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Children/pushbike solution...

Discussion in 'transport' started by ButterPie, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. ButterPie

    ButterPie Member

    I have two children - aged 5 and 2 - and I can't drive for medical reasons. I could really do with a way of getting around when buses aren't going my way. I'm not very fit at all, but I am working on it, and I am a bit scared of falling off a bike, but I will just have to get over that.

    Anyway, I live in a "new town" so pedestrians often take completely different routes to cars (lots of subways and concrete bridges etc) although there are some bits where you have to walk by a road. I would love to do the school run and my Avon round on a bike of some kind, but I'm not sure what is best for transporting the kids. The five year old has her own scooter and bike, but she is really slow and I'm not sure she could do the mile to/from school and the mile to/from nursery if she was tired as well.

    I've been admiring the little trike that nisha off same smile has (if you watch cbeebies) but I'm not sure how practical it would be, or I think my other option would be one of those child trailers. IS there anywhere I can hire one (and a bike) for a couple of weeks to see what I think?

    I'm thinking that anything that can transport children can also transport brochures and makeup around as well (although tbh that is mostly just getting to and from the bit of my round that I am doing that day - I have a big round cos I am super Avon lady)

    All ideas gratefully received.
  2. weepiper

    weepiper Jock under the bed

  3. weepiper

    weepiper Jock under the bed

    ButterPie likes this.
  4. ButterPie

    ButterPie Member

    I LOVE that one with the box on front. Love it. I wonder if they come up second hand much. If not, I best get selling makeup, and lots of it...

    Just imagine though, I could put the kids in it, the Avon, the shopping, I could get my website printed on the box, it could be beautiful...
  5. weepiper

    weepiper Jock under the bed

    The one with the box might be better for you given you also need to transport stuff, not just kids... the thing to remember with that one is it takes up a lot more space, the tandem you could fit in a normal house hallway because it's basically just a long normal bike, that one would need a garage or a secure garden to live in. Also it doesn't ride the same as a normal bike, you don't steer with your bodyweight the same way. But it can cart a large quantity of heavy stuff.
  6. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I like that weeps's suggestion doesn't have to have children in it and could be used for shopping, plants from garden centre, etc etc etc. I'd go for it particularly because it will still be bloody useful when the kids are in their teens (all the clich├ęs about how fast they grow up are true).
  7. Badgers

    Badgers Mr Big Shrimp

    Normal bike but my mum had a child seat on the back of her bike. I used to lift her shirt up as she was pedalling down the road.

    zenie likes this.
  8. Puddy_Tat

    Puddy_Tat lumpen proletaricat

    From the perspective of someone who's not a parent or a cyclist, but...

    I'd be more inclined to go for something where the kids are in front - I've seen one or two kids in rear seats on pushbikes leaning alarmingly over the edge, or with bits of clothing dangling close to the rear wheel / chain, and parent can't see this...
    ButterPie likes this.
  9. ButterPie

    ButterPie Member

    I don't actually have a couple of grand hanging about, and my husband has declared that he will use any quiz show winnings in the immediate future on a car...but if he had some left over, this would actually be amazing. I would have to build it a little house in the front garden I think. My dad has a motorbike and sidecar, I bet it is like the pushbike version of that handling wise.
    I think I could save that money up though. Once I've worked out what is happening regarding benefits now I am working, I am going to start putting a regular amount away for a bike. Ideally one with a mad box on the front.
  10. ButterPie

    ButterPie Member

    Yeah, I prefer the kids where I can see them really. Plus I like the idea of something that is as hard as possible for me to fall off.
    Mrs Magpie likes this.
  11. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    If you can put a regular amount away each week/month you could get a low cost loan from a credit union.
    ButterPie likes this.
  12. nagapie

    nagapie Well-Known Member

    I like the idea of the second one as I'm an unconfident cyclist so wouldn't dream of putting my son on the back like my partner does. Wouldn't have a clue where to put it though, suspended from the ceiling in the hallway;)
  13. ButterPie

    ButterPie Member

    I hadn't even thought of that! I keep saying I am going to start saving with one of those anyway, if I can find a local one.
  14. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    They are very very heavy, I think you might pull your ceiling down.. :D
  15. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    The Christiana bikes are great but even second hand they go for well over 1K - occasionally see them for sale locally. They are very heavy though but you'd definitely get fit riding one. I've seen some really good trikes which have a platform behind the seat which has been converted to take two seats with seatbelts for the kids - usually you see them with storage boxes. Would be a cheaper and lighter solution.

    You could use a tag along bike for the 5 year old and have the 2 year old on a bike seat on the back/front as you wish.

    Some friends of ours have this (or similar): http://www.richardsonsonline.co.uk/trailgator/ which would allow your five year old to give the mile a good shot but if she gets tired you can hook her up. I suspect she'd get better and better at it to the point where you wouldn't need it.
  16. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    The good news is that the law regarding credit unions changed so it doesn't actually have to be a local one any more.

    ButterPie likes this.
  17. rubbershoes

    rubbershoes not the only raver in the village

    some bike shops do interest free credit
    ButterPie likes this.
  18. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    Some interesting options here:


    We considered getting a bike which converts into a pushchair before no.1 was born... I think it might have been this one - at the time Mothercare was even marketing it... but the fact that it was also well over 1K and wouldn't fit through our front door meant it was not a goer!
    weepiper likes this.
  19. gaijingirl

    gaijingirl Well-Known Member

    If you're in London at all you can try out all manner of combos in Battersea or Dulwich Parks at London Recumbents:


    they do rent them out by courier and occasionally sell them too.

    We use them quite a lot when we have a close older relative staying who can't cycle on 2 wheels but wants to join in with our cycling.
  20. fredfelt

    fredfelt Mostly unknown member

    For a whole load of advice you could try searching "ctc forum child carriers" - The cycle touring club is a good resource for any cycling questions - and their forum is populated by lots of 'enthusiasts' (ie cycle nerds!)
  21. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    As a cyclist who has a child seat on my bike, I'd say rear seats are safer. Better distribution of weight.
  22. Boris Sprinkler

    Boris Sprinkler Jizz Lasso

    Backseat doesn't work with 2 kids though does it and I wouldn't be comfortable with trying to ride with one on the back and trying to supervise a 5 year old riding their own bike on UK roads.
    The christiania bikes are expensive, heavy but solidly built. Two kids in the front and some shopping goes well. There are some cheaper alternatives, attached is a picture of my daughter and a relative on a blackhorse carrier bike - http://www.sortejernhest.dk/jern/
    Again these are not going to be for massive XC trecks but they are versatile, can keep the occupants and goods dry and they can turn on a sixpence. With the steering on the back, they are more stable than the Christiania bike.
  23. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I can see your point, but I can't help thinking of that awful accident a few years ago where a parent (the Dad iirc) had a twin seat on the back of his bike (or was it a trike?) and a lorry went into the kids killing them both. I'd want them up front.
  24. Blagsta

    Blagsta Minimum cage, maximum cage

    Up front is no safer in that respect.
  25. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    I'm sure you're right, but that particular news story really stuck with me.
  26. Mrs Magpie

    Mrs Magpie On a bit of break...

    ...and I think this is a good point.

  27. I found I could get two kids on my bike without too much bother... the youngest in a seat on the back and the older one on a seat fixed to the cross-bar. The children all preferred the cross-bar seat because they get a better view, could help with the steering and ding the bell. You'll need a good strong bike though, all the extra weight knackered my bike in the end.
  28. ButterPie

    ButterPie Member

    Thanks, but I'm in the North East :)
  29. weepiper

    weepiper Jock under the bed

    'help' with the steering :hmm:

    Bear in mind depending on OP's build/height a front seat with a babyseat on the back might just not be an option. Partly from a balance point of view (that's a lot of extra weight) but she may not be tall enough to really see around a 5 year old sitting on the top tube, and also a smaller bike can be impossible to fit one of those wee seats to anyway as it has a sloping top tube.
    jakethesnake likes this.
  30. ButterPie

    ButterPie Member

    I am very clumsy, I must add, and not overly fit. I'm working on the fitness, but I will never be graceful :)

    I'm also on the short side of average, height wise.

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