Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Utility Cycling With Children

Electric Bike Lady with three passengers
The Manchester Cargo Bike has been spotted again. I haven't seen it for a while and was a little concerned it was broken or the battery was flat when I did spy it recently. The Electric Bike Lady was pushing it along the pavement with at least three kids on board. Of course, I then realised she was going a la pedestrian because it was a one way street in the opposing direction and she was being legal - Doh!

It does makes me want to live just a bit further away from the Golden Child's school, so I can get her into a great regular habit rather than just the occasional fun cycling we currently enjoy. I wouldn't need an electric cargo bike but would use the tagalong. However, as we are only a five minute door to door walk (via a pedestrian area) from school there is really no need to cycle there at present.

I do have plans for some 'utility' cycling with her. The weekly trips to Rainbows, the dance class and her cousins house are all within a three mile distance and so when I'm ferrying her I'll aim to cycle. I'm confident she will not be put off by the traffic along the quiet(ish) roads needed for these trips. She is quite excited by the prospect and even the OH approves (she'll still use the car when its her turn!).

I've had the tagalong down the LBS where a longer mudguard and road tyre were fitted for the exorbitant sum of £8.00! Last night I attached a decent rear light and rear reflector (harder than you might think given the lack of exposed seat post and small seat stays). I've also moved the mounting bracket from the MTB and fitted it to the Travelmaster instead.

We now have the benefit of full mudguards, dynamo lighting, bell, propstand and pannier provision. Of course the gearing will be just a capable as the MTB. I need to look at some appropriate clothing for the Golden Child as we will be out in the dark and cold +/- wet for the next few months. I don't want her to be uncomfortable or put off cycling by the experience.

Next plan? A trailer to do the big grocery shop rather than use the car? Still working on the OH for that one!
Carry Freedom Trailer


  1. Brill - bet she'll love that :>)

    Next plan? A trailer to do the big grocery shop rather than use the car?

    TBH I found a trailer to be a lot of faffing about compared to panniers & only tried it a few times. Its only plus was that it could carry more bulk.

    We gave up car shopping a couple of years ago - instead shopping more often. I'll do 1 or 2 'big' shops per week on the bike & Wifey grabs bits in between on foot.

    On the mtb I used to take the panniers in the shop to fill them up, but on the Dutchbike they're fixed to the rack so take a Morrisons 'bag for life' each & anything bulky sits on top.

  2. I recently met a lady at my local supermarket on one of these:

    It was packed to the gunwhales with her shopping - quite literally a car boot's full. I was stunned, having never seen anyone in this country do a 'proper' shop by bike before. I wanted to stop her and give her a hug, but she was in a hurry!

    If I see her again I'm going to ask her about it. I can't help thinking she'll turn out to be Dutch...