Forum home Family & kids cycling forum

A call for help! FamilyBikeLife research project

FamilyBikeLifeFamilyBikeLife Posts: 7
edited August 2013 in Family & kids cycling forum
Hi there! We are part of a design research group, currently studying family life with a bike. A large part of our research depends on connecting with (and learning from) people that have bicycling experience with children.

Earlier this year our team organized a workshop in Copenhagen, where we got to meet and engage people on the topic of urban biking. This was a great interactive learning experience that sparked some great ideas and gave the project some invaluable insight. We are now trying to do something similar in an online environment! That is, we want to connect with people who have thoughts about bicycling with kids and find out what challenges they face and how they deal with them. We've learned a lot about different cargo bikes and trailers on this site, as well as tactics for teaching children to ride. We would love to hear your thoughts on what family biking is and could be! Specifically:
    What kinds of challenges do you face cycling with children on a bike?
    How have you and your family managed to overcome these issues?
    Are there any other websites, forums, or blogs that you know of discussing this topic that you would like to recommend?
You can follow the project and find out more on: http://www.family-bike-life.squarespace.com[1] or join our facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/familybikelife[2] where we’ve set up a collaborative photoboard and will try some more co-creation activities in the near future! A taste of some cool insights/stories we've taken part of so far:
PcYkxK9.jpg
Any contributions you make, including everything from links, ideas, and photographs will be credited to you. Additionally, we may also contact you for follow-up comments and questions on your contributions.

Posts

  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    I can contribute quite a lot to this, as bicycles are our primary means of transport. (We also have trains locally, when that suits, and the car still gets used when appropriate to the task).

    Accordingly, our 'family on bikes' has evolved, from the two of us, to two with a little one, then two with two little ones, and so on.

    Currently, this is our ride (OK, not exactly 'current' as this was at Christmas).
    8273632191_62a4028abe.jpg
    That's me on the front of course, with Thing2 attached to my oldest bike (fluoro 80s hybrid) via Trailgator. She can now ride herself, but only slowly gaining confidence. Thing1 at the rear, and my partner alongside.

    This configuration means, to a large extent, where/when we can ride is dictated to by Thing1's range and ability. The good news is, she's generally quite happy to ride a very long way, albeit rather slowly. Her bike has a 3spd hub which, unless prompted, allows her to ride slower everywhere ;) She's been riding for 4 years now - and riding trafficked roads is normal for her (starting out on the trailgator). That being said, we choose our routes carefully and we prefer off-road bike tracks or on road bike lanes wherever possible.

    I'll post some of our previous configurations later.
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • Great photo, thanks for sharing!
    baudman wrote:
    This configuration means, to a large extent, where/when we can ride is dictated to by Thing1's range and ability. The good news is, she's generally quite happy to ride a very long way, albeit rather slowly. Her bike has a 3spd hub which, unless prompted, allows her to ride slower everywhere ;) She's been riding for 4 years now - and riding trafficked roads is normal for her (starting out on the trailgator). That being said, we choose our routes carefully and we prefer off-road bike tracks or on road bike lanes wherever possible.

    Very cool. How do you feel that communication works while riding together? Does your eldest seek your guidance while you bike together (shifting gears, positioning on the road, looking out for cars, etc.) or do you need to shout out advice every so often to make sure that she bikes safely? We've gotten the impression that biking with kids on their own bikes can involve a good deal of shouting to make yourself heard. Some have even gone so far as to install intercom systems in their family's helmets so that they easily can communicate and socialize while bicycling. Any thoughts on this?
    baudman wrote:
    I'll post some of our previous configurations later.
    We would love to see them, thanks!
  • baudmanbaudman Posts: 757
    Does your eldest seek your guidance while you bike together (shifting gears, positioning on the road, looking out for cars, etc.) or do you need to shout out advice every so often to make sure that she bikes safely?

    It's more the latter. Early days, it was a constant stream of suggestions and occasionally orders from me. Nowadays, I actually try to limit the amount of advice I provide so that she's taking more responsibility for her actions. This is looking forward to when she'll be riding to school solo. (It's also a good gauge for me on how well I think she knows things, and how much I can trust her).

    Certainly, with her in front of me, it can sometimes be quite difficult to hear her - but it's normally just something about something she read the other day - not pertinent to the ride at the time. ;)
    Commute - MASI Souville3 | Road/CX - MASI Speciale CX | Family - 80s ugly | Utility - Cargobike
  • Hi everyone!

    Thanks for your thoughts and comments. We have now launched an interactive workshop activity on our project website! We would really appreciate if you could head over there and participate =) The activity takes about five minutes to complete.

    Thanks for your help!
  • What a great project - thanks for sharing it. We live in a small village. When we first moved here, people told us it was impossible to live in the countryside without a second car (my husband uses it for his 1-hour commute). Two years on, we've surviving just fine. More than that, cycling has become an important part of our day-to-day lives. The only hurdle I've faced in recent weeks was when our eldest (now 5) requested a Yellow Jersey from Santa Claus. I explained that, like Olympic gold medals, money can't really buy Yellow Jerseys - they need to be earned. Her reply? "But the Tour de France is only for boys."
  • What a great project - thanks for sharing it. We live in a small village. When we first moved here, people told us it was impossible to live in the countryside without a second car (my husband uses it for his 1-hour commute). Two years on, we've surviving just fine. More than that, cycling has become an important part of our day-to-day lives.
    That's great! Small villages in the countryside offer different challenges than urban areas. You probably have less car traffic, which is great for the kids, but also longer distances that can make commuting with your children difficult.
    The only hurdle I've faced in recent weeks was when our eldest (now 5) requested a Yellow Jersey from Santa Claus. I explained that, like Olympic gold medals, money can't really buy Yellow Jerseys - they need to be earned. Her reply? "But the Tour de France is only for boys."
    Very cute! La Grande Boucle Féminine might be something to aim for. :wink:
Sign In or Register to comment.