Bikes and The City is collaborating once again with BikeNOPA to bring you a new series: Dads on Wheels. Every Tuesday, we will be featuring dads from all over the city, and the ways they get around town with their kids. Please check both our blogs for the current profiles.
Let us know your thoughts and leave comments for the featured riders!
I am very proud one to present the opening profile for one of the dads I have hung out with quite frequently and alongside him and his family, have opened my eyes to bicycling around town with kids, to see and experience, what it takes to bike around town with your family, and make it seem rather easy!
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Dads on Wheels: James
How old are your kids and why do you bike with them? When did you start them biking?
15, 11, and 5. We bike together because it’s fun. It imbues upon
them the sense of independence and empowers them to do things on their
own. Each of them learned how to bike no older than 5, but I wouldn’t
expect the youngest to get anywhere beyond a few miles until he’s 8 or
How often do you bike with your kinds now ….and do you bike with them for fun or also for taking them on errands, getting them to school?
The oldest has been biking to school on his own for a few years now.
The middle child is starting a new school that she’ll be biking to on
her own. The youngest, wanting to be like his siblings, is talking
about biking to Kindergarden when the school year starts. We hardly
ever drive on the weekends, so all our weekend errands are by bike.
We don’t shuttle our kids around, so the oldest finds his own way in
order to hang out with his friends. The bike is usually his first
choice for that.
If your kids are older, how did you get them started: a Skuut bike, a trailer-bike, training wheels or something else?
The push-bike is a relative new phenomenon, so it wasn’t really an
option I was aware of. They learned the classic way, with training
wheels, graduating to the removal of the training wheels. With the
push bike, you can start them off much younger.
Snuggly-bumpkis! That’s a term my youngest came up with. It’s when
you get a cuddle from the back when you’re hauling them around.
What do you say to relatives or friends who think the streets of San Francisco are not safe for kids to bike?
I’ll just brush it off. People have ideas about things even when they
have no real perspective on the matter. The best way to convince
those people is to just show them, by riding with your kids.
Hills are certainly a consideration. I’ll avoid any street that I
wouldn’t normally bike on myself. Beyond that, I’ll let common sense
dictate the rest.
Beyond appropriate clothing for this SF weather, not really.
Whenever, where ever. I don’t commute by bike simply due to the time required.
Any advice for other dads who are thinking about biking on their own or with their kids?
Stop for breaks. Stop for ice-cream. Stop for playgrounds. Stop for
flowers. Teach them well, make sure they have fun while doing it, and
they’ll never forget. Give the kids options sometimes. If riding
becomes a drudgery, then that’s the part they’ll remember most.
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Don’t forget to check out BIKE NOPA for more Dads on Wheels profiles.
**If you or someone you know, would like to participate email me at bikesandthecity +at+ gmail**