Bikes and The City in collaboration with BikeNOPA, brings you the weekly 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!
Dads on Wheels: Joe
How old are your kids and why do you bike with them? When did you start them biking?
Twin boys, age 10 and 10, in fifth grade. It’s good exercise for them and helps them develop strength, coordination, balance and an appreciation for the outdoors. It’s also a great bonding experience with Dad! They started on tricycles at age 2 and bikes with training wheels at age 3.
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?
We bike together about once a week, mostly on suburban trails, bay trails and some single track, mostly for fun. They also bike to school once a month with a group of friends.
If your kids are older, how did you get them started: a Skuut bike, a trailer-bike, training wheels or something else?
Mostly training wheels, although I pushed them around in a B.O.B. jogging stroller at 9 months to get the feeling of moving!
What’s the best thing about biking with your kid(s)?
The stories we tell over the dinner table afterwards!
What do you say to relatives or friends who think the streets of San Francisco are not safe for kids to bike?
Like anything else, if you apply good parental judgment and supervision, you can minimize the risk and have a lot of fun. It’s important to teach kids how to ride safely, to pay attention to hazards and to be confident.
What makes a route or street OK for taking your kids biking on it?
Of course it’s best if the route is completely closed to cars, such as a bike trail or during City Streets. However, low-traffic routes with bike lanes are fine if I am riding with them, coaching and supervising them.
Is it even harder getting kids ready for trips if you’re traveling by bike?
It does take some extra time, but if you are organized, you can minimize the impact. For example, if you take care of daily maintenance and safety checks, such as pumping up the tires, early in the morning while the kids are sleeping, and organize their helmets and other gear, it saves a lot of time just before the ride.
If your kids have reached their teens, are they still biking? Do you encourage them to?
They’re only 10, but I’m hoping we can do some mountain biking and bike touring/camping together when they get a little older!
How often do you bike on your own: recreation/exercise or for transportation also?
I’m on my bike almost every day running errands, working out, and riding with friends.
Any advice for other dads who are thinking about biking on their own or with their kids?
Start now, because they will grow up before you know it! Like anything else, getting into a regular routine makes it much easier and more natural to pick up the bike and is part of a healthy lifestyle. We are fortunate to live in a region with an amazing mix of riding environments for people of all ages, and developing a positive attitude and confidence in cycling will enhance your kids’ quality of life well into the future.
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Both photos provided by Joe
+Don’t forget to stop by bikeNOPA’s posts here