Bicycle Network: Women's Cycling
Women's stories: carrying baby
Carrying children by bike - one Mum tells all
Kathy is a keen commuter cyclist and mother of two young children, Callum (7 months) and Lucas (4 years). We caught up with Kathy between feeds to talk about her experiences of cycling with small children.
What made you decide to travel by bicycle with your children?
I like the idea of active transport, and I like being a positive role model for my kids. I'm a commuter cyclist, so the thing that made me get my act together was going back to work. I started riding with Lucas when he was 13 months old. I was hoping to be able to put Callum on the bike at 9 months, but the horror stories about babies being put on bikes too early [see http://www.bhsi.org/little1s.htm] are making me think that I should wait.
Where do you like to cycle with Lucas?
I love the Capital City Trail - there's lots of bush and nice destinations like the Collingwood Children's Farm. It goes along the train line part of the way, which Lucas loves - he's a train fanatic.
How do you carry Lucas?
He goes in a trailer attached behind the bike. It has a rain cover, and it converts to a stroller. We started with a child seat, but the bike was so loaded down that I had balance problems - we had lots of falls.
Does Lucas enjoy bicycle travel?
Definitely! The movement of the bike puts him off to sleep.
What would you say to motorists who think cycling with children is all too hard, expensive or unsafe?
I think it's much nicer to go by bike! Cycling just adds to the experience of an outing, and there are no problems with parking and traffic jams. My trailer was expensive, but compared to running a car, $500 is nothing! Amazingly, many motorists are more considerate when I'm riding with Lucas, so I think riding with children actually encourages road safety.
Have you encountered any difficulties with the trailer?
Bollards on trails and pedestrian rails can be impossible to get around.
Do you see many other women riding with children?
Yes, lots of people at the childcare centre ride with their kids. Where I live, lots of people ride bikes.
What do you enjoy most about cycling with your child?
Oh, the places that we've been together! - it's just a lovely shared experience.