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Children riding their bikes to school

Bike Twitter’s tips for helping kids bike to school

Why bike to school? There’s something special about biking to school and watching your child wave to friends as they near the front gates.  If you’re just starting out, for Bike to School day (in Alameda County, it’s Walk and Roll to School Day), or because you want to take climate action and make sure your kid(s) get exercise, here are some reasons why biking to school is great: Builds community and friendships Lets kids have fun riding with friends – bikes make people smile! Promotes better air quality & a lower carbon footprint Reduces the number of cars on the road Gets Kids and adults healthy physical activity Saves money on fuel Allows kids to be independent As easy as riding a bike Biking to school is an easy habit to build.  This guide is a big one not […]

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Clothink Top Tube Bag for a Child's Bike

Top tube bags for childrens’ bikes: A quick review

Why use a top tube bag for a child’s bike? As parents, we want our children to enjoy their cycling experience.  We had been searching for a way to enhance that experience for our child by finding a way for them to be able to carry their stuff on their own bike.  I looked around for a couple of bags and had found an old bag that we had used before.  It was beneficial because it allowed our child to carry their own snacks, band-aids, and other things deemed to them to be essential.  It also freed us from having to carry the various sticks, leaves, rocks, toys, and other small things that children often collect and carry. The top tube bag location is great.  It allows a child to easily access their stuff, even while riding. The top tube […]

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Children riding bikes at night - Kids Bike Parade

A photo from December’s Kids Bike Parade

A Photo from the December Kids Bike Parade Adults and children ages 4-7 rode together for our December Kids Bike Parade.  We got together for an evening ride around the neighborhood on Oakland’s Slow Streets.  We made a stop in the middle on Lawton Avenue to see some of the fancy holiday light decorations.  There was unfortunately no pizza this time because Sliver was closed, but the kids still had fun riding together. Group riding helps get children excited about riding their bikes Our bike parades are a way for kids to have COVID-safe fun while building community through bicycling.  At each of our bike parades, adults ride along with the children to make sure they’re safe.  We provide childrens bike lights to make sure they’re visible to us, each others, pedestrians, and the occasional driver.  Group bike rides in general […]

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USB Headlight Tail Light Kit

My choice for children’s bike lights: Inexpensive (less than $15!) but effective bike lights for night riding

Getting a set of children’s bike lights probably worth it for your kid.  You can get a functional set for $10-15.  It’s an easy safety upgrade if you ride in anything but normal daylight. Bike lights for children’s bikes Your kid might need bike lights if you do anything more than recreational daytime rides. A lot of people view riding a bike as recreation.  That’s fine.  But if you’re also riding your bike to get from point A to point B with your child, sometimes you will have to ride in the dark.  It starts to get dark around 4:30pm during the Bay Area winters, so you may need lights even if you’re not staying out late.    Our school day ends around 3pm. If you have scheduled any after care, you’ll be coming home in the dark for at […]

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USB Headlight Tail Light Kit

Bike gift ideas for kids and others who started biking during the pandemic (2021)

Hi, I’m making a quick list of gifts that I recommend for kids who bike. I also have gift ideas for people who have recently started biking during the pandemic.   For some gift guides, bloggers or writers solicit ideas. I’ve compiled this list based 10+ years of bike-commuting experience and daily rides with my child.  I’m also finding accessories and other bicycle-related gifts that make riding more fun.   My goal is to help make it easier to bike where you need to go. I hope that this gift guide will make it easier for your intended recipient to do so too! Bike accessory gift ideas Lights I recommend lights for anyone who might be riding when it’s starting to get dark. Lights also help when it’s very cloudy or raining.  Important factors for me are: size, ease of […]

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Kids and Parents biking on Slow Streets in Oakland

Neighborhood Bike Parades That Help Kids Learn to Ride Together

The kids bike parade is a way to let kids play, ride bikes together and learn to ride safely.  Children and adults make new friends and build community by bike. How did the bike parade start? Earlier on in the pandemic, we learned that COVID spread mostly through poorly-ventilated air. We tried to think of ways to still foster social interactions between children with a lower risk profile.  Our family and a lot of others have gone with their kids biking to spend time outdoors.   We started by turning a birthday party into a evening bike ride.  Kids had fun biking together and being able to see each other not on a computer screen! Parents got a chance to ride with their kids and others. Neighbors were treated to a lively mini parade.   A few parents loved the […]

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Flat tires suck

Flat tires suck

Flat tires suck. I took my child to get a flu shot the other day (not a great experience!).  On the way out, we had to hop a curb because there were no curb cutouts nearby.  My child went off the curb and then said “Daddy, there’s a problem.”  I looked back, and indeed, the rear wheel was completely flat.  That’s some insult-to-injury type stuff right there.  It was kind of funny though.  Luckily, I usually carry a tool kit with a patch kit and a pump with me, so I was able to fix it pretty quickly. On flats in general I don’t know if it’s just Oakland and Berkeley streets, but two friends have gotten flat tires recently on their cargo e-bikes.  I saw one of them on the sidewalk on the way to school pickup.  He was […]

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Red kid bike crew in Berkeley

A kids bike ride through Berkeley

 We went for a bike ride through Berkeley last week with some friends and kids.  Our friend’s child has a 20″ Frog 52 and we have a 20″ Opus Doppler.  Both red.  We enjoyed the Ninth Street bike boulevard and riding around the makeshift traffic circles (aka Healthy Streets Traffic Octagons)Third (and final, for now at least) Healthy Streets quick-build traffic octagon installed at 9th and Page! @CityofBerkeley https://t.co/Z2eIZVCGn9 pic.twitter.com/Kg8gbn7Z1C— Walk Bike Berkeley (@WalkBikeBerk) May 20, 2021The kids enjoyed singing, racing, playing games, and just chatting while riding, and I’m sure we’ll repeat this sometime in the future.We rode through West Berkeley and got food at Pollara Pizzeria and Tacubaya on 4th street when everybody got hungry.  Then we headed home. Or follow along for updates:

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Kids Islabike at Mount Diablo

Photo: An Islabike at Mount Diablo (and the kids bike ride that wasn’t)

We went camping at the Live Oak campground on the lower parts of Mount Diablo.  It was a pretty campsite, with lovely light that filtered through the Live Oak trees.  It was right next to plenty of hiking trails and Rock City, and the hills were golden and dry, typical of a Northern Californian summer.   (There was a lot of less-lovely Poison Oak too, which thankfully we avoided).  We lugged the kids’ bikes so they could romp around the campsite.  But the kids were much happier scaling rocks and trees rather than riding their bikes.  I’m not sure if they rode their bikes at all.  We listened to them play while appreciating the beauty of our surroundings.     It turns out that 3 kids (that I know of) had some version of the Islabikes CNOC16.  It was a remarkable, […]

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Photo of an Adams Trail-a-bike by citymama on flickr https://flic.kr/p/5P3u3A

How do you carry a child on a bike? What we know about bike attachments for kids

We didn’t own a car when our child was born.  That made the idea of running errands as a family much more complicated.  There are well-meaning laws in California and other states that require you to use a car seat to take your child home after they are born (assuming they are not born at home!).  Though apparently, the hospital is not allowed to deny discharge if you don’t take your child home in a car seat. A friend generously loaned us a car for a month.  Since we don’t drive much, we only used it for the trip to and from the hospital, and to meet up for a friend’s birthday at a cafe.  We live in a fairly urban area, so we were able to walk most other places we needed to go and transport our child via […]

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