Our daughter arrived in March 2014 and in that crazy rollercoaster of newborn baby emotions, our life most definitely changed. Up until this point my husband and I had spent a lot of time on our bikes. No super human challenges, just two people enjoying using bikes as our main way to get around. Living in Copenhagen for a year we’d experienced how cycling could be part of everyday life and coming back to the UK we’d tried to continue that. Braving the daily London commute by bike, trips to the shops, days out, all done on two wheels. But then our daughter arrived and cycling went out the window. Through the sleep deprived haze the thought of being able to get back on our bikes seemed a distant dream.
And then the act of kindness. A neighbour walked over the road one Sunday morning and offered us his old bike seat and helmet for free. “The kids don’t use it anymore and I know you used to like cycling. Plus our kids just fell asleep as soon as we started riding”. We didn’t need to be told twice. With the promise of achieving a golden baby nap we put Emmy on the bike and tentatively set off for the first time as a family of three.
Why hadn’t we done this before? Because getting out the house in itself is an achievement, imagine trying to do it on two wheels. Because you’re too busy trying to feed, sleep, stay alive that getting on a bike doesn’t enter you comprehension. Because you’re just too tired.
But what did it achieve? Freedom once more! We found it utterly liberating. Suddenly we were able to get into town in less than half an hour, get exercise while Emmy napped, and the passion for biking came alive once more.
Fast forward two years and our son was born. Again, back to square one on the bike front but this time we knew it was only a matter of time. And sure enough, once he turned nine months we popped him on the bike and we were off again.
But now we have further logistics to consider. Two child seats gives no room for panniers to carry any luggage. The amount of stuff that two toddlers require is infinite, I reckon I could fill several suitcases given half the chance.
This blog is about trying to share our journey to make cycling as a family part of everyday life. I’m sure they’ll be lows as well as highs as we try to find the best way for the kids as well as us. And as everyone with sprogs knows, what works one minute is guaranteed to change just as quickly, but i’m hopeful that they’ll always be a way of making life on two wheels possible.
Over the next few weeks I’m hoping to cover…
- Gear that we use and pros/cons
- Doing the family shop on two wheels
- Braving our first cycle touring holiday as a family
- Testing the possibility of camping and cycling with toddlers
I know i’m not a great writer, i’m not trying to be. What i’m hoping is that a few people can get a bit of inspiration to have a go at getting their family on a bike and fingers crossed, have a ton of fun along the way!