshine kiss our faces, feeling the presence of the vast ocean at our side, watching a brown hawk fly across our path, seeing all the moving parts of creation as we ride is so uplifting and inspiring. We also get to see the diversity of Long Beach residents who are also enjoying being outside.

We live in the Alamitos Bay area of Long Beach near Cherry Ave. and every morning during the week I will be riding down the bike path to drop off my girls with my grandmother in Belmont Shore for the morning so I can give my gift to small business as a Creative Marketing Strategist at Dream Inspired Design. Since beginning to ride again I have increased energy and focus in my work.

Riding on my bike is also allowing me to have at least thirty minutes a day to be in a moving meditation and connect with my highest aspirations. It is win-win-win...for my girls, me, and the earth. I couldn’t recommend it enough to parents who want to feel a sense of greater connection and freedom. Having a cargo bike is contributing to my vision for a simple, beautiful, more harmonious life experience. I am so grateful and look forward to sharing this unfolding journey with you all.

In reflection there were many intentional practices I employed to help in the manifestation of our new bike that may help you as a future cargo bike owner:

  1. I started looking at photos of various cargo bikes and envisioning which would be best for our family. Pinterest is a good resource for this.
  2. I connected with the intention for wanting the experience of a cargo bike. (our intention is to support new ways of being and inspire other parents in urban cities to choose biking over cars for local transportation)
  3. Every time I was in my car driving I envisioned us riding on our cargo bike, every time I was filling the pump I imagined taking my bike to the bike shop instead.
  4. I had started attracting ‘bike people’ ;) The wonderful Melissa Balmer showed up on my path and connected me with who others were current owners of cargo bikes. April Economides of Green Octopus Consulting showed up and suggested that I contact the city about potentially purchasing their Christiana cargo bike that was not being used.
  5. I also started doing searches on Craigslist for used cargo bikes. A few results would show up under the broad term ‘cargo bike’ but I soon realized my results were much better upon doing more specific searches of the numerous cargo bike brands that exist such as...Trio Bike, Babboe, Johnny Loco, Christiana, CETMA Cargo, and more list of worldwide options. 

Ready to Bike with Two!

Bike riding has always been a love of mine. I grew up watching my mother ride her bike and walk more often than seeing her sit behind the wheel of a car. In fact, she hated being in the car. She would much prefer to hop on her two-wheeler when doing errands around town or to go on her evening ride down the bike path to the Queen Mary. I would see her come home from her ride feeling so refreshed and exhilarated. She was full of life instead of drained by life.

This is the same feeling I now share when I ride my bike with daughter. For most of 2009 I was pregnant with my first little miracle, Mila. That didn’t stop me from bike riding all the way up until a month before her birth. When she arrived in November my bike hibernated while we did the same. I enjoyed my time of rest and bonding with my new baby and trusted that by the time Mila was around a year old that we would again be ready to experience the wind running through our hair and feel the warm sun on our skin when traveling from point A to point B instead of both of us being strapped into a metal tin can on wheels. Sure enough when Mila was 16 months we were both ready to be out on the open road again. This time instead of being inside my womb she was safely held by her bike seat and helmet. I was on cloud nine riding with her for the first time we rode together on my new beach cruiser. We were both fearless and giggling the whole way.

Riding around the City of Long Beach I was amazed to see very few if any other mothers riding their bikes with their young children. I would ride Mila to a parent toddler class once a week and many of the mothers were so amazed and inspired to see me riding with my young daughter. One mother I am close with in that class made the switch from car to bike. It is such a win-win for the mother and child. I get my exercise and feeling of freedom for the day and so does my child. It is a more vibrant experience, I feel, smell, hear, and see so much more.

In 2011 I became pregnant with my second child, Sage. Again I rode my bike with much joy and enthusiasm up until a few days before she arrived. Sage is now 12 months old and I on the lookout this time for an amazing cargo bike. I want to embody what I want to see more of in the city of Long Beach….Mom’s on cargo bikes. Keep your eye out and let me know your recommendations for biking with two.