To ride with babies and very small children, bike trailers provide a great alternative that can allow children to lie down or play with toys while you pedal. They can enable two children to sit beside each other, carry snacks, nappy bags, supplies, and some types can be used as a stroller when detached from the bike. Alternatively a trike can enable you to have your children travel in front of you, and both types of bikes can be used for a load of shopping or luggage when your children are at home.
As children grow and are able to sit up on their own, you can add a child seat to the front or rear of many types of bike. Rear mounted seats usually have restraints to help hold the child in and still, while you ride.
For older children, who can ride a bike, but can’t keep up yet, a long-tail cargo bike with passenger seats could be the answer, or a ‘tail gator’ to attach their bike to yours for towing.
For adults and older children wanting to ride together, or where a rider cannot see or has an issue that means they cannot ride alone, tandem bikes are a great alternative.
The challenge with family-friendly bikes is they are often forgotten in infrastructure planning. Bollards, barriers and narrow paths can exclude bike trailers and make it difficult to maneuver a longer bike. Dismount requirements can endanger child passengers, as this is when a bike with a child seat is most unstable and likely to topple.
“When we meet with people building or changing facilities, we encourage them to plan for different types of bikes, and child passengers,” said Bicycle NSW General Manager of Public Affairs, Bastien Wallace.
“We’d love to see some of the different bikes and child-seats you use to cycle with family members,” said Bastien.
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