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Best way to transport 4 y/o 3 miles home by bike

graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
edited September 2019 in Family & kids cycling forum
My son starts school this week, and from next week I'll be collecting him from school 2 days a week. We only have the one car, and I cycle to work and back every day. I've used a bike seat with him before, but I think the buckle on our current one is knackered, and he's getting towards outgrowing it anyway. I could replace the bike seat, but I'm concerned about how I'd transport my work bag and his school bag - my bag would be in his face. I've never used panniers before, but I'm thinking they might be a better solution, but are probably incompatible with a rack mounted bike seat.

He has an islabike which he can ride as a balance bike with the pedals off. He's just about able to ride it with pedals on, but he's a bit reluctant to practice further still so hasn't fully nailed it yet. I have an old rim braked 8-speed hybrid with flat pedals on that I have the bike seat on, and my usual commuter is a Planet X London Road (clipless, disc brakes, no rack, but it has the mounts).

My current thinking is to get a FollowMe tandem and either get my wife to drop off his bike with him in the morning and lock it up for me to collect for the homeward journey, or alternatively I'll ride my bike to work with his IslaBike attached to the tandem. Then I'll move the rack from my hybrid onto the London Road and use panniers rather than my messenger bag on those days.

Sound reasonable? Any other suggestions?


  • veronese68veronese68 Posts: 26,900 Lives Here
    Graeme_S wrote:
    My current thinking is to get a FollowMe tandem and either get my wife to drop off his bike with him in the morning and lock it up for me to collect for the homeward journey
    Makes sense to me, I was thinking that before I got to this part of your post.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Yes - get the followme tandem - it's excellent and what we use on long trips.

    It was how we transported Little Slowbike 2 miles to/from preschool (when time/weather) permitted - he loved it. One advantage was if you had time you could release him to ride solo (nice offroad flat tracks) - or leave attached if you're pushed for time. I think having him attached helped him work out pedaling too - he was able to ride the distance solo fairly early on (just trying to remember - but it was before he was 4) - huge advantage is the 100% offroad and pretty much flat track though.

    Depending how far you've got to go to work depends if you take it with you all the way - or just leave it with the Islabike - you can get spare skewers so it's available quickly on multiple bikes.
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    Thanks guys

    It'll only be a further 2.5 to 3 miles to work. My current commute is about 5.5 miles each way and the school is roughly halfway between work and home (I actually cycle past the gate on the way home already).

    There's also a very large park with tarmac paths immediately opposite the school gates, which I'll probably use when with him to avoid some on road bits. It would also mean he'd be able to practice his cycling there some days, and as he gets the hang of it ride the park stretch by himself.

    My wife showed him this video this morning and he was very excited "I'm very impressed!" is apparently what he said.

    We've got an HSBC city ride locally this Sunday as well, so that'll be a good chance to try it out.
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498
    Excellent :)

    I do find my speed is reduced - even without Little Slowbike on the back - so expect to be a few MPH slower if you take the whole lot to work - but 5.5 miles is easily doable - if mine was just that then I would've carried on!

    We had a late evening return ride home the other weekend about 6 miles - Little Slowbike on the back of mine - decided he was tired, so closed his eyes - carried on pedaling though ;)

    Check the QR skewer - we've found the retaining splitring for the lever comes off rather easily and the whole thing falls apart - that's about the only bad bit about it.... (other than it weighs a ton - fancy teaming up to make a CF one?! )
  • graeme_s-2graeme_s-2 Posts: 3,382
    Thanks for the tips on the skewer, I'll keep an eye on it.

    Ordered it today. The boy was very excited about it when we discussed it last night. First (half)-day at school today, which he's a little bit anxious about, so the idea of being picked up on the FollowMe 2 days a week from next week has taken his mind off it a bit, which is nice.

    Sounding likely we'll be able to lock his bike up at school for me to collect with him, which means I'll just need to carry the FollowMe frame to work and then to the school 2 days a week, and won't need to tow his bike around the whole time. Although the next problem will inevitably be my wife forgetting to drop the bike off with him from time-to-time, which is going to cause me a bit of an issue!

    CF version sounds great - count me in!
  • slowbikeslowbike Posts: 8,498

    We had complaints this moning - he wanted to Scoot in .... we were walking ... it's only 1/2 mile so hardly worth the effort of a bike, although they do have a nice bike rack which is situated behind the locked gates - so I will get him in and back by bike at least once a week...
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