I'm enjoying being a bike soccer dad.
I guess I've become a soccer dad now. Our kid has practice on the weekends, but we bike to the field instead of taking a the stereotypical soccer mom or soccer dad minivan or SUV. We do it because we rarely drive, but there are plenty of benefits to doing so. It's good exercise, and it's a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. It also helps reduce car traffic congestion and pollution.
It's about a 3 mile ride that takes us 20-25 minutes. We selected our route based on Oakland's Slow Streets (which are being taken away soon, sadly!) and other low-car-traffic roads. Berkeley has done a decent job adding physical barriers on designated routes to promote safety by slowing the flow of automobiles. There are a couple of hairier intersections where we have to cross streets with fast-moving traffic. 43.1% of car trips (as measured in 2009) are under 3 miles, so this is a doable distance for kids and adults, provided that people feel safe riding. Hopefully our streets can be improved so we can safely transport ourselves while my child is still a child.
I carry cleats, shin guards, snacks, water and lunch in a pannier on my bike rack and my kid pedals themselves. My kid just pedals themselves with the bike flag light I made on the back. (Side note: If you see us riding around Oakland with our bike flags, feel free to say hi!) We have bike lights in case we need to ride in the dark, but so far our practices have been midday.
Parking is easy. We just roll up to the field, lean our bikes, and get socks, shinguards and cleats on, and get ready to play.
We're often in a little bit of a rush to get there, so the ride back is usually at a slower, casual pace.