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Children riding their bikes to school

Bike Twitter’s (or soon Bike Tooter?) 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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A bag of cherries in a pannier.

Cherry picking (and other u-pick fruit picking) in Brentwood. A successful 20-mile adventure by bike!

April to May to June is u-pick cherry picking season in the Bay Area When I was a child, I remember apple picking in New England with my dad.  My memory is fuzzy now and I don’t remember if we just went once, or multiple times, but I still remember climbing a ladder to pick, and watching cider presses.  I was confused when the cider came out brown when apple juice wasn’t.  It seemed odd, but I still enjoyed drinking it. There’s so much locally grown produce in California, and I wanted to create a similar experience for our family.  Especially after friends at a picnic shared some of their u-pick cherries with us. Last June, we went cherry picking at a u-pick farm in Brentwood for the first time.  Brentwood is the place to go for cherry picking in […]

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Cycle City bicycle book by Alison Farrell

Great bicycle books for kids: A list and resources

Great bicycle books for kids Bikes are fun to ride and fun to read about.  As parents who spend a lot of time riding our bikes with our kid, we try to read bicycling books as well.  Since May is Bike Month, I wanted to share some of the bicycle books (and bicycle-related books) that we’ve read and enjoyed.  I’ve been surprised at all of the great kids’ books about bikes out there! Books we’ve read Duck on a Bike – David Shannon “Easy to read and it’s simple but funny.” We found Duck on a Bike as a sidewalk find while walking around Portland.  It was great timing.  We needed something to keep our kid occupied, and this book was fun, bike-related, and serendipitous.  It’s a silly story about a duck that commandeers its own bicycle.  It has engaging […]

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Yuba Flip Flop Kids Cargo Bike

DIY Bike Lessons for Kids: Easily teach your child to ride their bike!

Do it Yourself: Bike Lessons for your kid How we taught our kid to ride a bike We don’t have a car and bike a lot, so our child has been exposed to bicycles practically since they were born. We weren’t sure what this would mean for how quickly our child would take to riding a bike of their own.  And we were of course hoping to try to maintain their interest in bikes so they’d want to learn. Balance bikes vs bikes with training wheels I learned to ride on a bike with training wheels, as did most people my age.  I have nothing against training wheels, but thought it’d make more sense for our child to first learn balance and handling.  This can be done while scooting and gliding on a balance bike.  I had noticed that some […]

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Yuba Bike by the legendary Richard Masoner on Flickr https://flic.kr/p/hAY5re

Helpful tips for biking with children (via SFBC and The New Wheel)

The San Francisco Bicycle Coalition and the New Wheel bike shop (Located in San Francisco, Marin, and here in Oakland.. soon!) put on a webinar a little while ago that covers an introduction to biking with children.  It has a bunch of useful information, especially for those who may be new to biking or new to riding their with children. Karen from the New Wheel spoke about the benefits of family cycling (it’s joyful, flexible, fun, and empowering) and how improving city infrastructure has made this easier than before.  Electric motors and improvements in battery technology have made it possible for e-bikes to serve as a lower-carbon and more fun minivan replacement. She talked about different ways to carry kids (trailers, trail-a-bikes, family bikes and cargo bikes, front and rear seats, having kids ride their own children’s bike) and common […]

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Rivendell Susie W Longbolts Frame with a Child Trailer

Nice bikes: A Rivendell Susie W. Longbolts with a childrens bike trailer

Riding in style in Berkeley’s Elmwood District I came across this beautiful Susie W. Longbolts bike made by Rivendell Bike Works in Berkeley the other day.  The Susie W. Longbolts is a lighter duty “Hillibike”, which Rivendell describes as their steel-framed bikes, with longer chainstays and wheelbases made to absorb bumps better for trail riding and road touring.  The bikes also feature room for big tires and higher handlebars.  The name “Susie W. Longbolts” is an anagram of Gus Boots-Willsen, a similar but slightly heavier-duty bike of theirs. They look way more stable on bumpy surfaces than a road bike would be. The parents had set it up with chunky tires and a child bike trailer to tow their kid and scooter around in style. Or follow along for updates:

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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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Blitzu Gator Head light (Review as a Childrens bike light)

Blitzu Gator Bike Lights: 3 Month Review for a Childrens bike light

How is the Blitzu Head Light holding up? Bike safety lights are important for keeping bike riders safe while riding at night.  I purchased a set of lights for my kid.  We’ve been riding around for 3 months now with the Blitzu Gator 390, a budget bike light option for childrens bike lights.  We have been using it about once per day, 5-7 days per week.  The headlight/tail light set costs about $16 on Amazon, and is a good choice for a LED bike light for a child.  I wouldn’t call it the best kid’s bike light, but it’s a good value and a good option. Function, Usage and Visibility: OK The light works fine.  It’s fairly small, so it fits on small handlebars well.  It’s easy enough for a child to operate.  It has a few modes for varying […]

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Bike Flag Light Pole, made in Oakland

Riding our light up bike pole lights (aka Bike Beam) in Oakland and Berkeley

Family bike riding around Oakland and Berkeley Our child is old enough to pedal themselves around to school, the library, and to sports practice.  Sometimes it’s hard, but usually we have a good time getting to where we need to go.  We get some exercise, take in our surroundings, wave to neighbors, give names to cats and dogs, and appreciate random sidewalk finds. And we can get around in an environmentally-friendly way. We ride around with a set of bike pole lights that I have been developing for a while.  The bike flag lights make us pretty easy to spot. If you see us, wave and say hello! I made our bike pole lights (aka the “Bike Beam” light) to keep my child visible When we first started riding around on neighborhood streets, I realized that my child was hard […]

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Child riding on Milvia Street Protected Bike Lane in Berkeley, CA

Fantastic Berkeley Bike Lanes: Riding on Milvia Street on a Sunny Day

Protected Berkeley Bike Lanes on Milvia Street We rode the new Milvia Street protected bike lanes in Berkeley again a few days ago.  These lanes are protected from automotive traffic in a few different ways.  There are concrete islands with metal rails in some sections (by Berkeley High School, for example) and then simply concrete barriers in other parts.  There are a few unprotected paint-buffered areas.  In general, the lanes allowed us to feel more comfortable riding around Berkeley with a physical barrier between us and moving automobiles. We were on our way home from getting lunch.  Our route took us south on Milvia Street from near the Cal campus in order to get back to Oakland.  It was a short but enjoyable stretch.  A few students were milling about and the vibe was nice and calm – perfect for […]

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