On this blog we like to celebrate all kinds of cycling—mountain biking, road biking, recreational rides—but bike commuting is without a doubt the most environmentally-friendly, responsible use of a bicycle. Lots of folks use a bicycle to get to work or to the grocery store, but throw a child into the mix and things get more complicated. Here are some of our tips on using a bicycle for transport with kids in tow.
If it would normally take you 30 minutes to bike somewhere, budget for 45 minutes when doing it with kids. Guaranteed someone is going to need a snack, a potty break, or a clothing adjustment. A time buffer also allows you to take a safer, potentially less-direct route than you would normally take.
If you’re just biking to the park or around town, a bike seat or trailer works great. But if you are using a bicycle as one of your primary modes of transportation, consider investing in a cargo bike or long-tail bike. These bikes allow you to haul kids as well as school gear, work clothes, groceries, and more. Some of the best options for commuting with kids are:
A brightly colored bike with a huge plastic bucket and a bunch of kids in the back popped up in my Instagram feed once and I was instantly obsessed. How fun! How cool! How practical! A little research and my next thought was "how expensive!" At nearly $2k, the Madsen kg271/BUCKET bike definitely did not qualify as an impulse buy. But I couldn't stop thinking about how this awesome and adorable bike could possibly change our family's life.
Fast forward 12 months and countless hours spent reading reviews, scrolling images, and debating the color options, and we finally went for it. It's an investment, for sure, but the bike arrived on our doorstep earlier this month and I can already say it's one of the best purchases we've ever made for our family.
Within minutes of opening the giant box (the bike comes ready to ride; all you have to do it put on the front wheel and adjust the seat!), we strapped the kids in the back and went for a spin around the neighborhood. Huge smiles and laughter ensued. The next day we packed sandwiches and drinks, invited our cousins over, and rode to the park with four kids in the back. On Sunday morning we threw on helmets and headed downtown to get bagels. The next weekend we biked 15 minutes to an Easter egg hunt that we would have absolutely otherwise driven to. On Tuesday I dropped the kids off at preschool before getting in a workout on my uphill ride back home.
Working closely with Jared Madsen, we put together a plan to help him market his new business selling these awesome bikes using the web. We implemented a custom design for the MADSEN store using Shopify. Shopify used it as one of their showcase sites for years. The site was re-built in the fall of 2014 to make it more mobile-friendly, and easier to manage.
Carson was and is great to work with. Just look at our site! On top of doing a bang up job making our site and shopify work and look seamlessly. He gave us and set up great tools and ideas to bring crazy traffic to our sight and store. Carson and shopify were what we needed to turn our ideas of selling marketing and promoting on the web into reality.
We love Shopify! Carson McComas, with Fuel Made:
"Working closely with Jared Madsen, we put together a plan to help him market his new business selling these awesome bikes using the web. We implemented a custom design for the MADSEN store using Shopify. Shopify used it as one of their showcase sites for years. The site was re-built in the fall of 2014 to make it more mobile-friendly, and easier to manage."
Growing up in the country, one of my favorite pastimes was riding my bike on the wrap-around porch, going down ramps, learning how to stand on my seat and go over homemade jumps, etc. That love of bike rides continued through high school and into my marriage to Marty. Once we started having babies though, I had to hang up my bike (literally), and it was clear that with 2,3 and then 4 kids under 4, riding bikes together was a thing of the past. Fast forward to this year with 5 young children, and enter the Madsen Cycle. The kids and I, along with my sister had the great pleasure of meeting Jared and Lisa Madsen earlier this year. Hearing their story, and getting a tour of their incredible shop where they put together and packaged every Madsen cargo bike was inspiring, and also felt like I was visiting old friends. I've never seen another bike like this on the market before, and I was just awed by their vision and the amount of thought and passion they've poured into their business.
I drove home that day with this big black beauty strapped in the back of the pick-up, and immediately unpacked it and loaded up all the kiddies for our first bike ride altogether.
Remove the two bolts and nuts from the black metal U-brackets.
Fit the Soft Top around the lip of bucket without any bolts. line up the U-bracket right on top of the middle BUMP (see photo).
Mark the hole of U-bracket on your bucket, check it twice and check it again! **If you do make the hole in the wrong spot, just drill a new one. A few extra ventilation holes won't make any difference.
Remove soft top and make a 5mm hole on your mark.
Loop the black straps around the U-Brackets.
Insert the U-brackets into the Gray Soft Top Pockets .
Install Soft Top and bolt it on with the nut on the outside of the bucket.
co-production Design museum Gent and IMF Foundation
Opening 24th March, 7.30 p.m.
25/3 - 23/10/2016
Bike to the Future is a joint effort of Design museum Gent and the IMF Foundation curated by Thomas Blanco Wittouck and Elisabetta Pisu, which offers a glimpse of the future of the bike. Both talent and inventiveness are the driving forces behind this exhibition, where brilliant ideas and ingenious prototypes are key. By combining form and technology in different ways, designers reinvent the bike time and again. The result is a photo finish of design, exquisite craftsmanship and industry.
The bicycle has been an icon since World War II. No longer a frame with two wheels, it is a symbol of a sustainable and sporty future. The visitors to the exhibition will discover all aspects of cycling in a unique story. The design, materials and comfort are far from the only aspects under the spotlight, as technology, mobility, safety, health and the cyclists’ community all have a place in the museum. Each part of the exhibition represents a different aspect of bicycle design. This is interspersed with bicycles and accessories, each with their own stories.
The exhibition showcases contemporary models, such as the electric bike ‘M.A.S.S.’ by Philippe Starck, as well as prototypes and experiments with unusual materials and functions. For example, the bendable bike of young British designer, Kevin Scott, is brought to Ghent for the occasion. The importance of bike accessories cannot be underestimated either. For example, the magnetic bicycle light ‘iFlash One’, designed by the Danish studio Kibisi or the ‘Hövding’ airbag helmets bring out the best in the aluminium steed.
Belgium, too, is well-represented in the exhibition, with bicycles from Eddy Merckx and Jaegher, as well as Tobias Knockaert’s laser-cut bicycle on display. Accessories originate from Curana, among others, a global trendsetter when it comes to aluminium mudguards.