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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?

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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Yuba Flip Flop Kids Cargo Bike

How do I teach my kid to ride a bike? What others say and our own experiences

Our child took to riding a bike pretty well and we ride around a lot to get from place to place, so we’re frequently asked about how to get kids started on a bike, and how to make a child feel comfortable riding a bike. Back in the day: Training wheels I have memories of when I was a child, watching my dad adjust the training wheels of my old yellow bike.  I remember him adjusting the training wheels as I started to get more comfortable on the bike, and how sometimes I’d be riding only on one training wheel or none at all, depending on the terrain and how much I was leaning over.  I remember the slightly loud sound of the wheels as they rolled on the ground.  All of us neighborhood kids got scared when the biggest […]

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