Moms on Bikes Series: Rebecca Fackrell
I have yet to meet a kid who didn't automatically think the bike trailer was some kind of torture device that was going to eat them. I tried to use it without any prep and enjoyed a 5 minute ride full of screaming and tears. After that I let him sit in it in the garage with toys and food. I did that for a few days and he was ready to let me drive him around in it. Once we got out on the trail, he fell in love.
Moving fast, bumping around, seeing trees, and mud splashing around. My little guy was in heaven. I chose a trailer over a attachable seat because I felt safer with him in a trailer. About 3 months after we started riding together my front tire got caught in a train track, I slammed hard into the pavement and got hurt. My little rider was safe and sound in the trailer, my bike hit and slid and he wasn't moved at all. I can't imagine if he was riding on the bike with me what could have happened. We also have a pug, and he loves to ride with us.
A few things I've learned about little kids and bikes.
-Be patient, don't be afraid to let them warm up to it. Let them learn to love it as much as you do.
-Be prepared to stop. A lot. Especially the first long ride. When my son was first starting out, I stopped a bit. Once he figured out how to take care of himself a little better, he was fine for about an hour in the trailer.
- If they are older, let them pick out a helmet themselves! My son got so much more excited once he got to pick his helmet.
-Pack lots of snacks, water, toys, and a blanket if it's cooler. We started out riding in the South, it was HOT. Most trailers have mesh doors and windows with removable plastic sheeting for winter or rain.
-Make it fun, I tried to plan our rides around a stop. Even if that stop was in the woods so we could explore for a few minutes.
Riding with my son has been one of the most rewarding things we have done together, teaching him to love exercise and being outside is fun for both of us.