In my head going cycling with the children seemed like the perfect weekend activity, we’d jump onto our bikes and head out into the countryside for some fresh air and maybe a sneaky picnic on the way. The children would happily sit there spotting the cows and sheep, maybe even falling asleep on the way back.
Sure I may have been dreaming but you have to go in with a positive attitude don’t you? It also fits perfectly with our aim to have cheap or free weekends now that we are living off one salary only.
However before we could go anywhere my wife needed a bike (I may have 2 bikes already so couldn’t really justify another one!) and we needed something to put the children in/on. I of course never mind an opportunity to do research on bikes and new gear and this transporting children thing was a whole new world to investigate.
We spent a long time debating between child seats for the bike or a trailer. With just one child I think we would have gone with the seat, but with two it’s a different story. Using seats would have meant both of us having one on the back so hard to carry luggage and would prevent my wife taking them both out on her own.
A seat does have the advantage of being more compact and of course no need to think about what’s behind you as you navigate narrow paths etc. But the downside is of course having a very heavy weight on the back of the bike which can take some getting used to.
On that basis we chose a trailer, perfect to put them both in and with Henry being old enough and strong enough to sit up in it the timing was perfect. Plus a chance conversation with a local person on Twitter meant we managed to buy a used one rather than worrying about whether to risk buying a cheap new one or not
If you do a quick search for trailers you’ll see that there are a huge variety of designs and prices to go with it. I’d definitely be nervous buying a very cheap one as you need it to take some bumps and bangs and I’m just not sure the quality is there.
Ours has a handle you can attach to the back which lets you use the trailer like a pushchair, not sure how much we’ll use it but does give us the option if we need it for some reason while out.
It also has a storage area on the back for taking luggage etc in, perfect for a change bag and a picnic but you’d want to avoid loading it up too much. With 2 children in it, the trailer is cosy but not so much that it’s a problem and providing your children get on is actually a lot of fun.
I have to say it really was a lot of fun all getting out together like this and the trailer isn’t too heavy to pull, although I may put some less chunky tyres on my mountain bike to make it a bit easier in the future. Once we got over some initial arguing the children had great fun, shouting at me to go faster and find some more sheep to see.
Now we just need to find a few more routes to ride that are hopefully also traffic free or almost traffic free.